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Watch: Elizabeth Warren Zings 'One Man One Woman' Trope

by Kilian Melloy
Friday Oct 11, 2019
Watch: Elizabeth Warren Zings 'One Man One Woman' Trope
  (Source:Screen cap / CNN/Twitter)

Elizabeth Warren had already detailed a plan to shore up the eroding legal rights of LGBTQ Americans before last night's Human Rights Campaign-CNN town hall focused on concerns that affect non-heterosexual voters. But during the town hall, she had a chance to zing one of the most popular anti-marriage equality tropes: The claim that marriage should only be available to couples consisting of "One man and one woman."

The Equality Town Hall, which was attended by a number of Democratic hopefuls for next year's presidential election - including openly gay South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, who also had a plan to preserve LGBTQ equality put together in time for the televised event - was the first of its kind, a forum for presidential candidates that focused not only on preventing further slippage of the gains that non-heterosexual Americans and their families have made in recent years but also taking on the question of how to restore civility to American discourse.

Warren seemed to approach both general issues with a sense of humor. The New York Times reports that when Human Rights Campaign Board of Directors Chair Morgan Cox addressed her with a question about what she might say if approached by someone whose opinion was that marriage should be denied same-sex families and reserved as a special right for mixed-gender couples, Warren instantly responded with an instantly-classic reply.

Cox envisioned a scenario in which "supporter approaches you and says, senator, I'm old-fashioned and my faith teaches me that marriage is between one man and one woman. What is your response?"

Warren fired off this rejoinder:

"Well, I'm going to assume it's a guy who said that. And I'm going to say, then just marry one woman. I'm cool with that."

As the audience laughed and applauded, Warren followed up with:

"Assuming you can find one."

The audience roared anew with appreciative laughter and cheers.

Noted the Times:

Viral moments are coveted in the Democratic primary race, where they can serve as a magnet for online donations and bring much-needed attention to candidates struggling to stand out in a large field.

Not, the Times article added, that Warren has struggled to achieve or maintain a high profile.

Buttigieg, who has trailed Warren, Biden, and Sanders, had his own rapid response to input from attendees of the town hall, noted the Associated Press.

When interrupted by someone who wanted to bring attention to the ongoing wave of lethal violence targeting trans women of color, Buttigieg offered a thoughtful reply:

"Our country is so torn apart or so fragmented. And here we have an LGBTQ+ world that is everywhere," the Millennial candidate - who would be the youngest candidate in U.S> history to attain the White House were he to be elected next year - said.

"We are in every state and every community," Buttigieg went on to add. "Whether folks realize it or not, we're in every family. And that means we can also have the powers to build bridges."

Watch Warren's reply to the question below:


Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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