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Nussbaum Disgust Drives Gay Marriage Foes

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Famed University of Chicago philosopher Martha Nussbaum recently participated in the question-and-answer column of The New York Times Magazine, where columnist Deborah Solomon asked the gay-friendly academic about her provocative theory that physical revulsion propels people to oppose marriage equality.

Solomon broached the subject of same-sex marriage early in the column, which ran last Sunday.

"Your inquiries have lately revolved around the politics of physical revulsion, which you see as the subtext for opposition to same-sex marriage," said Solomon.

Nussbaum responded, "What is it that makes people think that a same-sex couple living next door would defile or taint their own marriage when they don't think that, let's say, some flaky heterosexual living next door would taint their marriage? At some level, disgust is still operating."

The theory will be explored more deeply in Nussbaum's new book, From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law, to be released in February.

Later in the interview, Nussbaum proudly noted that she wore leather to speak at the first meeting of the University of Chicago lesbian and gay alumni association. Read it all here.

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