Yale University

Class News

Joe Lieberman '64 joins The Three Amigos

The "three amigos" on the definition of marriage


December 11, 2012

The film world has a version of "¡Three Amigos!" And the world of politics has a friendly triumvirate too, as Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham have also been categorized in similar fashion to that of their silver-screen counterparts, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short. This evening, in an interview that features nearly as much drama and humor as the 1986 western comedy, "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomes the three Senators for a face to face interview from Washington, D.C.

Seated across from the political trio, Piers Morgan asks each of them to share their personal perspective on the definition of marriage and gay rights. See the video, then read the transcript.

Lindsey Graham begins: "In my state, we're not going to change the traditional definition of marriage and I would support the traditional definition of marriage not out of hate but out of that I believe that's just best for society," says Graham, a Republican representing South Carolina. "At the end of the day states will come out differently on this issue and I think that's the way it should be."

Talking about separate states that have different views — and using an example of New York and South Carolina as provided by Graham — Morgan attempted to further the discussion on freedom: "Can they both be equal? Can they both espouse equality if actually in one state you can't get married and in another state you can?" asks the host.

"The Supreme Court will decide that question this term. Really that's the basic question," notes Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut. "Is it unconstitutional to prohibit same-sex marriage?"

Asked to answer his own question, Lieberman shares his specific belief: "I think the marriage ought to be decided by the state, so that would mean that some states would have the right to prohibit same sex marriage."

Listening intently, but yet to participate, McCain jumps in: "That's the principle of the conservative federalist belief."