Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

RST: ACLU challenges PA's same sex marriage law; PA Family Institute supports law

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jul 9, 2013 3:21 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, July 10:

same sex wedding cake 300 x 170.jpg

Last month the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and ruled California's Proposition Eight law that banned same sex marriage was unconstitutional.  Neither ruling had a direct impact on Pennsylvania, which has a law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn Pennsylvania's law and also force the state to recognize the marriages of same sex couples who were wed in states where it is legal. 

On Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk, a representative of the ACLU will appear to provide details of their suit and what they're seeking.

Michael Geer, president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute will also be on the program to explain why his group believes the law should be upheld and discuss their opposition to same sex marriage.

The latest polls in Pennsylvania have shown a slight majority of those who were surveyed support same sex marriage.

What do you think?  Should Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage law be upheld or do you support the ACLU suit?


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  • Paul Yoder img 2013-07-10 07:35

    Mr. Geer argues that the will of the people is being usurped. I think he need to check his facts.

    55% of the nation and 54% of Pennsylvania supports gay marriage.

    Even if it weren't a majority it's the duty of the government to protect the rights of the minority.

    “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
    ~Thomas Jefferson

    • Bonner A Davis img 2013-07-11 18:40

      So, those who oppose homosexual marriage are the minority now. Using the same logic, it's the duty of government then to protect the rights of this new minority that believes in traditional marriage.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-10 08:27

    Email from John
    First, marriage is NOT a privilege that can be taken away as intimated by Scott. Its a RIGHT.
    Liberty University? Really? Why don't you cite the Klan's position on this issue?

    • rsk img 2013-09-19 21:32

      Marriage is ONLY a right that is bestowed or yielded by the government or the people (civil right). It is NOT an inalienable right as provided by the creator and emphasized by the Declaration and Constitution and should be treated as such. The Supreme Court even realized such when ruling in the past, where MOST opinions LINKED marriage with procreation and children. Hopefully a little "good" education will rectify the misguided OPINIONS of any polls that indicate a majority favoring any position that severely limits, or will limit, the rights of the majority whether or not that position "seems" right.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-10 08:30

    Email from Linda, Hershey, PA:
    We need to explore the ERA Amendment again.

  • Robert D Colgan img 2013-07-10 08:30

    DOMA was NEVER about "defense of marriage"---ALWAYS about trying to prevent sex between men, sex between women.

    Homophobia in people like Michael Geer is fundamentally NO DIFFERENT than the xenophobia underlying the racism against darker complected people that is still so rampant in the United States.

    It's all based on FEAR....and not rational, pragmatic fear, but irrational, prejudicial fear without actual basis.

    • Bonner A Davis img 2013-07-10 11:29

      Name calling and/or demonizing your opponent won't win your arguement. And as Mr Geer stated, it shows the hypocrisy of a movement that argues for tolerance and rights.

      • Robert D Colgan img 2013-07-11 09:53

        I neither name called or demonized in what I wrote.
        You need to learn to read, Bonner.

        And describing homophobia as the actual fear that underlies those who claim that they are "defending" marriage------is true. Completely true.
        Comparing homophobia to the xenophobia that underlies racism . . . ? ----true. Completely true.
        By deduction from the above: Geer is homophobic.
        Geer publicly says he isn't, but that's NOT TRUE---he's lying.

        • Bonner A Davis img 2013-07-11 18:17

          So, fear is the only rational for opposing your position and you somehow know the inner psyche of Mr. Geer. OK. Thanks.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-10 08:31

    Email from David,Susq, TWP :
    Whose "morals" are we all to agree to, in order to properly legislate them. We could use those of Fred Phelps or Jim Jones as examples of religious morals to follow. Marriage is a civil right, a human right. Human rights cannot be put to state referenda for validation. Many states, especially in the South, would still practice slavery. These states certainly would not have passed their own Civil Rights Act of 1964. That is where the U.S. federal government must take the lead. Those who believe that certain classes of humans should be denied the human rights they themselves enjoy perhaps do so because they do not consider those people to be human like them.

  • Chester H Kulus img 2013-07-10 08:32

    I believe marriage was instituted by God between a man and a woman. This is established in the Bible. However, I understand that not everyone wants to follow this model. My question is this: why do same sex couples need to get married? Why couldn't the state offer some sort of civil union where they would receive the benefits, but marriage was still reserved for a man and a woman as it has traditionally been?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-10 08:35

    Email from Barry:

    I am for equal rights, however, Molly and her "clients" are pushing to impose their way of life as a general norm for everybody. Marriage by nature, tradition, and law is worldwide respected as a bond between male and female. If Molly and her clients want to usurp this marriage for their bond, it is abuse in any category. They can call their bond anything but marriage. Moreover, Molly claims that the PA public is in support. What public? What percentage? Who did this study? The elected officials represent the public, thus they cannot and won't vote against their own constituency. Molly and clients should not bend and manipulate the public.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-10 08:45

    Email From Lee, York:
    Your speaker quoted Obama's speech on missing fathers. Does this mean that he is in favor of allowing two men to marry since you would have a double helpiong of fathers?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-10 08:47

    Email from Sarah:
    I would like the guest from the Family Institute to address the question of discrimination. Does he not feel that DOMA is discriminatory in nature and therefore fundamentally wrong? Why or why not?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-10 08:48

    Email from Thomas:
    I am interested in what the Pennsylvania Family Institute is doing to legislate someone like me who has no interest in getting married and starting a family?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-10 08:48

    From Blaine, York:
    Please have the guest address how long government has been involved in marriage. How far back do marriage licenses go (try following geneology). Government should get out of all personal issues.

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  • Michael img 2013-07-10 08:49

    What is Mr Greer and his ilk afraid of? How does same sex marriage effect him? The "religious right" is fond of saying "get government off of our backs", but at every opportunity they want to tell others how to live their lives in accordance to their (religious right) beliefs. Mr Greer went on to quote one of the biggest bigots at a national level..Justice Alito....shameful!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-10 08:50

    Email from Sarah:
    I'd like to address the statement, "kids are much worse today" than they have been in the past that was just noted.
    This is a naively a-historical statement. One can not say that kids are worse today because that is based in the current view of past events, which is never completely accurate. That argument against same-sex marriage has many holes in it and should not be stated.

  • Michael img 2013-07-10 08:54

    WOW! what a twisted and off the wall thought process Mr Geer presents here. why does he want to impose his religious views on others....mind your life Mr Geer and let others do the same!

  • Michael img 2013-07-10 08:58

    No, no, no Mr Geer no where did I mention "tolerance" that was a cheap method to distract! Gay couples don't want to be "tolerated" they want the same rights as everyone else!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-10 08:59

    Email from Emily:
    As a parent in a same-sex relationship, I take offense to the argument of "missing fathers" and the fact that children need one man and one woman to be raised rightfully. My son has many great male role models within our extended family, and he will be loved and guided by those men his entire life. A loving, stable home with two parents is beneficial to children, regardless if they are the same sex. The more love and support a child can receive the better. When you take into effect that most children in same-sex couples are well-planned for (in contrast to mistaken pregnancies) families with with parents that intentionally and responsibly raise children are created.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-10 09:01

    Email from Administrator Meehan:
    1. In London, there is a Lesbian couple who had adopted a baby boy, and over time they "helped him" discover that he was really a girl trapped in a boy's body. He is 10 years old. He is now in the late stages of hormonal treatment in preparation for a sex change operation.
    2. The homosexual lobby is demanding that society rearrange itself and its foundational laws, in order to normalize their sexual orientation. Where is their tolerance for the overwhelming – 98% - majority?

    3. The recently self-outed NBA player, Jason Collins, is an identical twin. The twin is not homosexual. Does this disprove the homosexual lobby's claim that their condition is genetic? And doesn't this prove this to be a choice?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-07-10 09:02

    Email from Linda:
    Thank you to Mr. Geer for standing up for wholesome, clean, godly and moral principals. Our state and nation must follow the principals that blessed us from its birth. Thank you Michael Geer for standing up for what is right. "We the People" appreciate you!

    Also, thank you WITF for hosting.

  • pamh00 img 2013-07-10 09:06

    Mr Geer stated that the consititution can not tell who is to marry so therefore it is his idea of marriage. He also stated children need a man and woman. What about the poor children who have a Father who can not throw a ball or fish? Or a Mom who works for a living and a stay at home Father?
    He further states we should not force our ideas upon him, yet he is forcing his beliefs upon us.
    The list is endless.....but I thank Smart Talk an especially Mr. Geer for being brave enough to come on the radio and hear the opposition.

  • pamh00 img 2013-07-10 09:15

    Thank you to Mr. Geer and WITF and Smart Talk for this program.
    Mr. Geer kept quoting Mr. Obama out of content. The quotes are correct, but the reasons for the statements are ascue.
    Mr. Geer also stated that he does not think same sex marriage should be forced upon him. Who is forcing him to marry a man? On the same point, why should he force who I love and want to marry?
    Mr. Geer kept stating a child needs a man and woman to be brought up. Does this mean a child is disadvantaged if his Father can not throw a ball or fish? Or, children in homes where Mom works and Dad is a stay at home parent?
    On the popular point, if you surround yourself with like minded people, you will never see the the growing majority.

  • anonymous img 2013-07-10 09:31

    I just got off the phone with someone at the station about the best way to make a comment re a segment that's currently on the air. You suggest mailing the show at But the person to whom I spoke said that e-mails to that address are read and vetted before appearing as comments. I posted an e-mail at 9:44 today. I still haven't seen it show up in the comments and it's now 10:17. The most recent posted comment a few minutes ago was at 09:06. This process doesn't seem to be very timely. The person to whom I spoke said that the best way to comment (besides calling in) is to post a comment on the web page, as I am doing now. May I suggest that you discourage e-mail to, since, if the topic is popular, the chances of the email being read on air are near zero?

    Bob Straub
    Ephrata, PA
    p.s.: I took a phone call, my session timed out, and I'm re-posting. There are now (at 10:26) 20 comments on the web page, most recent one at 09:15. Am I doing something wrong? another session time out. It's now 10:32, still 20 comments.

    • anonymous img 2013-07-10 09:41

      That person sure was correct. My post on the web page ism displayed at 10:41. My e-mail hasn't shown up yet. I repeat my suggestion.

  • Sherry Rishel img 2013-07-10 10:13

    I would like to hear Mr Geer on other topics. He makes good points about tolerance. Views of his persuasion are seldom heard on public radio.

  • Heidi img 2013-07-10 20:27

    The "defense of marriage" is a ridiculous argument. The argument that marriage is between a man and a woman and is solely for the benefit of their children has gaping holes: many couples marry with no intention of having children, many heterosexual couples cannot have children, many couples marry beyond the age when having children is feasible (restricting marriage to people who can have children would end up being discriminatory against women who lose this earlier than men),many people have children out of wedlock, many married couples with children split up- often this IS better for the children than staying together.
    In addition, any child who is being raised by a homosexual couple is NOT coming from a functional two heterosexual parented home. This does not happen. Homosexual couples who do not have children are paying school taxes while not adding to the burden of populating schools.
    There is no attack on marriage that needs to be defended. The guest is blinded by his religion into feeling like he is not being tolerated for being bigoted, taking issue with the term bigot.
    I have not heard an argument against gay marriage that holds any water at all.

    • anonymous img 2013-07-11 08:51

      Heidi, I agree with you on every point, and have made each one of them myself in discussions of the topic. Thanks.

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