| Chrissy and Dick Gephardt appear on CNN to promote new film, For The Bible Tells Me So
CNN's Wolf Blitzer welcomes Dick Gephardt and his out daughter Chrissy on The Situaton Room to discuss Chrissy's new film, For the Bible Tells Me So.
The film, according to the Internet Movie Database profile:
[F]ocuses on An exploration of the intersection between religion and homosexuality in the U.S. and how the religious right has used its interpretation of the Bible to stigmatize the gay community.
A transcript of the appearance follows the video...
WOLF BLITZER: The former House majority leader and presidential candidate, Dick Gephardt, is teaming up with his daughter, Chrissy. Theyíre speaking out about her decision to come out. They appear in a new documentary about Christianity and homosexuality.
Joining us now, the former House majority leader Dick Gephardt and his daughter, Chrissy Gephardt. They are involved in a new film that has just come out. Chrissy, itís entitled ďFor the Bible Tells Me So.Ē
Tell our viewers, first of all, how you got that title.
CHRISSY GEPHARDT, ACTIVIST: Well, the title comes from basically the doctrine of the Bible, tells people, you know, this is how you should live your life. You know, treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself and, so, it basically is talking about how homosexuality in the Bible has been treated and basically itís a sin. So, the movie is about how homosexuality is dealt with in the Bible and how thereís all these myths that surround it.
BLITZER: And youíre a lesbian and youíve been an open lesbian for how long?
GEPHARDT: Well, letís see. That would be going on almost six or seven years.
BLITZER: Why did you decide this was a good idea, Congressman, to make this film?
RICHARD GEPHARDT (D), FORMER HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, weíve always been very open about this fact with Chrissy and we told it, you know, when I was running for president in 2004, we were very open about it. So when we were approached by the producer and director of this film, we thought maybe we could help others deal with this tough set of issues and show how we dealt with it, or tried to deal with it.
BLITZER: Not just politicians, but other parents who have a gay or lesbian son or daughter.
R. GEPHARDT: Exactly. This is an issue that faces a lot of Americans and a lot of Americans donít have an understanding of their religious background or what their religion says about this or how people try to deal with it.
BLITZER: How did you tell, Chrissy, your parents that youíre lesbian? Because weíre showing our viewers video from your youth growing up. What was it like? Because you were scared.
C. GEPHARDT: I was so scared. I mean I think that, you know, like people talk about the church and how itís, you know, a taboo to come out as gay or lesbian. Well, in a political family itís the same way. You know you have to keep a certain image and, so, when I told my parents I was very worried that they would never speak to me again and that they would not love me any more. But, obviously, that didnít happen and it was quite the opposite.
BLITZER: What was their reaction?
C. GEPHARDT: They basically said, my father said we will love you no matter what. You are our daughter and you always will be.
BLITZER: Were you scared politically this could embarrass you in Missouri, your home state, or nationally?
R. GEPHARDT: I never cared about what people in my district or people generally would think about me because of my family. My family has always been the most important thing in my life. I love my kids. I will love them unconditionally and that, that just doesnít equate for me. It doesnít compute for me.
BLITZER: Letís go through some advice. This is a powerful film. What advice do you have for young people or maybe not so young who want to finally come out and tell their parents or other loved ones they are gay?
C. GEPHARDT: I would say that, you know, you just have to be yourself. And I hope that a film like this gives people the courage to be able to do the same thing that Iíve done. And I mean the only thing you can do is be yourself because if you keep it inside, it causes a lot of pain for people and itís easier just to tell your, I mean, if your family loves you, which every family should love their children, then it shouldnít be a big deal.
BLITZER: And what advice do you have for parents out there?
R. GEPHARDT: Well, just love your kids unconditionally and try to understand that they have to lead their own life. They have to make their own choices.
I donít believe homosexuality is a choice. I think it is something that is in a personís genes. So, why should you hold it against someone and, also, look for help. Thereís a group called PFlag all over the country of parents of kids who have come out. They really help other parents who are just finding this out deal with it.
BLITZER: Youíre a supporter of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. She stops short of saying she would support same-sex marriage. Is that a mistake?
R. GEPHARDT: Well, she has to take the position that she thinks is right. I think sheís undoubtedly for civil unions. I think the whole country is evolving on all these issues. I think as people learn more about all of this, they begin to change their minds. I certainly have through my life. And I think eventually weíre going to get to a point where the whole society can accept at least civil unions, if not gay marriages.
BLITZER: Lynne Cheney was on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday, told Rita Braver this. Let me tell you what she said. ďI think the society has evolved. Iíve evolved in my way of thinking, but I think the whole society has evolved. You know my mother had a rule, which was people are just people.Ē Now, in the context of her openly lesbian daughter, Mary Cheney, thatís a statement that I thought was significant.
C. GEPHARDT: I think itís very significant. You know, weíve heard in the past that they havenít necessarily come out publicly and supported their daughter, but so, I think thatís huge and I applaud Lynne Cheney for saying that.
BLITZER: What do you think?
R. GEPHARDT: I think itís great. And I think they can have a huge influence, not only in the whole country, but even in the Republican Party and begin people to take another look at all of this.
BLITZER: Dick Gephardt and Chrissy Gephardt the film is entitled ďThe Bible Tells Me So.Ē Thanks for coming in.
Originally published on Tuesday October 16, 2007.