Jon Stewart Schools Bill Bennett on Gay Marriage

From Boing Boing comes word of this great interview:

Bennett: Well I think if people are already members of families…

Stewart: What? (almost spitting out his drink)

Bennett: They’re sons and they’re daughters..

Stewart: So that’s where the buck stops, that’s the gay ceiling.

Bennett Look, it’s a debate about whether you think marriage is between a man and a women.

Stewart:I disagree, I think it’s a debate about whether you think gay people are part of the human condition or just a random fetish.

I think the debate starts there and ends asking whether government should be involved in our private lives at all.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. Jon’ a “classic liberal”. I love him, real sharp guy, real funny, and really loves the ideal of the country. I’d highly recommend “America: The Book”, satire at its best.

  2. Neither of them actually go that far though. Stewart wants the polygamy ban kept because there’s not a “polygamy gene.”

  3. The one thing I don’t like about Jon’s argument in this interview is where he says there is a difference between people being gay and a polygamist because of choice. Now I agree that it is a choice to be a polygamist and it is not a choice to be gay, but I would say that whether or not something is a “choice” makes no difference.

    Someone should be able to “choose” to do whatever they want as long as it does not violate someone’s right to life, liberty, or property, nor does it conspire to do so, through force or fraud.

  4. In the same vein as what is being said here — there is in fact evidence that polygamy (or polyandry) has a genetic basis, of some sort.

    There’s also nothing — beyond religious predilections — that makes them bad things. Other nations *IN THE WORLD TODAY* permit these practices. They are in no way the defining factors of those nations’ problems.

    The polygamist Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints have cultural issues deriving from the illegality of their practices rather than the practices themselves.

    Polygamy, gay marriage, none of these things are non-conducive to a wholesome environment for a child. Polygamy was once considered an institution *FOR* the benefit of the children.

    This is, essentially, a liberal vs. conservative issue. And *THAT* is why, despite how irrelevant it truly is, it makes so much headway. Because it polarizes the politickos whom follow each side of Brand X.

  5. I really like Jon Stewart.

    Paul: I generally agree, but those are both good arguments. Jon’s argument is kind of like “let’s legalize pot” only. Hardcore libertarians want to go all the way, but perhaps we should take things one step at a time.

  6. Old Bill ought to stuff some chips into his pockets and head back into the casino. Maybe he’ll have better luck there.

  7. Yeah, I agree with that too, Dave. I agree that there is no reason (fully consentual) polygamy should be illegal, but I wouldn’t press the issue in an election. Rather I would push that marriage as a whole really shouldn’t be recognized or enforced by the government.

    Polygamy is sure as hell complicated when it comes to laws too. What happens in a divorce, a death, what’s with the taxes, etcetera. It’s a giant clusterfuck, for the lack of a classier term, which is why I would just say let’s just let those guys work it out for themselves.

  8. No offense, but I don’t think Stewart really “schooled” Bennett. Not that I agree with Bennett, necessarily. But he was prepared and offered good points, he just didnt get the cheers from the always-supportive-of-Stewart audience. Don’t confuse the two.

  9. I agree with Stewart, naturally, but he wasn’t the best debater. He kept cutting Bennett off, which is kinda disrespectful. It did look like there was more to the debate following the clip, though, so maybe Bennett got in his points after all.

  10. I don’t think Stewart was bring rude. He was just keeping Bennett from doing what these conservative schills do best – avoid answering a question via obfuscation. Condisleazy Rice made this an art form.

  11. It was a good debate, although Stewart did cut Bennett off frequently. They both know their respective ideological arguments inside and out. It is too bad that they both agree that government is necessary for marriage.

  12. “It is too bad that they both agree that government is necessary for marriage.”

    And that’s what’s sorely missing in politics. That third point of view that says, “hey wait a minute, why the fuck are you involved in the first place?”.

  13. The way I always answer this question with my religious friends is:

    Isn’t denying someone the choice ALWAYS the wrong thing? WWJD?

  14. Since government is the one who issues marriage licences not religion and since it states in the First Amendment that one can not be “persecuted by” or for any religion.It’s governments duty to ensure the right of all Americans to marry regardless of sex.Now if any religion chooses not to perform certain marriages thats their right.But since others feel differently it’s governments duty to uphold those rights regardless if religious organizations agree with it or not.
    If religion wishes to regulate marriage let them handle all the divorces as well so government won’t have to waste it’s time and money on them.Religious organizations are like any other organization.They aren’t allowed to force their rules laws and beliefs on everyone.
    Government or religion shouldn’t be involved in consenting adults lifestyles and decide who’s worthy of having a marriage according to the First Amendment.
    Amending the law in this case is the same as disregarding it.If this happens,who’s freedom is next

  15. Um that is not at all what the first says.

    It only says congress will not make a law concerning establishment of religion. It doesn’t say a word about keeping people from being persecuted by one, whatever that means.

    You cant amend the law because there is no basis of anything to amend. It would be creating new law. Government has no business being involved.

    Gay people no matter how repugnant one might find their lifestyle have every right to live their life as they see fit. To try to force them to live to someone else’s moral code is frankly devoid of morality.

    If you don’t believe in freedom for people to do things you disagree with then you don’t believe in freedom.

  16. I love it whey they thrown the kitchen sink into every argument. Polygamy is not legal for anyone. That is not the debate. The debate is about wether or not Gay/Lesbian relationships are “worthy” of being recognized. This is about legitimizing those relationships and recognizing them for what they truly are. It is not the fault of gays or lesbians that the government wrapped over 1000 laws into the contract of marriage, but it is our right to seek access to those rights and recognitions. Not all marriages are performed in churches and hold religious ideologies…

  17. Corrollary to the statement ’bout complexity of polygamy/polyandry — all you have to do is recognize a household, and then it all becomes simple. Is a particular house, for example, the property of the *household* or is it the property of, say, husband #3?

    Also — much of how the FLDS is established is because they are culturally isolated. It’s damned hard to force social conformity in an open society.

    Another point — not *ALL* forced behavior should be illegal. That would by definition obviate contractual obligations. Only force that was not agreed upon aforehand. And yes, that applies even to interpersonal relationships.

    Think about this one, while we’re on the topic of “subversive” relationships — should a man or woman have the right to be enslaved? To lose, if they wish, *ALL* freedom of any kind?

    Think on that carefully before you answer it fully.

  18. James, great statement!

    “If you don’t believe in freedom for people to do things you disagree with then you don’t believe in freedom.”

    I would just add “as long as they are not forcing, coercing, or committing fraud”

  19. “The way I always answer this question with my religious friends is:

    Isn’t denying someone the choice ALWAYS the wrong thing? WWJD?”

    If you really want to know WWJD, read Genesis 19.

    Isn’t government’s involvement in marriage really about control? To me, marriage is an act between a man, woman and God. There is a 6000 year precident here. If government hadn’t stuck their nose in, we wouldn’t have to worry about all this. Then if Adam and Steve wanted to get married, and can find some sort of degenrate minister to do so, fine. It’s Christian’s responsibility to explain that they are sinning, and if God so chooses, He can punish them.

    The “born that way” argument begs the argument wether or not child molestors are born that way. The psychiactric community is trying to slowly change our perception of child molestation (with the help of the likes of MANBLA) to show that it is somehow benevolent. Fair Warning…

  20. ian has said a wonderful truth! “gayness” is an emotional factor that the politicians use to divide and conquer! in addition, we (collectively) are obsessed with sex. it’s “hard-wired” into our pysches. religion uses it to control the actions of it’s followers. when you can “transcend” the physicalness of being human, you are less likely to condemn others for their obsessions!

  21. I didn’t say it stops people from persecuting others but it does say One has the right to to their religion and the right not to be persecuted by religion.
    Why do you think many came here to begin with?To flee religious persecution.
    Read the First Amendment.That’s why I say it’s unconstitutional to ban any two consenting adults to marry.
    Would you have America ran by one specific religion.Or have courts judge according to religion.If so your allowing organizational beliefs of some to dictate the laws for everyone regardless of whether they believe differently or not.Thus supressing freedom.
    That’s why the First Amendment is stated the way it is.

  22. Actually, it says “Congress shall make no law…”

    If a private organization wanted to set up policies discriminating against customers, employees, patrons etc for whatever reason, it is their right and I fully support their right to do so, even if I do not support their business.

    What’s government doing licensing marriges in the first place? Any inviolvment should be limited to arbitrating contracts mutually agreed upon by the weddors. And if they were smart, they’d seek arbitration through a private entity.