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KING: But it's not in the Constitution. Jesus isn't in the Constitution of the United States. So, we're going to get into laws now.

Guy Padgett, why do you want, I assume you want legalized marriage, if so why do you care?

PADGETT: Well, that's an interesting assumption on your part. I, you know, I believe that this question needs to be left up to the people, to the municipality, to the state and I think efforts to define marriage at a national level by mending the Constitution is just wrong.

I mean the Constitution of the United States of America is here to grant us rights. The constitutions of the states in response and in line with that are here to grant us rights, not to prohibit us, not to control us in that manner.

And, I think that -- I think these efforts to amend the Constitution and to take away equal protection under the law is a mistake. Now, having said that, I do believe that there's no one size fits all solution for any problem and that we need to allow the sort of flexibility that allows for local character and for local...

KING: Would you want Casper -- would you want Casper, Wyoming to have legal marriage between gays?

PADGETT: I wouldn't want Casper to do anything that's not right for Casper.

KING: No, would you want it?

PADGETT: I would want us to have...

KING: You're a former mayor.

PADGETT: Oh, me personally.

KING: Yes.

PADGETT: Well, you know, me personally I, you know, my partner Jason and I have been together for over seven years now. I would like to have some acknowledgement that our relationship is as important as other relationships but I also would be very careful to say that I would want us to have an open and frank discussion of our community about that and whether or not it's right.

KING: Why would it bother you, Janet, if they had gay marriage in Casper, Wyoming?

PARSHALL: Well, let me pick up on something that Guy said because I appreciated it and that is letting the voice of the people be heard, which is why in 2004 you had eleven states that had a referendum dealing with exactly that subject and, guess what, in all eleven states the voters said, uh uh, marriage should be defined as one man and one woman.

KING: And if they passed it, you'd have gone along with it right?

PARSHALL: Passed the idea of what defining marriage as one man and one woman?

KING: Gay marriage, yes.

PARSHALL: Well...

KING: If they said one man and one man you'd have gone along because they would have voted it that way so you would approve.

PARSHALL: Wouldn't have had much choice. Welcome to democracy, exactly.

KING: OK. All right, SO...

PARSHALL: But I have to tell you, you asked me...

KING: ...what do you have against it?

PARSHALL: What I have against it is that it's a pretend family, Larry. Let's talk about this. You talked about the law but really the genesis of this law, no pun intended, happens to be the Book of Genesis. It was God himself that defined family as one man and one union, one man, one woman in that union and everything else is a fraudulent misrepresentation. KING: But in Genesis guys had five wives.

PARSHALL: Yes, they sure did and guess what the Bible also said they had a boatload of trouble. In fact, it's interesting "USA Today" writes a piece...

KING: But still called them family.

PARSHALL: Well, that also said it was called a problem. God's plan all along was one man and one woman and when those patriarchs stepped outside that plan the rest of that book says they had a whole bunch of trouble. So, it isn't about hurting me personally, Larry. It's about hurting our culture. It's about hurting our kids.

I think when two people of the same sex get together and they decide to use the moniker of a marriage I think it's a grotesque misrepresentation and actually if that union decides that they want to then adopt children because biology says they can create children then I think what you have in many respects is state sanctioned child abuse because you have purposely taken away either a momma or a daddy and mom and dad are both necessary in a child's life.

KING: Would you agree that a homosexual union can raise a pretty good child and a heterosexual union can raise a pretty bad one?

PARSHALL: I would agree that probably we need to reform the foster care system and we need to tear down some of the encumbrances to the adoption laws in this country but I don't think it's a good idea to say to Johnny, guess what, two daddies are going to meet all your needs just like a mommy and a daddy are because that's just not true.

KING: We'll take a break and get Chad Allen's thoughts on gay marriage. We'll be taking your calls at the bottom of the hour, all this in connection with "Brokeback Mountain." Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I strongly believe that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman. I am troubled by activist judges who are defining marriage.

I have watched carefully what's happened in San Francisco where licenses were being issued even though the law states otherwise. I have consistently stated that I'll support law to protect marriage between a man and a woman and obviously these events are influencing my decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Chad Allen do you want the right to marry?

ALLEN: Absolutely without question. I deserve it.

KING: What about what they've said it's between a man and a woman (INAUDIBLE)?

ALLEN: I understand that, you know, I recognize that. I've heard their arguments a lot. I respect them fully for it but I also think the best thing that I've heard so far came from a very conservative Catholic father who turned to me.

He said, "I've been watching this debate and I just don't understand if you're allowed the same rights that I'm allowed how that's going to affect me." It isn't.

I recognize their fear. I hear it in their arguments and the only thing I have to say is, look, I know what it's like to be a scared 13-year-old kid dealing with his sexuality, trying to hide it, trying to fight it and winding up suicidally depressed. And I know what it's like to fall in love and fully get to express my love.

And I know that the world will recognize that fully. It's only a matter of time that we will be afforded the same rights. It's a civil rights movement just like any other that's come before and it's laying itself out just like any civil rights movement that's come before.

KING: Reverend Mohler, do you have any objection to gay unions in which at least when one of the partners may die the other partner may have the full rights of what a marriage would have brought?

MOHLER: Well I think the most important thing is that we understand that marriage is an objective reality and it's been honored that way throughout human history I believe because God did give it to us explicitly even in the act of creation.

When you look at the current debate over gay marriage there are all kinds of things going on there. I fully support a federal marriage amendment because I believe as a people, as a community, we need to honor what marriage is.

I do believe that different arrangements are specific to marriage in terms of such things as parental rights and responsibilities. The covenant of marriage is honored by society and vested with certain rights.

I do understand that in our current cultural moment there can be other arrangements that can be put together, for instance in hospital visitation and other things where individuals can make decisions without regard to perhaps some issues related to marriage.

But when it comes to anything that would devalue marriage and de- normalize marriage, I have to oppose it because I think it leads to a lack of health in the society. I think it -- I think it mis-teaches, Larry.

Marriage not only protects the union of the man and the woman and their children and perpetuates the human race, it's the central molecule of our civilization. It also teaches and the fact is that the adoption of anything like same-sex marriage or even civil unions teaches the wrong thing about what sex and marriage and family is all about.

KING: But visiting someone in the hospital you couldn't care about that could you?

MOHLER: No, I raised that myself. I think there are all kinds of issues that are thrown out there that are really false. They have nothing to do particularly just with the institution of marriage but with some social customs and hospital policies that I would be glad to see revisited. But I don't want to see anything happen that would marginalize or weaken marriage as an institution.

KING: Why then aren't you outwardly opposed to all divorce?

MOHLER: Well, I absolutely am.
 
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