Hero of the Day: Marla Spivak

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Choate student Marla Spivak turned the screws yesterday to Karl Rove, in one of the bravest performances Steven Colbert hit the White House correspondents' dinner:

From the Hartford Courant:

Then there was Marla Spivak.

Spivak, a senior from Hamden... asked Rove to explain how giving gay people the right to marry would endanger other people.

Rove took issue with the way the first gay marriages came about, through the Massachusetts Supreme Court. An issue as important as the definition of marriage should be resolved by a legislature or a referendum, not a court, he said.

Gay couples could gain the legal rights of married couples through legislation without actually getting married, he said.

But wouldn't creating a separate body of legislation for gay people be creating a separate but equal system, a step back?, Spivak asked.

Rove replied with an answer about Mormons changing their views on marriage to conform with the nation's laws.

Spivak kept pressing. "You never actually answered, how does it threaten anyone?" she asked.

Rove asked, what's the compelling reason to throw out 5,000 years of understanding the institution of marriage as between a man and a woman?

What, Spivak countered, was the compelling reason for society to allow interracial relationships when they had once been outlawed.

Then Rove invoked the Declaration of Independence before Spivak interjected that its reference to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" seemed to support her claims.

Their verbal pingpong match tapered off after Rove... asked when she planned to run for political office.

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