Part of complete coverage from
Are you a bigot if you oppose same-sex marriage?
March 29, 2013 -- Updated 1401 GMT (2201 HKT)
Protesters on both sides of the gay marriage issue gather on March 26.
- CNN Opinion podcast features "Big Three" issues, three commentators
- Margaret Hoover asks if it's fair to call opponents of same-sex marriage bigots
- Dean Obeidallah: Politicians used to disappear after a scandal; now they live on
- John Avlon: Michele Bachmann's political woes complicated by staff turnover
Editor's note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is a political comedian and frequent commentator on various TV networks including CNN. He is the editor of the politics blog The Dean's Report and co-host of a new CNN podcast "The Big Three" that looks at the top 3 stories of the week. Follow him on Twitter @deanofcomedy.
(CNN) -- If someone today argued for laws to legally bar interracial marriage that person would universally be labeled a bigot.
But in 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia struck down state laws prohibiting interracial marriage, 73% of Americans still supported them. Did that mean that more than 70% of Americans at that time were bigots? No. But there certainly came a time that you were one if you continued advocating for such discriminatory laws.
Are we at that point yet with gay marriage? Is it fair to label a person a bigot simply for arguing that marriage should only be between a man and a woman?
That's the first issue we discussed in Episode 2 of the new weekly CNN Radio podcast "The Big Three," co-hosted by CNN opinion contributors Margaret Hoover, John Avlon and myself. Each week we look at three big issues making news. (For those catching up, our first episode is here.)
To listen to this episode of "The Big Three," click on the Soundcloud audio player on this page. Or you can find us on iTunes.
In the new episode, here are the three topics we chose to discuss/fight/yell/joke about:
1. Are you a bigot if you oppose gay marriage? Margaret Hoover raised the issue of whether we throw the word "bigot" around too quickly. She also posed the thought-provoking question: Would we would have called President Obama a bigot a year ago before he embraced marriage equality?
John Avlon, Margaret Hoover, Dean Obeidallah
My response is "Yes" with an asterisk. The asterisk being that I won't yet call anyone who opposes marriage equality a bigot simply because they believe marriage should be between a man and woman. (If you demonize gays, than I will call you one now.) But in time, that label will be accurate for those who continue to advocate discrimination. John Avlon, being the centrist that he is, made a very fair point that this is a process and it will take time.
2. Representative Michele Bachmann being investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics. Our own John Avlon broke this story in the Daily Beast on Monday. While I disagree with Bachmann on almost every issue, as a comedian I would hate to see her go. She is a less intellectual Sarah Palin, which equals comedy gold. But Margaret Hoover cites actual accomplishments by Bachmann in Congress as a member of the House Intelligence Committee. (I know, Bachmann serving on the Intelligence Committee is irony defined.) So will Bachmann be forced out of Congress, or will she remain in office much to the delight of a few people on the right -- and comedians everywhere?
3. Political Zombies. In the past, when politicians were caught in a scandal, they disappeared. But no longer. Today, our disgraced politicians are like "Jason" from the "Friday the 13th "movies. They just keep coming back. Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford -- who had been caught sneaking away from his state to meet his mistress in South America -- is back and a favorite to win the Republican nomination for Congress in a special election next week. And last week it was disclosed that former Congressman Anthony Weiner -- of Twitter underwear photo fame -- spent more than $100,000 on polls to explore running for mayor of New York City. Are we such a forgiving people that they will succeed, as Margaret Hoover believes? Or is it all part of our reality show mentality that rewards fame, as John and I argued?
We hope you will check out this episode and let us know what you think.
Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.
Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dean Obeidallah.
Part of complete coverage on
December 11, 2013 -- Updated 1302 GMT (2102 HKT)
Eric Liu says the typical gun debate pitting "gun rights" against "gun control" makes no sense.
December 11, 2013 -- Updated 0138 GMT (0938 HKT)
Paul Begala says Obama's handshake with the Cuban leader sends out a ripple of hope from the right side of history
December 11, 2013 -- Updated 1452 GMT (2252 HKT)
Peggy Drexler says Miley Cyrus makes such an impact on our culture Time magazine nominated her for Person of the Year. The problem is, her endorsement of drugs could have a bad impact on her fans
December 11, 2013 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
Nelson Mandela managed one more victory in death: subjecting a Who's Who of the world's dictators to a memorial service that overflowed with praise for democracy, freedom and equality, writes Frida Ghitis
December 11, 2013 -- Updated 2343 GMT (0743 HKT)
Hannah Hetzer says Uruguay took a bold and smart step and became the first nation to make recreational marijuana legal for adults. Other nations should take heed
December 11, 2013 -- Updated 1543 GMT (2343 HKT)
Martin Edlund says billions in American aid, new technology and a worldwide effort have combined to make strong progress against the killer disease
December 11, 2013 -- Updated 1806 GMT (0206 HKT)
Robert Mark says the Asiana Airlines plane crash indicates excessive reliance on technology can be a problem
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1438 GMT (2238 HKT)
Danny Cevallos says a nonprofit animal rights group has made at least a plausible case that chimpanzees qualify for being considered people by the courts.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1450 GMT (2250 HKT)
Casey Oppenheim says that as leading tech companies call on President Obama to reform surveillance practices, Americans worry they've lost control of their personal data. There are tools that can help us regain some control, but it's an uphill battle
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1425 GMT (2225 HKT)
Frida Ghitis says when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un purged his uncle from power and memory, he used a ruthless tactic perfected by Saddam Hussein.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 0621 GMT (1421 HKT)
Ira Helfand says the some 17,000 nuclear warheads that exist today are an existential threat that is ignored, even though a limited nuclear war would be devastating, unleashing a global famine and chaos
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says politicians in both parties have largely been bystanders as their constituents have seen middle class lifestyles fall apart
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1239 GMT (2039 HKT)
Gregory Ruhnke says sharing exam questions is a dangerous practice that fosters behavior which can harm doctors and the public.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1559 GMT (2359 HKT)
Pepper Schwartz says boomers keep making life up as they go along and put fulfillment and happiness, even in later life, ahead of the need to stay married. Will younger generations follow suit?
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1947 GMT (0347 HKT)
David Frum says it's no time to be celebrating an economic rebound despite last week's GDP and jobs news
December 8, 2013 -- Updated 1329 GMT (2129 HKT)
Attention, holiday shoppers: Put away your wallets and credit cards. The best gifts are free, writes Bob Greene
December 7, 2013 -- Updated 1836 GMT (0236 HKT)
Joshua Stanton and Sung Yoon Lee say the world must deny the Kim regime access to the global financial system until it closes the brutal prisons that have held hundreds of thousands of innocent people
December 7, 2013 -- Updated 0038 GMT (0838 HKT)
David Rothkopf says the death of Mandela reminds us of the stunning changes that swept the world in the time of his triumph
December 6, 2013 -- Updated 1856 GMT (0256 HKT)
Frida Ghitis says conservatives should take note: Rising inequality is the proven enemy of stability.
December 8, 2013 -- Updated 1347 GMT (2147 HKT)
Roxanne Jones recalls visiting South Africa in the days apartheid was beginning to unravel
Today's five most popular stories