With a potentially precedent-setting legal challenge to California's Proposition 8 working its way through the federal court system, the National Constitution Center presents a timely program on the issue of same-sex marriage. Last November, California voters approved the Proposition 8 ballot measure, amending their state Constitution to ban marriages between same-sex couples. A lawsuit filed on behalf of two gay couples wishing to marry has attracted national attention.
David Boies, one of the leading lawyers in the case, is joined in a conversation by Keith Boykin, Maggie Gallagher and Glenn Stanton. Margot Adler moderates.
Margot Adler is a National Public Radio correspondent based in NPR's New York Bureau. Her reports can be heard regularly on "All Things Considered," "Morning Edition" and "Weekend Edition." She has been with NPR since 1979 and worked in radio journalism for 40 years. Until June 2008, she hosted NPR's "Justice Talking," a weekly show that explored the cases and controversies that come before our nation's courts.
Adler is the author of two books, Drawing Down the Moon, a study of contemporary nature religions and Heretic's Heart, a 1960s memoir. In 1982 she was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
David Boies is chairman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP. From 1998 to 2000, Boies served as special trial counsel for the US Department of Justice in its antitrust suit against Microsoft. Boies served as lead counsel for former vice president Al Gore in the 2000 election vote-count litigation in Florida. As co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Perry v. Brown, he won judgments establishing the constitutional right to marry for gay and lesbian citizens in California in the federal district and appellate courts.
Keith Boykin is the editor of The Daily Voice online news site, a CNBC contributor, a BET TV host, and a New York Times best-selling author. He served in the White House as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton.
Each of Boykin's three books has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, including his most recent book, Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America. Boykin won the Lambda Literary Award for his second book, Respecting The Soul. He is an associate producer of the 2007 feature film "Dirty Laundry" and is working on his fourth book.
Maggie Gallagher is president of the National Organization for Marriage, which the Washington Post recently called the "pre-eminent organization dedicated to preventing the legalization of same-sex marriage." NOM is widely credited with getting Proposition 8 on the ballot. She is also president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy (www.marriagedebate.com).
Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, the author of three books on marriage, including The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better-Off Financially.
Glenn T. Stanton
Glenn T. Stanton is the Director for Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs as well as directing a major research project on international family formation trends at la Institut du Mariage et de la Famille Canada. He served the George W. Bush administration for many years as a consultant on increasing fatherhood involvement in the Head Start program.
Stanton is a founding signatory of the new Hampton Proclamation, a cooperative effort of diverse leaders launched by the National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting at Hampton University with the goal of strengthening marriage and married parenting in the African-American community. He has contributed to eight books and is the author of three including Why Marriage Matters: Reasons to Believe in Marriage in Postmodern Society and Marriage on Trial: The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage and Parenting. He is currently completing Beyond Pink and Blue, about the significance of sex-difference in child development and parenting.
David Boies, one of the high profile lawyers who filed the suit, discusses the Proposition 8 federal trial. Referring to the history of marriage precedents, Boies says the equal protection argument should also apply to legalizing same-sex marriage.
A panel debates the constitutionality of the legal restrictions on same-sex marriage, referencing the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Loving v. Virginia, which declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional.