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Video: Prop 8 decision to reignite culture wars?

  1. Closed captioning of: Prop 8 decision to reignite culture wars?

    >>> a decision in california to strike down that state's ban on gay marriage . wendy wright is the president of concerned women for america . wendy, what are you concerned about, about same sex marriage and that judge's decision to say that you can't really ban it?

    >> well, the judge in one fell swoop labeled the millions of americans who have voted to define marriage as one woman and one man as all bigots, that we're just filled with hatred. and of course that's not true. this is one activist judge out of san francisco that's imposed his views upon not only the voters of california but his intention is for it to impact the rest of the country.

    >> if it's only one judge i guess your side of the argument has nothing to worry about. let me ask you this. the judge, it goes to the ninth circuit, a liberal court. do you think they just won't uphold exactly what judge walker decided the other day? do you really think this is the end of your fight you're going to win from here on out and by the way all the way to the supreme court where the lawrence decision according to judge scalia opened the door for the very kind of decision we saw yesterday in san francisco , didn't it? isn't that your fear?

    >> let's tlaer thremember this judge was already overturned in this case by both the ninth circuit and u.s. supreme court . he so mishandled this case --

    >> what do you mean overturned?

    >> yes, in rulings. he wanted to open it up. he changed the federal rules.

    >> let me ask you about the ruling. so you're not worried. let me ask you where you stand. let's face it. a district court judge isn't going to decide this. this is probably going to the supremes. but if you look at the decision they made about sodomy where they said that couldn't be outlawed down in texas they will probably look at that value again of liberty in the 14th amendment and say liberty permits people to have same sex marriage just as it permits sexual relations between the samenders. aren't you afraid that's going to happen? i think you are. that's my hunch.

    >> liberty does not permit people to redefine words. in this case we need to look at the ruling because that's what the higher courts are going to look at. judge walker in his ruling claimed that there are no benefits to children to have a mother and a father. he claimed that it's an archaic view to say that there are differences between men and women . i think when people look at the kind of outrageous statements that just don't comport with reality they'll see that judge walker was using his position on this court to impose his own views and he mishandled the trial, itself in order to manipulate the case.

    >> let me figure out where you're coming from. do you think it's all right for a gay person to teach in high school in a public school ?

    >> you know, this is talking about marriage.

    >> yes or no.

    >> you know, chris --

    >> no. i'm asking where you're coming from because i wonder whether you're -- i'm asking how broad is your opposition to gay rights is what i'm trying to figure out.

    >> no. i think you're trying to change the subject because you realize the majority of americans do understand marriage as one man and one woman.

    >> i'm trying to understand if this argument is about gay orientation of people, about two people getting together the same gender. maybe they're not going to have sex. who knows? maybe they just want to get married. how does anybody know what goes on in a marriage? a lot of people who are married by the way don't have sex.

    >> nobody was talking about sex, chris .

    >> what are you talking about? what is your opposition of two people of the same gender having a marriage?

    >> chris , people are free to make their own living arrangements. they're not free to redefine marriage. marriage does impact the rest of society and there is a common good especially for passing on to children to have a mother and a father.

    >> how does two people of the same gender getting together in marriage stop anyone else from one sex marrying another sex? there's not a limited number of marriage licenses and if some gay couples take them up there won't be enough for the other side. are you suggesting there is somehow a limit here that somehow -- no, i'm serious because people were talking like somehow gay marriage or same sex marriage reduces somehow the number of parents.

    >> no.

    >> of different --

    >> no.

    >> obviously there is an advantage, it is nice to have a mother and father. i agree on that. but a lot of kids in america don't have both parents one from either gender so you're setting this as an ideal and that's fine and a very good value perhaps for you or me to hold but should it be the law and should we say people cannot get married if they're from the same gender? i wonder what you're getting -- how does it by the way hurt traditional marriage to have gay marriage .

    >> let's look at what's happening in massachusetts and other parts of the country places in which same sex marriage was imposed. there ends up being discrimination and prejudice against people who believe marriage is between one man and one woman. in massachusetts , school children are taught even against their parents' wishes about homosexuality as young as kindergarteners. in new mexico a photographer was sued because she declined to photograph a same sex ceremony. so, yes, the idea of same sex marriage and imposing it on us as a legal entity does result in and leads to discrimination and prejudice against people who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.

    >> what is your thoughts about where this is going?

    >> do you mean legally or culturally?

    >> under the law. do you think the courts are going to uphold it? the supreme court is going to uphold it? do you think judge kennedy -- i'm looking at anthony kennedy because he was with the majority in the lawrence case in texas where they said it was all right to have, well, sodomy if you want to call it that between two people and even those two people of the same gender. the courts wouldn't get involved in that. you're saying what in that regard? because that's where scalia said i'm afraid that ruling will open the door to the supreme court saying that same sex marriage is okay. that that should be protected.

    >> i think we'll have to wait and see. i frankly can't divine what justice kennedy is going to do. i think we can look at the facts of the case though and the facts of the case are that evidence was presented that marriage between one man and woman provides a benefit to children and to society. sadly, the judge in the case so intimidated the witnesses that much of the evidence was not allowed to be presented so he manipulated the case in that way. i wond fer the supreme court is going to look at the true facts regarding marriage.

    >> what are your problems with judge walker? you seem to have a problem with him personally. what's your problem with him?

    >> well, look at how he mishandled the case. he manipulated the case to intimidate the witnesses, to keep them from testifying. he wanted to go on a witch hunt .

    >> i understand the attorney general of california did not defend the law of california . wasn't that the real issue? there wasn't a case made on behalf of the state law ?

    >> let's remember who the attorney general is. that's jerry brown .

    >> yeah, well what does that tell you? you don't like him either. these are people you don't like. i'm trying to figure out what's wrong with them. i understand you don't like them but what's wrong with them?

    >> no, no, no. chris , please.

    >> i mean you're laughing at people here. you're laughing at public officials. i wonder what the joke is. that's what i can't figure out.

    >> chris , let's take a breath. the judge walker manipulated the rules in the case to intimidate the witnesses on behalf of marriage which in fact it did so a number of witnesses declined to testify and then --

    >> okay.

    >> and then he dismissed the testimony of the two witnesses, just simply said oh, it's irrelevant. and then he claimed that those of us that believe that marriage is between one man and one woman are irrational and bigoted.

    >> okay. i don't know why you keep talking about one man and one woman. i haven't heard a big case for polygamy lately. where is the phrase one man and one woman coming from?

    >> because in the judge's ruling he actually said two people same sex or someone who loves someone of both sexes. that opens the door to polygamy. judge walker opened the door to polygamy.

    >> okay. thank you. it sounds like you got a real problem with the gay orientation of people to me. you don't want to talk about teachers. you don't want to talk about the whole thing seems to be bothering you.

    >> chris , i think you have a problem with talking about marriage. you keep diverting the topic.

    >> no i'm just trying to figure out what your opposition is based upon. i still don't get it. it's not going to affect a marriage between a man and a woman. tell me how. just give me that quick answer. how does it affect the marriage between a man and a woman if people of the same sex get married.

    >> because homosexuality is then taught to their children in the schools and it impacts our religious beliefs to be able to live out our beliefs that we then end up being persecuted. look at what happened to the people who supported prop 8 in california . they were harassed. they were threatened.

    >> this is going to lead to the persecution of straight couples right? isn't that what you're saying?

    >> look at what happened in california . look what happened in california .

    >> is it going to lead to the persecution of straight couples.

    >> look at what happened in california nan massachusetts .

    >> okay. i think that's --

    >> look at the facts.

    >> thank you, wendy wright for coming on.

    >> thank you.

    >>> joining us is howard fineman an msnbc political analyst . perhaps i went on too long. she is a wonderful person i suppose but is taking a very broad brush opposition. a lot of people just don't like the gay situation.

    >> yeah but from the practical political point of view the magic words that she spoke for her constituency were, activist judge from san francisco . okay? that's all you need to say. you throw in the supreme court that now has two barack obama appointees -- they'll run against -- the fear that sonia sotomayor and elena kagan will join with whatever majority can be composed to validate same sex marriage.

    >> people were saying yesterday that the republicans are too smart to shift from where they have strong ground, jobs, deficits, debt, to go toward something that is problematic for them and oefds a lffends a lot of people. my question is don't they gain a couple points and therefore victory in some of the midwestern more conservative areas?

    >> i think the democrats were already in trouble because of economics and dislike of barack obama in a lot of those swing districts in the house races but sure a strong ruling, and she is right, this was a sweeping ruling by the judge out there who said that there was no rational relationship and that's the language you have to use in these kind of cases, no rational relationship between sanctifying traditional marriage and the success of society. that's what he said.

    >> right.

    >> that's going to drive them crazy. in those districts where a few votes in a low turnout election, which is going to be automatically mid terms older by nature, whiter by nature, more conservative by nature, those people are coming out but a few more might. just imagine if the result had been the other way.

    >> will the republicans openly use this issue?

    >> i don't think you're going to see $50 million dropped by the republican national committee on it but grass roots groups who speak discreetly to their own people are certainly going to use it. they're going to talk about this judge. they're going to talk about kagan, etcetera.

    >> sarah palin is running as a christian woman. that's her pitch, her positioning. she will use it.

    >> sure she'll use it.

    >> they're tweeting all over.

    >> the tea party is more about economics than cultural stuff but this is undoubtedly an aid. short term and long term depending what happens in the supreme court to the culture war strategists. this is what they do all the time.

    >> i have a feeling behind all the concern about big government and when they start using like sharron angle the other day saying it's a violation of the first commandment of god from mount sinai what the democrats are doing. i mean they do get back to those religious roots.

    >> they put them together because sharron angle says these people want, meaning obama, want to put government ahead of god. that is the summary of what their argument is in these mid terms.

    >> i think the roots of a lot of the right wingers are religious opposition to the modern world . thank you, howard fineman . welcome back from vacation.

    >> thank you.

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