Lexicographers know they're in the hot seat as they confront the changing use of the word "marriage." Linguist Geoff Nunberg says the key to getting the new definition right is to crisply describe everything that's in the category and nothing that isn't.
The actress is nominated for her fifth Tony Award for the Broadway musical Porgy and Bess. "There's very few quiet moments for Bess," she says. "They're all very big, very emotional. ... And to commit to that night after night is very difficult.
Pastor Jennifer Knust says that the Bible shouldn't be used as a guidebook for marriage or sexuality because passages related to sex, monogamy, homosexuality and gender roles are more complex and nuanced than popular culture has led us to believe.
In California, lawyers are two weeks into a landmark federal court case challenging California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in that state. Margaret Talbot has been blogging about the trial for The New Yorker's Web site, and she has written about it in this week's issue of the magazine. A veteran journalist and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, Talbot writes about family life, women's work, children's culture, and politics and moral debates as they intersect with science and law.
Beliefnet.com founder and Editor-in-Chief Steven Waldman discusses the role of religion and the state of the religious right in post-election politics. Will the coalition of religious groups that united in support of Barack Obama fracture over specific issues?
David Kirkpatrick is a correspondent in the Washington bureau for The New York Times. He covered the politics of the conservative Christian movement in the 2004 election, and has been following the presidential campaign of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
Dick Cheney's daughter was a campaign aide for her father during the 2000 and 2004 elections. The fact that she is a lesbian put a distinctive spin on the experience. She has a new memoir: Now It's My Turn.
Edmund White has been writing about gay culture in fiction and nonfiction since the 1970s. His new book is a collection of his essays, Arts and Letters. White is director of the creative writing program at Princeton University.
Cott is a professor of history at Harvard University. She testified before Vermont's judiciary committee. Vermont became the first state in the country to make civil unions legal for gay and lesbian couples. Cott is the author of Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation (Harvard University).
Witte is Jonas Robitscher professor of law and ethics, and director of the law and religion program at Emory University in Atlanta. He is the author of From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition.
Lewis is The Boston Globe's state House reporter. He'll discuss the ruling by the Massachusetts high court yesterday that gay couples in that state will be accorded full equal marriage rights rather than civil unions. The ruling is a clarification of the court's November decision that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The state Senate asked for clarification on the decision, because they felt it was worded vaguely.
Sullivan was the editor of The New Republic for five years and the first openly gay editor of a national magazine. On leaving the position last year, he revealed he is HIV positive. His new book is "Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con" (Vintage Books).