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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

June 26, 2013
Guests: Faith Jenkins, Yamiche Alcindor, Stuart Milk, Dustin Lance Black,
Chad Griffin, Grace Posano, Jean Pedrasky, Pearl Berlin, Lennie Gerber

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: The girl Trayvon Martin was talking to
right before he was killed.

And in Washington today, history was once again written by the Supreme
Court of the United States.


CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC`S JANSING & CO.: An historic morning at the Supreme

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The Supreme Court has just struck down the Federal
Defense of Marriage Act.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC`S RACHEL MADDOW SHOW: California`s ban on recognizing
same-sex marriage is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Now once again legal in the state of California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel jubilation, I feel fabulous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Celebrations from the steps of the Supreme Court.

JANSING: Has there been a bigger day for gay rights?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A confrontation between gays and police at a bar
called the Stonewall Inn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a law that says gay people cannot be married.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Anita Bryan has rallied thousands of fundamentalist


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every right to live a perverted lifestyle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Clinton has signed the bill that bans the
federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Victory for two Texas men who challenged the law that
made sexual contact illegal between members of the same sex.

until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Day three of testimony of the George Zimmerman murder

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is only one living eyewitness, George Zimmerman

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecutors are laying out their case.

TOURE, MSNBC`S "THE CYCLE": Testimony from a key witness.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Graphic evidence from the night of Trayvon Martin`s

TOURE: The young woman Trayvon Martin was speaking with on the phone
moments before he was killed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The prosecution`s goal in this case is to pick apart
Zimmerman`s statement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Case number 12-BS10838, State versus George


O`DONNELL: More dramatic testimony today in the murder trial of George
Zimmerman. George Zimmerman has pled not guilty in the second-degree
murder of Trayvon Martin claiming self-defense. Today, the jury heard from
19-year-old Rachel Jeantel, who was the last person to speak to Trayvon
Martin before his confrontation with George Zimmerman. She described her
final cell phone call with Trayvon Martin when he told her a man was
following him.


RACHEL JEANTEL, FRIEND OF TRAYVON MARTIN: He said -- I asked him where he
at, he told me he at the back of his daddy`s fiancee`s house, right in the
area where his daddy`s fiancee`s -- by his daddy`s fiancee`s house. I
said, you better keep running. He said no, he lost him.

And then he said, why are you following me for? And then I heard him, hard
(INAUDIBLE) man, what are you doing around here? And I heard Trayvon
Martin say, what is going on? Then I heard a bump. And so it was bump of
the headset. Trayvon`s headset.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You heard a bump?

JEANTEL: Yes. A bump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what did you assume that was?

JEANTEL: The headset.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. What happened then?

JEANTEL: And then I started hearing grass sounds, wet grass sounds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean you heard grass sounds?

JEANTEL: Like grass, wet grass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Then what happened?

JEANTEL: And then I kept calling, Trayvon, Trayvon, what`s going on, and a
little big Trayvon was saying, get off, get off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, let me stop you for a second. You heard a grass
sound and then you said something -- what did you say?

JEANTEL: I said Trayvon, Trayvon, what`s going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what did you hear?

JEANTEL: I kept hearing Trayvon saying get off, get off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then what did you hear?

JEANTEL: Then suddenly the phone hung up. Shut off.


O`DONNELL: She also told the court who she believes is crying for help on
that 911 tape.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since that time, have you heard the recording,
telephone recording where there is cries for help. And then a shot. Have
you heard that on TV and stuff?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. The cries for help, are you able to say whose
voice that is, or voices that is?

JEANTEL: Trayvon`s. It sounded like Trayvon`s.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Faith Jenkins, a former criminal prosecutor,
Yamiche Alcindor, a reporter for "USA Today" who was in the courtroom
today, and MSNBC`s Jonathan Capehart.

Faith, what`s the significance of Rachel`s deposition -- Rachel`s testimony

biggest witness in this case. George Zimmerman is already locked into his
statement about what happened when he and Trayvon meet for the very first
time, that initial encounter between them. And he says Trayvon approached
him, said to him something like what -- do you have a problem with me, and
then sucker punches him in the face.

Rachel is saying something completely different. She`s saying she was on
the phone with Trayvon the entire time. He was being followed. He started
running at some point, and he says, at some point, to George Zimmerman, why
are you following me, and then she hears rolling in the grass. And he says
something like, get off me, get off me.

The jury has a clear decision to make here. The question is, who do they
believe? Are they going to believe George Zimmerman or do they believe
Rachel Jeantel?

O`DONNELL: Yamiche, the testimony she gave about hearing the wet grass, a
lot of people on TV have been making fun of that since they heard it. But
is what she is saying that Trayvon Martin had a cell phone earpiece, a
Bluetooth earpiece in his ear, and then he at that point was actually
thrown to the ground or on the ground in struggle with Zimmerman, and the
earpiece itself was rubbing along the grass? Is that what that testimony
is supposed to mean?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, USA TODAY: I think that`s what she means. She basically
said she was talking to Trayvon Martin and that in the middle of that
conversation, she heard that aggressive, dominant voice, she said a man
that was breathing hard, asked Trayvon, what are you doing around here?
And then the next thing she heard was what she said, grass -- wet grass on
the ground.

So it`s pretty clear that she`s trying to indicate, I think, that the wet
grass and the ear bud fell out of -- out of his ear and that the phone was
on the ground in -- within seconds.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to how George Zimmerman`s lawyer addressed the 911
tape on cross examination.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the question is, well, who is screaming for help?
It`s not Trayvon, is it? And your answer, it could be Trayvon, and the
question, you know his voice so well. Was that Trayvon -- was that Trayvon
screaming for help or wasn`t it? Your answer, it could be. Like I said, I
don`t know. But it could be. The dude sound kind of like Trayvon, Trayvon
do got that soft voice and that baby voice sometimes. So it could be, I
don`t know. You know it`s not. And that`s the end of the quote.

Do you acknowledge that you made those statements, those answers to those
questions under oath in depositions?



O`DONNELL: Jonathan Capehart, what do you make of those discrepancies
between the exact words she used sometime ago in a deposition and then the
words she uses today in court?

be either memory loss or recovered memory. But the key point of what Don
West for the defense is trying to do is chip away at her credibility. We
already know that Rachel Jeantel lied about why she didn`t go to the
memorial service for Trayvon Martin.

Also in the cross examination, it came out that she lied about her -- about
her age. And now, we have this -- the clip you just played of her, what
they`re trying -- what the defense is trying to prove is that she also then
lied about whose voice she said she heard. In that -- in that 911 call.
So this is all part of a -- of a system here of chipping away at her
credibility because, as Faith said, this is the prosecution`s biggest

She was on the phone with Trayvon Martin up until the moment he died.
There is no one other bigger than her with the exception of George

O`DONNELL: Faith, in your experience as a prosecutor, the inconsistencies
that Jonathan just listed for us, how do those add up in testimony like

JENKINS: Well, the prosecutors in their summations are going to make a
clear argument here that even George Zimmerman`s own words comport with
some of the things that Rachel Jeantel has said. We know from the phone
records she was on the phone with Trayvon during the time period when
George Zimmerman was following him.

Compare that to the time stamp of when George Zimmerman was on the phone
with the police. The operator asked him, are you following him? He says
yes, the operator says, we don`t need you to do that. So she`s actually --
her statement about that is actually corroborated by George Zimmerman when
he says yes, I`m following him.

So the defense can`t completely throw out Rachel`s testimony when in fact
some of it is actually accurate on its face and not disputed.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to her explanation of why she didn`t go to Trayvon
Martin`s funeral.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why didn`t you go to the funeral or to the wake?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry, what?

JEANTEL: I didn`t want to see the body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn`t want to see the body?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And why did you lie about not going to the funeral or
to the wake?

JEANTEL: I felt guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Felt guilty about what?

JEANTEL: About -- because I was the last person -- that I was the last
person who had talked with him on the phone.


O`DONNELL: Yamiche, you were in the courtroom today, and you have a view
of the jury. And so you have that burden on this show of trying to in some
sense guess for us how that testimony was received by those six women on
the jury today.

ALCINDOR: So throughout Rachel`s testimony, the jury was leaning in just
to hear her, they were leaning in and taking a lot of notes. Because
basically, if they believe this woman and they believe what this young girl
says, she said this is a young man who was followed and that basically was
pursued and almost was basically killed while really just trying to make it
home. So the jury seems like they were really visibly emotional, visibly
upset, really in my opinion. Because they were leaning in and really,
really trying hard to listen to every word and write down what they thought
she was saying.

O`DONNELL: And Jonathan, did you observe, as I think I did, a certain
cultural disconnect between Rachel on the witness stand and the defense
attorney cross examining her and picking at every word as if she herself
was a lawyer who should be able to speak in perfectly consistent terms?

CAPEHART: Yes, I picked up on that, as well. I said that earlier today on
our air, that there -- I felt like there was a cultural disconnect between
Don West and Rachel Jeantel. When I mentioned that I was talking about,
you know, an adult versus a teenager, we have to understand that -- you
know, she is 18 or 19 years old. That clearly she is a teenager who is not
exactly used to being in these circumstances.

And again, I think Don West`s manner and the way he was going about his
cross examination of her was about basically like a sculptor. Chiseling --
trying at least to chisel away at her -- at her credibility. But there is
one thing that I also found there interesting about this. Don West going
up against Rachel Jeantel.

Don West was the guy who did the knock-knock joke as part of his opening
statement. He is already coming in, I think, to my mind, anyway, with his
credibility in question of that, his seriousness and whether he is -- up to
the task of doing his job. Now he is very methodical and very prodding in
what he`s doing, even during the prosecution`s -- I`m sorry the -- yes, the
prosecutions` questioning of Miss Jeantel.

He was hopping up, objecting, asking all sorts of questions. Yes, he`s
doing his job as a defense attorney. But you know, I have to say if I were
on the jury I think I would be a little put off by his demeanor.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Capehart, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
We`re going to continue with Faith Jenkins and Yamiche Alcindor.

Coming up, a riveting 911 call from another witness in the case of Florida
versus Zimmerman today. And later, the Supreme Court`s decisions today in
favor of marriage equality. The cousin of Chief Justice John Roberts joins
us live from California where she will now be able to marry her partner,
that is coming up.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my god, why would somebody kill something like


O`DONNELL: That`s from a 911 call made the night Trayvon Martin was
killed. The woman who made that 911 call took the witness stand today in
the prosecution`s case. Her testimony is next.



JAYNE SURDYKA, WITNESS: Well, in my opinion, I truly believe especially
the second yell for help that was like a -- you know, a yelp, it was
excruciating. I really felt it was the boy`s voice.


O`DONNELL: With me again, Faith Jenkins, former criminal prosecutor, and
Yamiche Alcindor, national reporter for "USA Today."

Faith Jenkins, that was very powerful testimony today from Jayne Surdyka.
She made that 911 call to police, looking out her window, describing what
she had seen. What is the significance of her testimony? Is the primary
value of it to the prosecution her belief that that was Trayvon Martin`s
voice screaming?

JENKINS: Yes, and the primary value is really the 911 call that`s actually
in evidence now. Because on that call, she is actually witnessing events
and describing them to the operator what she is seeing. She is saying I
heard someone yelling for help. I should have helped him. I wish I could
have. I don`t have a gun. I can`t believe he shot him. Why would he kill
someone? Why would he shoot him?

And the inference there is she was -- she`s referring to Trayvon, the
person who`s been shot and killed, lying on the ground, and George
Zimmerman, the person who she describes walking around now and standing up

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to some of that 911 call that went into evidence


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So is the person that you see laying down, laying down
on the street or on the ground?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the grass. Oh, my god, he is shot, he said he
shot the person. Why would somebody -- why --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, we don`t know if they have been killed. OK, we
know they`ve been --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just said he shot him. The person is dead laying
on the grass. Oh, my god, why would somebody kill somebody like that?


O`DONNELL: Yamiche Alcindor, this is a witness who as far as we know, we
haven`t seen this jury. You have. Is someone who -- is very similar to
the jury, the jury is a panel of five white women and another woman. Did
she have a clear connection to this jury?

ALCINDOR: I can`t say she had a clear connection to the jury. I can say
that the jury was definitely paying attention to her. They were definitely
again really looking intently when the 911 call was played they were
listening. But they were also looking at her reaction, because she looked
very upset.

And in that -- in that moment when that 911 call was played, everyone in
the courtroom kind of quieted down because she was describing being shaken,
she was describing being terrified. And on the stand, the jury really
looked at her and could feel in that moment what she felt, I think, just by
looking at her and just by seeing her reaction to the 911 call being played

O`DONNELL: All right, let`s -- let`s listen to the cross examination on
her testimony.


assumption, though, as you explained later what you saw. As even as
perhaps you were explaining to the 911 operator oh, my god, someone is
dead. Why would somebody do that? Why didn`t somebody help? I don`t have
a gun.

All of that was based upon your assumption that it was the person on the
ground died -- who had died that was the one yelling for help?

SURDYKA: I thought from the voice that was the one yelling for the help.
Was the boy that was dead.

WEST: Yes. But you`d never heard Trayvon Martin`s voice before in your

SURDYKA: I heard it when I opened the window and -- I heard it when I
opened the window. And then I was hearing the voices. I heard two voices.

WEST: Had you ever heard George Zimmerman`s voice in your life?


WEST: So when you say you heard Trayvon Martin`s voice before, you`re
saying that it was your opinion that you were listening to his voice as the
softer of the two in the argument?



O`DONNELL: Faith, did the defense score any points there?

JENKINS: Well, they`re trying to show, how can you know for sure? How can
you be so sure? You were under the stress and emotion of this event. And
you`re really not sure. She is such a critical ear witness, they have to
go after her in that manner. But the state is going to come back and argue
she -- on this 911 call she is convinced that the person who was yelling
for help was killed. That`s the person who was yelling for help.

O`DONNELL: And Yamiche, this jury looks at this woman and has to say to
themselves why would she be saying anything other than what she truly
believes based on what she heard?

ALCINDOR: That is true. The jury -- the jury would really have to look at
her and think OK, this lady is making up this story. And that all the
things that she said, all the emotion in that 911 call that she was just
wrong. And that`s something that they might -- that`s the conclusions that
they may come to. But what I can tell you is that the jury, I think, was
really moved by her. I think everyone in the courtroom was really moved
just by the fact that she experienced this even.

We all write about it. We all hear about it. We all think about it. But
this woman experienced the event, and she described shaking, she described
how horrible it was. And I think the jury, they understood that. They
understood what she had gone through.

O`DONNELL: Yes, and they could see her going through it in some sense
again when that call was being played.

I want to go back to a piece of Rachel`s testimony where she explained on
cross examination why she thought she might not have to be involved in this
case at all, and it was based on what she has learned about the
investigations from TV shows. Let`s listen to that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You thought then that somebody at some point would
figure that out with the cell phones and then contact you?

JEANTEL: Yes. That`s not what officers do? Do you watch "First 48?"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t hear you?

JEANTEL: Do you watch "First 48"? They call the first number that they
talked to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry, the "First 48"?

JEANTEL: A show, "First 48." When a victim died, they called the number
that the victim called before. And they didn`t call my number. So they
had already got the person, so case closed, I thought.


O`DONNELL: Faith, because they didn`t call her number, and the one she
knew would be on Trayvon Martin`s phone, she thought hey, I`m not involved
in this thing.

JENKINS: Rachel comes across as very real, authentic and unfiltered, in a
way that I think will actually help this case. A lot of people were
criticizing her demeanor today. She has a little bit of an edge, a little
bit of an attitude, but one of the first things you`re taught as a
prosecutor, you take your witnesses as you find them. They come from all
different backgrounds, educational level, ages, socio-economic groups. But
that`s the real world and this is the real world and these are witnesses
from the real world. And I think she comes across as very authentic as you
witnessed in that --

O`DONNELL: And intensely shocked.


O`DONNELL: You could tell that this is just not anything like her element.

JENKINS: She`s a teenager.

O`DONNELL: And she didn`t want to be there.

JENKINS: That`s right.

O`DONNELL: I don`t think there was any adult in the room who couldn`t
comprehend that.

Faith Jenkins and Yamiche Alcindor, thank you both very much for joining me

ALCINDOR: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the victories for marriage equality in the Supreme
Court. Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Milk," Dustin Lance Black, will join
me. As well as Harvey Milk`s nephew. And two women who`ve waited 47 years
for this victory will be here.


O`DONNELL: Democratic Texas State Senator Wendy Davis succeeded with an
11-hour filibuster, trying to stop Texas Republicans who control the
legislature from passing a bill that would close all but five of Texas` 42
abortion clinics. Protesters filled the Senate chamber and when the
special legislative session ended at midnight there had been no vote. That
didn`t stop Texas Senate Republicans they passed the bill 19-10. But it
was too late, the vote was recorded at 12:03 a.m., three minutes after the
end of the session.

But Governor Rick Perry announced today he will call the legislature back
into session so they will have another chance to pass this bill.

After yesterday`s filibuster Senator Wendy Davis`s Twitter followers jumped
from 1200 to 83,000 in 24 hours.

Up next, the historic day at the Supreme Court, Dustin Lance Black, Stuart
Milk, Harvey Milk`s nephew, and Chief Justice John Roberts` cousin, who can
now marry in California will join me.


O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, if you have ever doubted whether one
people can make a difference, meet 84-year-old Edie Windsor, or as she will
be known in history, the woman who brought down the defense of marriage


inspire for more than four decades in love and joy, and sickness and
health, until death did us part. When Thea died in 2009 from a heart
condition, two years after we were finally married, I was heartbroken. On
a deeply personal level, I felt the stress and anguish that in the eyes of
my government, the woman I had loved and cared for and shared my life with
was not my legal spouse, but was considered to be a stranger with no
relationship to me.

On a practical level, due to DOMA, I was taxed $336,000 in federal estate
tax that I would not have to have paid if I were married to a man named
Theo, so overwhelmed with a sense of injustice and unfairness, I decided to
bring them lawsuit against the government to get my money back.


O`DONNELL: Today, Justice Anthony Kennedy and four more liberal members of
the court decided Edie Windsor should get her money back with interest and
the court declared the provision of the defense of marriage act that
defines marriage as between one man and one woman, unconstitutional.

Kris Perry filed a lawsuit after California`s Proposition 8 barred her from
marrying her partner, Sandy Stier. Today, the Supreme Court ruled in her
favor. California governor Jerry Brown said today he expects California
will start issuing marriage licenses to all couples again within a month.
Kris Perry and her future wife were celebrating outside the Supreme Court
this morning when she received a memorable call of congratulations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: The president is on the line, from Air Force
One. Go ahead.

This is Kris Perry.

SANDY STIER, KRIS PERRY`S PARTNER: And Sandy Stier. We thank you so much
for your support.

proud of you guys, and we`re so glad that in California and a number of
states are growing because of your leadership. You know, through your
course, you have helped a lot of people everywhere.



O`DONNELL: Joining me now are Chad Griffin, president of the human right
campaign, Dustin Lance Black, the academy-award winning screenwriter of
"milk" Stuart, nephew of gay rights leader, Harvey Milk and the president
of the Harvey Milk Foundation.

So Chad, you`re out there in front of the Supreme Court today and all the
celebration and noise. And you`re in the middle of a group interview with
Thomas Roberts here at MSNBC, and your phone rings. You did -- did it say
president of the United States on the caller ID?

Lawrence. So unfortunately, I couldn`t get the number to call Air Force
One back, the next time I would like to talk to the president. But it is
not every day that you get a call from the president of the United States
on board Air Force One. But if there is any occasion that warranted it, it
was the occasion of this celebration today. The fact that the Supreme
Court struck down proposition 8. And we are here today celebrating what
will very soon be the resumption of marriages here in this great state.

O`DONNELL: Dustin, you were in the courtroom, rather, the Supreme
Courtroom for some of the arguments in these cases. We talked about it
then. Did it feel to you back then, at the argument stage, that this is
where we would be today?

DUSTIN LANCE BLACK, FILMMAKER: Yes, I always had faith that we were going
to be here today. I am glad it is this soon. And I`m glad this court did
it today. I`ll tell you what. I stood on this intersection almost five
years ago and marched with some of these very same people because we were
hurt because our families were injured. And we marched and we made our
voices heard, and our discontent heard.

And we did something very important, Lawrence, we started to tell our
personal stories that started to change hearts and minds. And you know
what I think? I think those justices heard those stories and knew the time
was now.

O`DONNELL: Stuart Milk, we showed in the opening of our show old footage
of your uncle Harvey Milk. And everyone, of course, wishes that he could
have been standing in the Supreme Court steps today. But it has been a
long march that started even before his activism to get to the Supreme
Court steps today.

STUART MILK, NEPHEW OF HARVEY MILK: It has been a long march. And so many
people have continued carrying my uncle`s banner. You know, San Francisco
is just alive tonight, with celebration and the message that we, as a
community, are so much better, including everyone. This has been a turning
point for not only the rights of LGBT people, but it is a green light to
every community that is marginalized and diminished that justice can move

O`DONNELL: And here, I just want to read part of Justice Kennedy`s
opinion, the majority opinion on the defense of marriage act, DOMA, DOMA
instructs all federal officials and did all persons with same sex couples
interact, including their own children that their marriage is less worthy
than the marriages of others. The federal statute is invalid for no
legitimate purpose, overcomes the effect to disparage and injure those who
by the state sought to protect in personhood and dignity.

Chad, that seems like a very broad percentage that could be applied to the
states at this point.

GRIFFIN: There is no question, Lawrence, and you read part of Justice
Kennedy`s brilliance. The prose that he read from the bench today and what
is in that document, every American should read because it is very clear.

I believe it also gives us a road map to go forward. And while we`re all
celebrating tonight here in California and Edie, and her brilliant
attorney, and New York City and everywhere in between we also have to
acknowledge that people all across this country didn`t feel the reach of
justice today. That young person in Altoona, Pennsylvania, that Harvey
Milk talked about in the 1970s. And that young person in Hope, Arkansas,
where I was born, and where much of my family is still is, didn`t feel the
reach of justice today.

So, what we have all got to do and I know that Stuart is committed, and
Lance is committed and the human rights campaign, and all of our colleagues
across the movement are committed to fighting like we never fought before
to ensure full equality reaches every person. And we committed today, a
new goal that within five years we`ll bring marriage equality to every
single state. All 50 states in this country.

O`DONNELL: Lance, the big population centers, California, New York, these
states have marriage equality. But speak to what Chad just mentioned. And
that is the reach into the more distant areas on this. You didn`t grow up
in one of those big population centers in New York, California, where those
rights are now easily obtained.

Tell us what it is like to be growing up gay in Utah and places like that,
where the impact has not been felt yet.

BLACK: I grew up in a Mormon home, in a military home out in San Antonio,
Texas, and so did my big brother. My big brother is the reason five years
ago I started to make my efforts federal. My big brother while I was
making milk, came out to me. But my big brother lived in Virginia. So as
I was fighting in California I was so proud of the work we were doing. But
all of a sudden I had a wake-up call that said if we don`t take this to the
federal government, my own big brother will never enjoy equality the way I
hope to. My own big gay brother.

And sadly, Lawrence, my big brother didn`t make it to today. My big
brother passed away, he lost his fight with cancer and he will never see
this day of freedom. So you know what? Even if he had made it here, he
lived in a state that doesn`t have it today. And what we have to do is do
it in the big cities but we have to do it in the more conservative areas,
in the south. We have to reach out and tell our stories. We have to be
brave in these areas because in some of these areas people can still lose
their jobs and their homes for being LGBT and open about, but we have to be
brave. We have to tell our stories. It is the only way we can break down
the myths and the lies and the stereotypes we have been told for
generations about gays and lesbians people, at the pulpit by our government
and sometimes within our own family. When these go away, we`ll have
equality in all areas.

O`DONNELL: Stuart, your uncle, Harvey Milk, had some real victories
especially at the local level in San Francisco, but he was one who always
knew even on victory night that there was more work to do tomorrow.

MILK: Absolutely. And just as you heard, we have 37 states that do not
recognize marriage equality. But we have whole countries, and we actually
have whole continents that don`t. And so, one of the things I absolutely
believe my uncle would be saying now is that we have to have this message
of hope that tonight is being celebrated in Lake Ayola (ph), in Orlando.
It is being celebrated by my friends, believe it or not in (INAUDIBLE).
Chile. It is being celebrated by national couples who were forced out of
our country in Budapest, Hungary.

But the message is that we still have this work to do. So, we have the
celebration of hope. But with that comes the commitment, as you just heard
Chad said, as you heard Dustin say, we have to have this commitment to take
this to the next level.

This is really the civil rights defining moment of our time. But we have a
lot of work to do. And the thing that I`m most proud of and I think my
uncle would be so thrilled with, is all the people that have taken my
uncle`s mantle, of being out, being authentic, and living a life that is

As Lance just said, you know, it is challenging in some conservative places
to come out and be who you are. But that is what is really changing the
dynamic, not just to the United States but across the world.

O`DONNELL: Chad Griffin, Dustin Lance Black and Stuart Milk, thank you all
for joining us.

And Chad, don`t ever turn off that cell phone.

GRIFFIN: I will never turn off that phone or ignore at all.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, all, guys.

Coming up, the cousin of John Roberts who very soon will be able to marry
her partner in California.

And later, Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin together after 47 years, tell us
what this day means to them.


O`DONNELL: Michele Bachmann responded to the Supreme Court today by saying
that marriage was created by the hand of God, no man, not even the Supreme
Court can undo what the holy God has done. Nancy Pelosi was asked about
Michele Bachmann`s comment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: She essentially said, if you got the word


O`DONNELL: John Robert`s cousin who can now marry in California will join
me next.


O`DONNELL: Chief justice John Roberts, on the losing side of the Supreme
Court decision on the defense of marriage act, but he moved to the winning
side in the Proposition 8 case and wrote the court`s opinion dismissing the
appeal of the law banning the same-sex marriage in California.

And so tonight, same-sex marriage is legal again in California. And chief
justice Robert`s cousin, Jean Pedrasky, has announced she will marry her
partner, Grace in California.

Joining me now from San Francisco, Jean Pedrasky and Grace Pasano.

Thank you very much for joining me on this historic night.

Jean, you said things over time, asked about how your cousin might rule on
this. In which you expressed confidence that he would handle this in a
judicious way. How do you think he did today?

surprised this morning. I am totally shocked that he split right down the
middle, one side for us, one side against us. I was confident before the
hearings, and I think the hearings shifted my perspective a little bit. I
was definitely a little nervous after the hearings. So of course I was
thrilled about the -- through Prop 8 standing. And of course, I`m
disappointed that he didn`t rule on our side on DOMA.

O`DONNELL: But he was not in a position to block DOMA, Grace, and so here
you are able now to be married in California, thanks to justice Robert`s
vote and others. And then thanks to the other justices that marriage can
be recognized elsewhere in the country and by the federal government.

GRACE POSANO, JEAN PEDRASKY`S PARTNER: I really like the way you put that.

O`DONNELL: And Jean, the fact that your cousin actually did rule
specifically on your side in the case that affects you in California, most
directly, is there a special feeling for you in that part of it?

PEDRASKY: Definitely, definitely. As much as I wanted DOMA to be
overturned, it wouldn`t have affected us at all if Prop 8 wasn`t thrown
out. There would be no point in us getting married. So Prop 8 is actually
more important to me at this moment. So we are staying in California and
we would like to get married in California and now we can.

O`DONNELL: And so when is the big day? Is it on the schedule yet?

PEDRASKY: Honestly --

O`DONNELL: Or were you waiting for this decision first?

PEDRASKY: Yes, it was interesting. To answer your question, it will be
spring 2014.

O`DONNELL: And will the chief justice of the United States be getting an

PEDRASKY: God, I don`t know if I could answer that question. I want to
say, of course, I`m inviting family members. We have a very large family
between the two of us. So our guest list has not been written out yet.

Jean Pedrasky, and Grace Posano, congratulations and thank you both for
joining me tonight.

PEDRASKY: Thank you so much.

O`DONNELL: Up next, two women who have actually been waiting for this for
47 years.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing will change the 45-year bond that we have.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have had -- we have the most remarkable bond. And
we think in part it is because as she was saying to me in the last day or
two, she said our core values are so much the same. We`ve never done a
ceremony. And we`re not going to until we can do one legally and hopefully
here with our family and community.



O`DONNELL: Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin were introduced to the world in
the know and love campaign last May and they are both joining me now from
their home in North Carolina.

Lennie and Pearl, welcome back to the show. And Lennie, tell me how it
felt when you saw the Supreme Court rulings come down.

particularly was just exhilarated when I heard the DOMA ruling, because I
was uncharacteristically scared they were going to do it on very narrow
grounds of state`s rights. And that wouldn`t have been good. But they did
it on equality which was so important and I was just thrilled to death.

O`DONNELL: Now, Pearl, the last time you were on the show you were both on
the show, it was just after North Carolina had passed an amendment banning
marriage equality in that state. And so you could not obtain a marriage
legally state-sanctioned. But you have gotten married since then. How did
you do it?

synagogue and the rabbi, and we had, on June 2nd, was fairly recent night,
a very lovely, complete ceremony surrounded by family and friends. And it
was just a wonderful feeling to do it in our own synagogue, and as far as
North Carolina politics are concerned, I have just about given up. Not
fully, I`m going to fight a little more. But in terms of marriage, I don`t
think that is even in the near future.

O`DONNELL: Lennie, when you watched these decisions come down today and
you could see in the television coverage of the steps of the Supreme Court,
men and women of all ages. But when you especially focus on some of those
20--year-olds, 25-year-olds, gay men and women on the steps of the court
were you envisioning the different kinds of lives they were going to be
able to have over the next 60-80 years compared to the lives that you have

GERBER: absolutely. Well, different in the sense that they will have all
of these legal rights. It just won`t be an issue. The same in the sense,
though that love is love. And a relationship that is a good relationship,
that you live together, and go on about your life, it is very, very normal.
And they will have the same -- I mean, in one sense, our life was normal.
Except it didn`t have all of the things that make it legal. But it was
normal. And these -- but these kids, they`re not going to have to worry
about any of that. I predict that in a few years this is all going to
clear up because things are moving so rapidly.

O`DONNELL: Pearl, there are a lot of young people in America now who are
going to be able to get married who previous were not able to get married.
And so they`re going to be embarking, they hope, on a long-term committed
relationship for decades. You know the secret, Pearl, of how to keep the
relationship like that going. Tell these young people in America out there
what they need to know right now about having a lifetime romantic

BERLIN: It is a pleasure. First of all, be open and be honest. And the
second and the fundamental underlying thing between Lennie and me is just
plain one simple word, trust. And as that, it has build up and it grows
the relationship just goes and we don`t even think about it anymore. But
trust be there.

GERBER: And respect.

O`DONNELL: Trust and respect. Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin, thank you
for that life advice and thank you for joining us again tonight.

GERBER: Thank you.

BERLIN: It is our pleasure.


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