Video of panel on marriage amendment now available online:

Yesterday C-SPAN aired a panel discussion on the federal marriage amendment sponsored by Cato and the Center for American Progress. The video of that discussion is now available online here.

Panelists were Prof. Michael Seidman, Bruce Fein, Mark Agrast, and me. Although all of us opposed the amendment, you'll see that we had somewhat different reasons for doing so. The program lasted about an hour and a half, with me as the first speaker. If you have the time to watch, the exchange after the initial presentations from each panelist turned out to be unexpectedly lively.

jimbob (mail):

Are you just going to talk about gay marriage all the time? Damn.
6.7.2006 12:59am
They should just legalize same-sex marriage already and then the country can move onto to poverty, terrorism, Iraq, Immigration, Somalia, and about a dozen other issues that Republicans and conservatives have apparently forgotten about in their zeal to stick it to gay people.
6.7.2006 1:27am
Federal Dog:
I am so tired of academics and academic efforts at thought control. What kind of panel includes only opponents of the measure? Why were other perspectives excluded?
6.7.2006 8:16am
Rob Johnson (mail):

I watched the program. What did you think about Professor Seidman's arguments that the Marriage Protection Amendment would "abolish the institution of marriage Massachussets" and would "constitutionalize the [gay] one-night stand"? Seemed fairly ridiculous to me.
6.7.2006 10:43am
Eh Nonymous (mail) (www):
Elais: don't you mean, they should go ahead and criminalize homosexuality, and adultery, and fornication, and pornography, and masturbation, so that we can hang them from the lampposts, install leaders with better things to do than stick their noses deep, deep, deeper into our bedrooms, and then go to work solving the problems without the hindrance?

Most Americans don't support having police enter our bedrooms to inspect our genitals. Most Republicans in power do not, however, respond to this broad, deep support for privacy. Shame on the Democrats who join them.
6.7.2006 11:46am
C SPAN Watcher:
I dont know if you know, but you got quoted a few times by Sen. Feingold yesterday during the floor debates.
6.7.2006 12:28pm
Dale Carpenter (mail):
Rob: I have a great deal of respect for Professor Seidman, but the Massachusetts argument seemed like a stretch to me. I get his point about constitutionalizing the one-night stand, but I would not have put it in quite those terms. The federal amendment doesn't prohibit long-term gay relationships, but it nevertheless constitutionalizes an asymmetry in the law. After it passes, gays can have all the sex they want under Lawrence, but that sex can't be channeled into marriage under the marriage amendment.
6.7.2006 12:29pm
I watched and was not impressed. What I saw was a one sided discussion of lawyers stating that if you follow what we think should be done (the legal agenda) we will finally have gay marriage and boy are we sooooooooo happy. The end game happy slapping was noted. It had nothing to do with whether gay marriage should be legal but how we as lawyers can do our tap dance and WIN. The hell with the will of the people it is the will of the pro homosexual lawyers that must WIN. Not surprised.
6.7.2006 1:39pm

Pro-homosexual? I'm for equal marriage under the law, That makes me pro-people, not 'pro-homosexual'. Supporting the rights of women is not being 'pro-woman'. IT is pro-human being.

Wanting equal rights for all Americans regardless of orientation is being pro-American. Using the term 'pro-homosexual' is being called pro-white, pro-brunette, pro-blue eyes, pro-tall people. It is an absurd term used by cro-magnons.
6.7.2006 2:11pm
So you say. I disagree. The whole idea of Gay marriage is a red herring. You can use all the legal words and new ideas you want. A rose is still a rose. The whole debate is ridiculous. Marriage was an institution espically in Western Civilization long before the USA or the Constitution was even an idea. It is not just contract law. The idea that because Congress through social programs (of which I think are a affront to our Constitution) have favored married couples with goodies is now being used as a red herring to change marriage to something that has no constitutional or historical basis. Oh I know you can say equal protection Blah Blah. It is still all a legal process lead by lawyers using the law to futher the government involvement into marriage which is not a institution of government. I would prefer to strip all the goodies and do away with any government involvement than to see them used as a weapon. Just goes to show the unintended consequences once again of an overbearing government. There is no Constitutional right to marry. Leave marriage out of the government regime. The goverment does not have the Power to define marriage. Make up new civil contracts if you want call them marriage if you like. But they will not in any way except by government contract law be a Marriage. I hope when it does become legal for same sex marriages that those who think it will cause forced ACCEPTANCE are not to upset when it fails to do so. This is what is really trying to be done despite the window dressing.
6.7.2006 2:50pm
BobN (mail):
The CSPAN panel was the ONLY discussion I've witnessed over the last few weeks as the "nation debated same-sex marriage" (ahem) that actually included a gay person, and trust me, I've watched a lot of TV "news" the last few weeks.

The whole discussion has been remarkably one-sided and embarrassingly superficial and dishonest. And that includes the Senate sound-btye sessions... I mean "debates".
6.7.2006 4:59pm
Rob Johnson (mail):

Thanks for your response. I'm happy to know that your opposition to the Marriage Protection Amendment has not blinded you to those two really bad arguments against the Marriage Protection Amendment.
6.7.2006 5:30pm