David Boies is a founder of and the chairman of the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner. This year, with Theodore Olson, he successfully argued in federal court for the overturning of Proposition 8, California's ban of same-sex marriage. He previously served as lead counsel to Al Gore in his litigation relating to the 2000 Presidential election and as special trial counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice in its successful antitrust suit against Microsoft. In 2004, he published "Courting Justice."
Brian S. Brown is the president of the National Organization for Marriage, a non-profit organization that supports traditional marriage and the faith communities that sustain it. Previously, he served as NOM's executive director and as the executive director of NOM-California. Before joining NOM, he spent five years as the executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, during which time he developed it into one of the largest statewide pro-family organizations in the Northeast.
R. Clarke Cooper is the executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, an organization charged with building an inclusive Republican Party and advocating for gay-rights legislation. He is also the executive director of the Liberty Education Forum, a nonpartisan educational foundation. Previously, he served in the George W. Bush Administration as a diplomat; in his last position, he was an alternate representative to the United Nations Security Council. He is a combat veteran from the Iraq campaign and remains a captain in the Army Reserve.
Cynthia Nixon is an actress who has won two Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, and a Grammy Award. Last spring, at a gay-marriage rally in New York, she announced her engagement to Christine Marinoni. Last fall, she spoke at the National Equality March, in Washington, and this year she has devoted much of her time to Fight Back New York, a political-action committee whose sole purpose is to unseat New York State senators who have voted against marriage equality.
Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003, becoming the first openly gay diocesan bishop in the Anglican Communion. In 2009, he received the Stephen F. Kolzak Media Award from GLAAD. Last January, he delivered the invocation at the opening event of President Obama's inaugural weekend. He is the author of "In the Eye of the Storm" and the subject of the forthcoming documentary "The Truth Will Set You Free."
Jeffrey Toobin is a New Yorker staff writer and the author of, most recently, "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court."
Friday, September 16, 2011
A former science and technology editor for The Economist magazine, Matt Ridley is a journalist and best-selling author whose books include Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters. His most recent book is The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves.
Matt Ridley discusses the evolutionary process of "ideas having sex," calling it the secret behind human progress. He asserts that "barter was the trick that changed the world" and outlines his argument that life for the average human being is richer, healthier, and kinder than ever. Finally, he discusses whether limited government and rational optimism go hand in hand. About 33 minutes.
Experts and policy makers debate the question: What must America do to provide accessible, affordable, quality healthcare to its citizens? Panelists include Sally Pipes, Mike Fallon, Senator Irene Augilar, and Elinor Christiansen. About one hour.
Thomas Sowell has studied and taught economics, intellectual history, and social policy at institutions that include Cornell University, UCLA, and Amherst College. Now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Sowell has published more than a dozen books, the latest of which is a revised and expanded second edition of Economic Facts and Fallacies.
"Some things are believed because they are demonstrably true. But many other things are believed simply because they have been asserted repeatedly," states Sowell in his latest book. Here, he demolishes some accepted "facts," ranging from housing ("The biggest economic fallacy about housing is that 'affordable housing' requires government intervention") to race and economics ("Race doesn't account for difference in black-white income") to race and culture ("the current fatherless families so prevalent among contemporary blacks are not a 'legacy of slavery.'") About 33 minutes.
44 years ago this month, the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia ended state bans on interracial marriage in the 16 states that still had such laws. Now the courts are once again grappling with denial of equal marriage rights -- this time to gay couples. Robert A. Levy is the Chairman of the Cato Institute and presented the libertarian case for respecting an individual's right to marry whomever they wish at a Policy Forum on marriage equality at Cato on May 18th.