On Sunday, 18 August 2013, I'll answer questions on achieving practical certainty, the limits of sympathy for failures, scolding other people's children, responding to panhandlers, and more on Philosophy in Action Radio. The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 18 August 2013. If you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later.

Tom Varik on Gay Marriage and Spousal Privilege

Radio Interview: Wednesday, 7 August 2013

I interviewed Tom Varik on "Gay Marriage and Spousal Privilege" on Philosophy in Action Radio on Wednesday, 7 August 2013. You can listen to or download the podcast below.

As the cause of gay marriage gains ever-more traction, many have wondered whether marriage really matters. Attorney Tom Varik argues that it does. In this interview, he discussed the legal status and importance of gay marriage, including the recent Supreme Court cases, as well as the history and limits of spousal privilege.

Tom G. Varik is an attorney in Cleveland, Ohio, where he currently works for the Social Security Administration. He attended the University of Akron School of Law, earning a JD in 2009. Before that, he studied motion picture production at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, where he produced several short films featured in various international underground film festivals, and earned a BFA in 2006.

Tags: Culture, GLBT, Law, Marriage, Politics, Rights

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  • Duration: 1:03:30

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Subjects Discussed

The subjects discussed in this episode were:
  • The nature of spousal privilege
  • Testimonial privilege
  • Communication privilege
  • A few examples
  • The history of spousal privilege: Funk v. US (290 U.S. 371) (1933), Hawkins v. US (358 U.S. 74) (1958), Wyatt v. US (362 U.S. 525) (1960), Wolfe v. US (291 U.S. 7) (1934), and Trammel v. US (445 U.S. 40) (1980)
  • The proper rule and proper justification for spousal privilege
  • A parent-child privilege?
  • The relevance of spousal privilege to gay marriage
  • Elements of marriage for which people cannot contract
  • The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
  • The recent Supreme Court Case: Windsor
  • The effects of the patchwork of state laws on gay marriage
  • The Full Faith and Credit Clause
  • The Proposition 8 Supreme Court Case
  • The cultural acceptance of gays


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About Philosophy in Action Radio

I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My dissertation defended moral responsibility and moral judgment against the doubts raised by Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."

My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.

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