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In the Crossfire

Times' policy on gay unions makes news

(CNN) -- The New York Times has announced that it will begin to publish reports of same-sex commitment ceremonies in its Sunday Style section.

Richard Goldstein, executive editor at The Village Voice, and Ann Coulter, author of the best seller "Slander," step into the "Crossfire" with co-host James Carville to debate the new policy.

CARVILLE: Ann, I have a real problem with The New York Times. Actually, I have had a problem with Mr. [Howell] Raines' editorials on Whitewater. But I have a real problem with what's happened before at the Times. Already 70 newspapers print gay unions, including The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Don't you think Mr. Raines is a little late in coming along and publishing these things, and aren't you willing to congratulate him for doing this right now and saying, "Too little too late, but thank God he's joined the chorus here"?

COULTER: Well, I hardly think it's as egregious as the constant rooting for Saddam Hussein and trying to keep Saddam Hussein in power. But I do think the posting of gay unions is a little bit ridiculous. And I think it looks like a parody out of The Onion.

Will they be showing them, you know, in full regalia getting dressed? Will we know which one is keeping his last name? I mean I just think it's not doing a service to gays. I think it makes them look ridiculous.

CARVILLE: Well, Mr. Goldstein, you want it. So you want to tell her why you think this is a good idea?

GOLDSTEIN: Of course, I think it's a good idea. ... The thing is ... we're talking about two human beings in a loving bond, a deeply loving bond that is in terms of its emotion exactly the equivalent of a heterosexual relationship.

And what's so sleazy about the way Ann Coulter comes at this is that she has no respect for love, no respect for the bond, sees only the idea of who's going to have whose name, who's going to be in a regalia, as if you wear drag in a same-sex wedding. This is the bigotry that stands in our way so often in terms of achieving social justice in this country.

CARLSON: Ann Coulter, do you have respect for love?

GOLDSTEIN: Well, maybe certain kinds of love.

COULTER: I must say, I thought we were talking about Saddam Hussein and The New York Times. I didn't realize I was going to be the topic tonight, or I would have prepared more fully.

But, no, I mean, the wedding pages -- they're always done for the bride's sake. I think most grooms find the whole wedding ceremony something ... they're forced to go through and a little bit preposterous.

So I'm having -- having two grooms. I just can't imagine anyone wanting that. I'd just as soon get out of it altogether. I would take that as one of the advantages of being gay and not try to get in on it.

GOLDSTEIN: I'm no authority on the advantages of being gay, but I can tell you something. The New York City Council, in the same day that the Times made its decision, passed a resolution by a wide majority honoring same-sex marriage and offering benefits to people who do it.

And so the Times is reflecting the consensus of feeling and opinion in New York City, even if it doesn't apply to the hollow where Ann Coulter lives.




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