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The Ruth Institute Podcast

Feb 11, 2010

(February 9, 2010) Columbia University's Federalist Society hosts a debate between Dr J and Professor Katherine Franke based on the question "Is Marriage Equality Possible?"  About an hour of audio includes opening position (Dr J), arguments (Prof. Franke), and rebuttal (Dr J), as well as a brief question-and-answer period.

over thirteen years ago

A very interesting debate. Here are my stray thoughts:
1. I almost wish Dr. J\\\'s last statement had been earlier in the discussion (she says that she is not trying to prevent or disencourage same-sex couples from having mature and committed relationships, or even from adopting children when appropriate). I think most people assume that her position on marriage implies a general bias against the existence of homosexuality and thus some of her key points are diluted or fail to reach the forefront of the discussion.

2. The questioner in the crowd couldn\\\'t seem to understand the logic that a biological origin of human offspring through genetic material from two separate genders is more fundamental to the nature of humanity than variations in human skin tone. Others, like myself, have difficulty understanding how one can believe that it is an issue integral to human rights to call the union of two same-sex partners by the same name as the union of opposite sex partners? It sounds more like an insistence on cultural affirmation rather than a civil rights issue.

3. I once heard Dr. J say that we have to be accountable to reality. Overall, I see the impasse between the two speakers to involve the relevance of gender. It did not seem to be agreed that a basic \\\"reality\\\" of life is that men and women are different in a substantive, important way. And if one does not believe that physical, biological, gender identity is an important and fundamental reality of existence, then I doubt one would find Dr. J\\\'s arguments very persuasive.