Video: Perez vs Prager on gay marriage

posted at 11:32 am on April 22, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Greg Hengler gives us the Larry King matchup between Townhall’s Dennis Prager and Perez Hilton from last night. In boxing terms, this intellectual debate would be akin to Joe Louis vs Manny Pacquiao’s public-relations guy. It’s no contest. My friend Dennis talks about philosophy, history, and biology, while Perez mostly whines about his feelings.  Perez’ corner should have thrown in the towel in the first minute.

And yet … does Dennis really score any points here?

Dennis brings up several analogies, but only one of them really has any relation to the issue, and that’s the e-Harmony case.  Civil litigation imposed a requirement on e-Harmony to provide services to gays, even though the owners really only wanted to serve straights.  No one imposed such solutions on gay dating services, and Dennis makes the good point that a free market serves all by promoting business that cater to market demand.  Very few would argue that the government should put such dating services out of business or force them to serve a market against their will.

But that’s not the same thing as government recognition of gay marriage, nor are the Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts or social club analogies that Dennis uses.  Those are also private associations, not government agencies, and the Scouts have a right to organize as they see fit, as long as they don’t break other laws in doing so.  American culture looks more favorably on organizing along gender lines with children than they do with adults, as the single-gender social clubs that Dennis mentions have been disappearing for decades under the pressure of gender equality.  None of these have any need for government recognition, which makes them irrelevant to the issue of whether governments should recognize same-sex relationships as marriages.

If I were Dennis, I would have used a sports analogy instead.  Title IX guarantees equal access on gender, but doesn’t require that schools eliminate gender separation for their athletic departments.  Gymnastics, golf, baseball/softball, basketball, hockey, and other sports get separate teams for men and women, but they get equal financing.  That would at least somewhat parallel the policy of recognizing marriage for heterosexual unions only while providing for civil unions for gay relationships that protect their partnership rights.  That’s actually an analogous government-treatment argument that Dennis misses in favor of an irrelevant free-market argument.

For the record, I don’t think government should be in the marriage business at all.  We’d be better off having everyone use partnership agreements that will get treated better than marriage contracts ever do these days in court, and leave the question of marriage to religious institutions.  No-fault divorce destroyed any argument that government should protect the sanctity of marriage, and unless I’ve missed a deep groundswell for eliminating that, government does more to damage marriage now than it helps.

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Neither of those is the source of a child’s nurturing or support. Teaching a class of children that some of their parents shouldn’t be married (or even given birth to them) is unrealistic, not to mention cruel.

Perfect reason for getting the gay marriage issue OUT OF THE CLASSROOM. Of course the gay activists will be having hissy fits because kids must be indoctrinated into gay marriage by reading books, being told it’s normal, etc.

sues on April 22, 2009 at 11:50 PM

Imagine if somebody lost Miss America because she supported homosexual marriage. The outcry would be loud and long as would the lawsuits. Nobody cares in this case ’cause it’s just another Christian being discriminated against by anti-Christian bigots.

Disgusting.

Mojave Mark on April 23, 2009 at 12:50 AM

Dennis’s argument wasn’t primarily about the free market; he was trying to get Perez to agree that men and women are different.

joe_doufu on April 23, 2009 at 12:57 AM

Leave marriage to religious institutions? Wow. Do you really think that solves the problem Ed? Gays will go after them next, you can count on that. The agenda goes far beyond gay marriage.

echosyst on April 23, 2009 at 1:04 AM

For the record, I don’t think government should be in the marriage business at all.

Does Heterosexual marriage benefit society? Yes? Then why shouldn’t society recognize and support it?

Greg Q on April 23, 2009 at 1:56 AM

Does Heterosexual marriage benefit society? Yes? Then why shouldn’t society recognize and support it?

I think the real question you should be asking yourself is why you’re equating “society” with “government”. I find the idea of government dictating societal norms distasteful.

Government should be there to protect property and custody rights, nothing more.

TheMightyMonarch on April 23, 2009 at 2:13 AM

Leave marriage to religious institutions? Wow. Do you really think that solves the problem Ed? Gays will go after them next, you can count on that. The agenda goes far beyond gay marriage.

It works as long as religious freedom is upheld.

If it gets to the point where courts are violating religious freedom in order to accommodate the homosexual view, we have much bigger problems on our hands.

TheMightyMonarch on April 23, 2009 at 2:29 AM

First of all, I am amazed that Perez didn’t call anyone a name in this clip; it must have taken quite a bit of composure to do so.

The biggest reason not to advocate gay marriage: We will save some poor dude from foolishly “marrying” Perez Hilton.

darkmetal on April 23, 2009 at 6:37 AM

The left has a real problem with history. They ignore it in so many ways. They ignore 6 million Jews were liquidated during WWII, thus Israel, who they happen to hate. They ignore that homosexuality was practiced in many ancient cultures, but there was no homosexual marriage. They ignore the Iraq War wasn’t started by Bush, but rather by Saddam Hussein in 1991 when he invaded Kuwait, and the war continued under Clinton(who shot down Iraqi fighters for 8 years)into the Bush 43 administration. Only a few examples, I could come up with way more….

By the way, Perez(Mario)Hilton should just go back into the closet before he does the gay movement any more harm…He’s a disgusting human being. And that has nothing to do with him being gay….

adamsmith on April 23, 2009 at 7:26 AM

Why even waste giving this certified buffoonish assclown Perez Hilton more air time that he deserves?

This is a guy who makes vehemently putting down people who disagree with him his daily bread and butter, and who has singlehandedly turned character assassination into an art form of sorts.

Putting him on the air in front of a national audience is exactly what he wants, and attempting to debate him on issues like this are a complete waste of time.

The only way to turn his loud mouth off is to not give him such and to just ignore anything he has to say.

pilamaye on April 23, 2009 at 7:31 AM

Every time I listen to that Perez freak, I feel like I need to take a bath in gasoline. Soap is just not good enough.

DanaSmiles on April 23, 2009 at 7:53 AM

Perez Hilton hurts the whole gay marriage issue. It is okay to disagree on this issue. Why ask the question if there is only one acceptable answer? Why not ask Ms. California if she believes racism is justified or whether it is okay for little children in the third world to be raised for meat?

Or perhaps a question on choice for prospective Ms. America is next? Girls remember, there is only one acceptable answer.

My question is why did Perez Hilton ask this question of Ms. California? Did he see her bio, know she was a Christian and go, hmmmm, this might be really good? Perez should be careful bandying around the “c” word because it actually applies only to one individual at the pagent, and it isn’t Ms. California or any of the contestants.

I would vote for gay marriage. But this is NOT the way for those promoting gay marriage as a political option to make their point. The question was BS from the start. This just alienates and acts like a wedge.

Mr. Joe on April 23, 2009 at 9:37 AM

My Gawd, Larry King can’t even lift up his head! Weird.

thegreatbeast on April 23, 2009 at 10:14 AM

with all due respect, Ed, you kind of went on a nit tangent vis a vis private groups. Dennis’ point was whether or not men and women were different (beyond the naughty bits).

This is about “thought” control … the Miss USA pageant is closed to anyone that believes as Prejean. Either lie, pass or don’t apply.

Darleen on April 23, 2009 at 10:34 AM

I honestly have to ask this: why are all of you continuing to give this jackass the free publicity he so desperately craves?

He’s an attention whore, and there’s only one way to deal with attention whores – ignore them.

Vic on April 23, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Sick.

Aronne on April 23, 2009 at 10:56 AM

while Perez mostly whines about his feelings.

This is the crux of the entire “gay agenda”, Ed.

You do realize this…don’t you?

bluelightbrigade on April 23, 2009 at 12:00 PM

I just had a scary thought…

If a mentally challenged clown like Al Franken can win a Senate seat, is this mentally challenged clown far behind?

TheMightyMonarch on April 23, 2009 at 12:02 PM

I just had a scary thought…

If a mentally challenged clown like Al Franken can win a Senate seat, is this mentally challenged clown far behind?

TheMightyMonarch on April 23, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Barney Frank.

bluelightbrigade on April 23, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Someone help me out with this…I am single and therefore do not fully understand the tax benefits or burdens associated with marriage (i.e. I am working on a certain level of assumption and please excuse my ignorance).

From what I understand there are some tax benefits to being married (correct me if I am wrong). If so, is this what it is really all about? Does it all boil down to money as most things do or is this really an “equal rights” issue?

Do homosexuals want equal rights for the state/federal benefits and do certain classes of heterosexuals want to prevent it because it will be a further burden on them (i.e. less money back because of more people married)?

I agree (for now at least) that the government shouldn’t be involved and leave “marriage” up to religion. If this is just about the word “marriage” and being labeled as having equal rights then this all seems pointless.

Does this make sense? I welcome responses and want to understand the underlying issues, arguments, motives etc.

TightAggressive on April 23, 2009 at 4:28 PM

For the record, I don’t think government should be in the marriage business at all. We’d be better off having everyone use partnership agreements that will get treated better than marriage contracts ever do these days in court, and leave the question of marriage to religious institutions. No-fault divorce destroyed any argument that government should protect the sanctity of marriage, and unless I’ve missed a deep groundswell for eliminating that, government does more to damage marriage now than it helps.

I’ve made basically the same point here recently and I’m in complete agreement.

Benaiah on April 23, 2009 at 4:51 PM

This whole debate is ridiculous. Perez is nothing but a freak show and so is the gay rights movement.Larry King has turned his show into freak show.

If they do not like what the majority thinks about their disgusting behavior, that is too bad IMHO.Majority rules and they should shut the hell up.

The notion that this freak was allowed to be a judge in a beauty pageant is outrageous and Trump should fire whom ever allowed this moron to sit on the panel.

I am sick and tired of the 2% that call themselves homosexuals shoving their agenda down my throat.
By definition they are abbbynormal and there is no reason that we should have to accommodate their illness.

ScottyDog on April 23, 2009 at 6:58 PM

Redefining marriage to include the union of same-sex couples is like redefining homosexuality to include people who are exclusively attracted to the opposite sex.

In other words, that’s not the definition. The government has no business redefining either term.

Likewise, Perez says they shouldn’t have to settle for anything less than or “unequal” to marriage. Legally, a civil union is largely equal to marriage and this is supported by politicians on the left and right like Palin, Biden, etc. What Perez really means is he’s upset that it’s not the same as marriage.
Well guess what, Nancy, it’s not. And name-calling a mature, thoughtful woman who has shown you no animosity a dumb b___ and a c___ only undermines your own cause. Grow up.

Crusty on April 24, 2009 at 12:24 AM

just saw on the AP that Prejean got a GREAT welcome at the dove awards and even received a standing ovation.

ousoonerfan15 on April 24, 2009 at 2:10 AM

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