John Irving's new novel 'In One Person' tackles one of his fundamental themes: intolerance of sexual difference. So we asked John what he thought of this campaign ad from Gov. Rick Perry used during his bid for the Republican nomination...
He'll be in the red chair tonight, along with reporter Nahlah Ayed.
On Rick Perry's campaign ad:
I can't take credit for the fact that the rabble of morons who comprise the Republican candidates for President in my own country are rabidly homophobic and anti-abortion too - that's an unpleasant coincidence.
But, here I am again. It was 1985 when I published 'The Cider House Rules' and I used to say then, to people who were entrenched in their opposition to a woman's right to an abortion, I used to say: "You know, if you don't like abortion - don't have one. Nobody's making you have one." I feel similarly about people who are stuck in their opposition to many gay rights issues. I say "Gee, if you don't like the idea of gay marriage, you're probably someone who shouldn't marry someone of the same sex! That might not work out so well for you, and aren't you lucky nobody's compelling you to do this?" But make no mistake about it, the other side - too often, frankly, the ultra Christian side - is telling us what to do. We're not telling them what to do. You don't like abortion? Don't do it.
You don't like gay marriage? Don't let yourself get too attracted to someone from the same sex, better leave it alone.