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Examining the Supreme Court Decision Regarding Gay Marriage. Aired 12:30-ap ET

Aired June 26, 2015 - 12:30   ET



[12:31:57] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: All right breaking news, you're watching CNN, I'm Brooke Baldwin and I'm going to take it from Ashleigh Banfield just for a little while.

Live pictures outside of the United States Supreme Court, it feels like we're running out of adjectives here as far as how you can describe what had happened inside these hollow halls historic, in terms of same sex marriage legal issues, you see on the screen in all 50 states.

You have a five to four ruling against state bans on same sex marriage now making it officially the law of the land.

Again I'm Brooke Baldwin here at the CNN World headquarters at Atlanta. I have Brian Todd who will go to first outside the Supreme Court with reaction.

And Brian, I know a lot of people have been celebrating. But listen there are lot of people who adamantly disagree.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely true Brooke. First to the celebration, this area has been the scene of just to make static celebrations in the two and a half hour since this ruling came down. This was packed with people, banners all over the place, balloons all the over the place, most of those, those are gone now.

But still a lot of people here basking in this moment, for awhile they went up to this elevated plaza on the Supreme Court which was really on heard up the security people at let them up there. And it took on the tone of a Super Bowl victory party as the plaintiffs and their attorneys celebrated.

But there are voices again, this -- and I'm here with one of them Kerri Kupec with the Alliance Defending Freedom, that your voices here are vastly out numbered. But I have to ask you this, this is what Justice Kennedy said in his majority opinion about same sex couples.

Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness excluded from one of civilizations all this institutions they ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law, that's Justice Kennedy.

What is your issue with that argument? KERRI KUPEC, ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM: I think what Justice Kennedy is saying is that their voices matter and they do matter. James Obergefell voice matters, all these people here, their voice matters. But they're not the only voices that matter, before the court today was over 15 million Americans who exercise our constitutionally protected vote.

And what it is about last, and voted to a fair marriage at the man, woman union. And so what's today's decision did was strip that flat freedom to do so. Not just from them but the entire democratic process that we so near and dear to America.

TODD: This is considered though a resounding victory for those who are in favor of gay marriage. What are your group and other conservative groups going to do now moving forward to try to fight that?

KUPEC: You know, Alliance Defending Freedom is going to continue to do what we've always done and wish to advocate for the rights of people peacefully, really leave in act according to their faith. I think we're headed into some unchartered territories, affects towards religious freedom.

And it remains to be seen, will people in this country still remain protected under the first amendment to live according to their faith with respect to marriage.

TODD: All right, Kerri thank you very much for talking to us and good luck on your side of this, thank you very much.

All right, well Brooke again very celebratory mood here, you got some flags going, just being waved over here. There were some singing going on just to my left, a short time ago really just enjoying this moment two huge decisions yesterday and today on the health care law, on same sex marriage, the Obama administration getting two huge victories here. And it's been just a big week at the end of the Supreme Court term.

[12:35:02] It's not over yet, there are some decisions coming down next week as well.

BALDWIN: Yeah, huge week for the president not just, you know, Obamacare and also now today's same sex marriage. But you have throw trade, trade in their as well.

Brian Todd, in the middle of it, on the steps of the United States Supreme Court.

Brian, thank you so much and thank, thank you Kerri for your voice.

As far as politics go here on this historic day, let me show this you. Several of the 2016 presidential candidates, quick to weigh in with their thoughts on today's Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, let me just rung through this for you.

First up, you have a Republican Candidate and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal argues, "Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that," goes on, "This ruling must not be used as pretext by Washington to erode our right to religious liberty."

Next up, Neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson with this, "While I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court's decision, their ruling is now the law of the land. I call on Congress to make sure deeply held religious views are respected and protected. The government must never force Christians to violate their religious beliefs."

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, vows to oppose the ruling here saying this, "Only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat."

Bernie Sanders, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders a democrat took opposition to those voices, "Today the Supreme Court fulfilled the words engraved upon its building, equal justice under law. For far too long, our justice system has marginalized the gay community and I am very glad the court has finally caught up to the American people."

To Florida, Former Florida Governor Jed Bush, Republican here. He recently said he is running, "I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make the decision. I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as divers as ours, good people how have opposing views should be able to live side by side."

And Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with this, "Proud to celebrate a historic victory for marriage equality and the courage and determination of LGBT Americans who made it possible."

Republican and Real Estate Mogul Donald Trump, a gay marriage supporter says, "Once again, the Bush appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has let us down. Jeb pushed him hard, remember."

The Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum said, "Today, five unelected judges redefined the foundational unit of society. Now is it the people's turn to speak #Marriage.

With all of that said, these are two voices, friends of mine on different spectrums politically, but I have a feeling they're going to agree on this one today. Let me bring in CNN Political Commentator and Daily Beast Columnist Sally Kohn and CNN Political Commentator and Republican Consultant, Margaret Hoover. Ladies, great to talk to you.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Great to having us Brooke, it's a great day.

BALDWIN: I see the smiles, I had a feeling, I have a feeling, I know how you feel, knowing you both as I do. But Sally to you first, as a gay woman with a 6-year-old little girl. To you first, I understand what your -- your mother called you up this morning. How emotional was this for you? SALLY KOHN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, look America, this is a big deal. I mean, if I could curse right now, I would say it's a really big blacken (ph) deal

I -- this is -- and it is a big deal when our courts, our legislature, when any part of the American justice and legal system recognizes the fundamental equality of everyone under our flag, our nation, and our under God, period.

They are upholding the values on which this country was founded. It is a great day, full stop, end of sentence. My mother is more excited, mind you, than I am. Margaret is more excited, mind you, than I am because I continue to not get married, my mother was the first call that I received

BALDWIN: Of course, we all saw that coming.

HOOVER: Time to get married.

KOHN: Telling you to get married.

HOOVER: Time to get married Sally...

KOHN: Yeah. Listen, I -- but, you know, look, I mean this is a great news about this, right is this makes, makes this an option. An option for everyone, an option for couples who want to get married, an option for those who don't, and by the way, an option for those who don't want to go to the gay weddings.

You know, if I do ever get gay married, it's not going to ooze all over everyone who is opposed to it. So don't worry, you're all protected and safe, all OK. The world will -- the sun will rise tomorrow.

BALDWIN: It's a choice, bottom line and Margaret Hoover, to you. I know how you feel, I know how much you've worked as far as rights and advocacy in this sector and as a Republican. I mean a lot of young Republicans, you look at the public opinion polls and they're on the side of the, of the Supreme Court today and that's how do you feel?

[12:40:10] HOOVER: Well, you know, we just have conducted at American Unity Fund and Project Right Side, an organization founded by Ken Mehlman the former Republican National Chairman who supports gay rights and freedom to marry, our the polling we just conducted along with five top Republican polsters across the country says that 61 percent of the young republicans are in a favor of the full freedom to marry.

But even though primary voters in Iowa and South Carolina and Nevada aren't majority in favor of freedom to marry, 53 percent of them agree with the statement that if the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of the freedom to marry it would times be time for us as a society to accept that ruling and move on without animosity.

BALDWIN: And quickly Margaret you saw, you know, I read through a lot of those, you know, from your party that people who would like to become president from 2016 and they say want to fight it, how do they use that on a platform?

HOOVER: No, they don't actually Brooke very few of them said they wanted to fight up. What they're talking now is pivoting forward about how do you justly balance religious freedom and religious content with the fundamental freedom to marry. And that is a really important question that Republicans are going to rappel and Sally and I disagree on this.

But it's really important and you can look at the states like Utah, where the church of Latter-day saints came out in protection of LGBT people and also in protection of religious freedom.

There are models for how to do this in our country and we are going to forge ahead doing that and more states and...

SALLY KOHN, DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST: It's better than not doing it.

BALDWIN: Go ahead Sally...

KOHN: ... but let's be super clear here there is a massive difference between discrimination base on sexuality between discrimination base on race and gender. But we should tier every single one of these statements. And imagine what would they be saying if they're were saying exact same thing when the Supreme Court.

HOOVER: You know what they doing?

KOHN: ... or when we decided that marriage when we would no longer be property in marriage. And we said No, no, no, we wanted exception to that or we'd like the constitutional amendment to that. And think about what that means that's shameful.

HOOVER: I'm wrapping right now. Precious few of them are calling to over turn the courts decision, very few of them, they are now talking about moving forward in a post vote decision in marriage world.

KOHN: But many people opt-out.

HOOVER: But, you know, what we're going to have that debate.

BALDWIN: ... this falls under the brown versus board category this is one of those dates on a calendar that all of our children will be learning about in the future.

Sally Kohn and Margaret Hoover, thank you very, very much.

And I want to take you back to the Greenwich Village West Village area here in New York. Ashleigh Banfield going to speak of it where, you know, history started back in the riots in 1969 and here today gay pride weekend in New York.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: Is it ever and if you think you have passionate voice at beside Brooke on the set there are some very passionate voices right here on the streets.

Gay, straight, children, parents a lot of people are turning out here the crowed has been flowing since that decision came down at 10:00 today. You mentioned it, the Stonewall Inn, a place of historic significance.

The bartender from the Stonewall Inn was here the night those riots broke out.

He's going to join me next to tell you how far we have come.


[12:46:53] BANFIELD: It is gay pride weekend in New York City. And I am perhaps at the genesis of the gay rights movement the Stonewall Inn, I'm down in the West Village and the crowds are swelling.

Since I've been here for the past hour I would say that the crowd have perhaps quadrupled in size, we're up to probably a couple of hundred people who have come in this historic moment post Supreme Court of the United States ruling that gay marriage is in fact the law of the land.

They have spoken it will happen, it may take time but it will happen. 46 years ago, I'm sure the patrons who are in the bar behind me a gay bar never thought this day would come. They just wanted to not be raided by police and they stood up and they rioted.

The person who's bartending in this bar happened to be there that night as well. I want to introduce you to Tree, one name only, Tree.


BANFIELD: I just need you to weigh in on this moment, being the bartender at this historic establishment on such as a historic day.

TREE: Well I am so static for the younger generation. For me, I'm little too old to get married anymore. And I'm so happy that the kids are doing it, I just hope they don't abuse it by meeting somebody one night, marry and then divorcing real fast.

BANFIELD: But isn't that the right of everyone to do?

TREE: It's the right of every wanting now to do, what we, when I first came out I could even tell anybody I was going to lost my job and department (ph).

BANFIELD: Tell me about that night, tell me about the raids that night and what happened with the riot police.

TREE: The original bar was this the now Salon. This whole side was a dance floor there's was an art in the middle of the room where we went from back and forth.

I went to this side dancing the Lindy Hop, most people don't know what that is, with my friend Charlie (ph) and as Franky (ph) when the cops came in the side door. When we heard everybody scream, we know it was a raid. But when they started punching people who doing drugs (ph) on the floor saying step on that patula (ph), we pick the side going around and came out here.

It was about 30 of us within hours there were hundreds and hundreds of people straight, gay, tourist, passersby, just watching what was going on. We will have the time about riots the cops would barricaded inside definitely afraid.

We broke the windows, we broke the walls behind them, (inaudible). They told the parking meter added the ground and use it as a battering ramp to knock the doors in.

When we run into things to throw we lift garbage cans and plod them through the window on fire.

BANFIELD: It was a very violent time and it wasn't just that night. It went on several nights and riot police were dispatched, was it violent towards those who were gay inside, did they arrest, did they wrap up. I mean what was the...

TREE: Well they will pushing, they pushed one lesbian and not knowing it was a lesbian because he got a full mustache, her name was (inaudible) we just lost her at 93.

It took two cops to pull her off, the cop that pushed her. She was again -- she was like the gay icon in the community.

BANFIELD: So this I mean you got -- so for the younger generations they may not understand their word gays, betty (ph). You know, in 1969 there is a history where it was just illegal to show a public display of homosexuality.

TREE: It was against the law to serve a known homosexual alcohol in New York City.

BANFIELD: And that was what these raids were about?

TREE: Yeah, they raided, the neighborhood, pretty sex raided the bars to let the cop -- the people that owned if not next week we want to little more money not to know there's a law here. The big raid was vice squad and heck (ph) police headquarters that was the big break.

[12:50:08] BANFIELD: And it was just a combination of the frustration.

TREE: I was like...

BANFIELD: That led to the riot that night.

TREE: It just blew up. Everyone, and then all the cops raided the bar. They just came in and said all right line up girls, these guys were heading people, punching them, slapping them and that's when people said that's enough.

BANFIELD: Tree, I'm really appreciate on this day that you came out to speak with us because I know this is going to be one of the busiest weekend that you have ever had in your career at the Stonewall.

Thank you for joining me.

TREE: My pleasure.

BANFIELD: I appreciate it, very nice to meet you.

There is celebration here, without question, there is celebration in just about every town across America. But perhaps one that might rival the gay pride weekend here in New York City will be in San Francisco.

I think we've got some live pictures up of the reaction in San Francisco, it was early in the morning, 7 A.M., when news broke that from that sea to the sea here on the east coast the law of the land is in affect going to be all people can get married, equality and justice for all.

Back right after this.


BANFIELD: Live at the Stonewall in the West village of New York City. I'm Ashleigh Banfield reporting as the Supreme Court of the United States may have decided a case about four states, but it effectively is a case that effects every gays, gay marriage will be legal no matter where you live, no matter what state even if there's a ban in place currently, it may take sometime for those states but it will affectively happen.

[12:55:00] That's the top story of the of the day that we're following.

We are also following other breaking news in Charleston South Carolina.

I want to turn to my colleague Don Lemon who's standing by at the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston South Carolina where the funeral services are going to be getting underway in that city for the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the victim of last weeks horrifying church massacre, Don?

DON LEMON: Ashleigh thank you very much, you said this other breaking news, but it's really all connected, this is that -- this is about civil rights, about human rights and equal rights for everyone.

And I think the president will talk about that, specifically and he might even bring the LGBT rights into this, saying that it's all connected when he speaks, gives eulogy for the Reverend Clementa Pinckney in just a short time here in Charleston South Carolina.

So let's discuss this, not only the Reverend. But what this means for the country, I want to bring in my colleague now Van Jones, Van Jones is a CNN Political Commentator and Analyst and also work at the Obama at the White House also is an attorney. So can -- speak to a lot of this. But as we look inside this is been the TD arena which is not just a few in the jars (ph) from where we are. So really basically in the same location, we saw people lined up here all this morning to get and they reach capacity very quickly and they let to turn people around, this is probably going to be the overflow where we are, as president arrives here at any moment now.

He spoke earlier in the Roosevelt, as we look inside here and by the way I need to tell our viewers that our Sandy Houston (ph) is inside sending us update, telling us who's there, she said that Lindsey Graham is there he arrived a bit late.

Hillary Clinton is there would she got there, people there was standing ovation for her, because the president is coming, the first lady will be here as well as the vice president of the United States also the Former Governor Mark Sanford is in the crowd, but importantly it's people from the community, family members, loved ones, and people from all over the country.

I said these are connected. The marriage rights and this issue, talks to me about that.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all this has been such an emotional roller coaster for the people who are here is because on the one hand, so proud of the unity, so proud to see the president here, so proud to see the leaders of the country here. But so heartbroken still, by the tragedy, so they're balancing that.

Meanwhile if you're President Obama, this is why you ran for president, to be able to be a president in a moment when health care is being guarantee (inaudible) of civilians, huge week for him. You know, for me that's like finally got the country I voted for.

LEMON: Up he goes in 2008.

JONES: In 2008 because you got a health care massive, you have the confederate flag probably coming down and...

LEMON: And he got his trade deal...

JONES: That the trade deal which I wasn't in favor off, but that's a big victory for him. And now you have this, a marriage equality for every single American, this why you ran for president, this week will be a historic week for him, it's a historic week for the country.

He now gets the chance to make two speeches both about civil rights.

LEMON: And you said, even Jim Obergefell which is one of the main plaintiffs in the righteous death (ph) that was voted on by the Supreme Court you said, he connected it, right away -- South Carolina.

JONES: This was so, extraordinary no ones commented on this, he came out. And he said, before he really got into the meet of his own comment, now here is the man who will be in the history books forever because he was a lead plaintiff, his name will be in history books forever. And the first thing he says after he introduce himself, he talks about Charleston. And he says, for me -- he says, equality for all of is a key and he begins talking about Charleston before he tells about this. So, what we're dealing with now is a situation and which we are wrestling with becoming a country with liberty and justice for all. We took one big step back with these murders. But we took one big step forward with this decision on marriage equality.

LEMON: In a short time we have left band (ph) you and I were discussing this, we talk about the president, he spoken really at about 14 events that involve man shootings here. But he spoken just to name some of the big ones that at least that I have been part of, and you've been a part of here at CNN sport hood in 2009 2011, memorial service in two son and that was for (inaudible) also the victims memorial service because there are people who there reentered.

And also, but he spoke for Gabby Giffords. After meeting with the Aurora victims in a hospital, I was there covered that one, Cindy Hook I was there covering, that was very emotional, navy yards, port hood and then now.

JONES: And this, I mean if you're the President of United States and you're giving more speeches about Americans being killed here, then you have to give about Americans overseas or something.

LEMON: You're talking so much about international terrorism, but domestic terrorist also.

JONES: But we also have domestic terrorist, we also have a big problem with domestic terrorist.

LEMON: We're going to continue our coverage from here in Charleston, South Carolina. As we've been telling you the president will arrive any moment. And we will carry it for you live as he gives the eulogy for the Reverend and State Senator Clementa Pinckney. And then also we'll carry our live coverage from right here at the church were those nine people so sadly lost their lives, one week and a day ago.

My colleague Wolf Blitzer picks up our coverage from now -- for now, Wolf.

[13:00:13] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer.