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In an interview with Larry King, former Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld said he did not “equate” marriage equality as a civil right. From Zack Ford at Think Progress:

As Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld supported the repeal of “˜Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ recognizing that the time for open service in the military “˜had arrived.’ In an interview with Larry King, however, Rumsfeld explained that he doesn’t support marriage equality, because he’s concerned it will lead to polygamy. He also doesn’t believe marriage is a civil right … .

From Larry King’s YouTube Channel, the video:

(By the way, in grabbing the “share” for the video, I noticed the link, following “youtube.be/KjgYLI_” was interesting: “fFag.” So is this just a coincidence, or something else? I don’t know. If the first, it’s rather ironic.)

Transcript snippet, via Think Progress:

KING: Do you support same-sex marriage?

RUMSFELD: You know, I’m, I guess, of a generation that I don’t ““ I wonder ““ I listened to some of the Supreme Court justices and one of them said, “˜Well what’s next after that? Is it two people, three people?’

KING: But you were a strong supporter of civil rights in Congress ““ I remember that.

RUMSFELD: You bet I was, throughout the 60s. I was proud of the work that the Congress did in the 1964 legislation and 1965 legislation. I guess I just don’t equate the two, and it’s not a subject I’m knowledgeable about. I guess the Rumsfeld (rule) here is: I don’t know.

At Huffington Post:

“˜You know, I’m, I guess, of a generation that I don’t … I listened to some of the Supreme Court justices and one of them said, “˜Well what’s next after that? Is it two people, three people?’ the 80-year-old Rumsfeld told King, seemingly referencing a question raised by Justice Sonia Sotomayor during a case over California’s Proposition 8 gay marriage ban earlier this year.

In general, I find the “my generation” thing reasonable, in helping understand the background and experiences of life, and how perspectives and values were formed. I find it unreasonable when it’s used as a rationale for not changing. Rumsfeld does end up saying he “doesn’t know,” though, so maybe he’s still in the process of evolving.