tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC June 26, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
>> from all us of here thanks for watching. we appreciate your time. our this is "world news." tonight, landmark ruling. the supreme court redefines the modern american family. two historic victories for gay rights and same sex marriage. outside, the emotional reaction. the nationwide response. and right here, the tiny 84-year-old woman whose mighty determination just changed the course of history. >> this is wonderful. it is wonderful. good evening on this historic night. a night when america has a new definition of what it means to be married. the supreme court said today
resoundingly, federal law must change. there must be equality for same sex couples who marry. and the implications are sweeping. outside the courtroom, jubilation. some overcome with tears. many filled with joy, knowing that the court had instantly created a different future. and abc's terry moran was right there for this landmark ruling, same sex marriage in america, and he leads us off now. terry? >> reporter: diane, you're right. what an extraordinary day it was here. uncertainty and anxiety before the decision came down and when this ruling was handed down, it was like a dam burst emotionally. here and across the country. it was a day this court changed not only american law, but american life. the moment of victory. the two gay couples who brought the case from california and their lawyers emerging into a different america. across the country, jubilation among supporters of same sex marriage. a champagne toast in new york. tears and hugs in san francisco.
and edie windsor, 84 years old, who brought the case seeking to overturn the federal law that denied the validity of her marriage, declared victory. >> we won everything we asked and hoped for. wow. >> reporter: the court, in a 5-4 opinion by justice anthony kennedy, struck down the defense of marriage act, which defined marriage under federal law as the union of one man and one woman, and thus denied legally married gay couples equal treatment under federal law. and that is unconstitutional, kennedy wrote, because it demeans the couple. humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised guy by gay couples. serves no legitimate purpose and violates the constitution's guarantee of equality. in california, abc's cecilia vega talked with the dumesnil-viekers family, who say they always felt a little different, but not any more. >> what it means for us, legally, is that the marriage license that i got in 2008 in california now holds the same
value as the marriage license of every other person on my block. >> reporter: what does that do for your mom? >> it's really exciting because now, it's equal and everything is all done and we don't need to worry. >> reporter: from social security and veterans' benefits, to family leave and income and estate taxes, their lives are now equal in countless ways under the law to straight couples lives. but kennedy's grand opinion drew a blistering dissent from justice antonin scalia, who called today's ruling jaw-dropping and accused kennedy and the liberal justices of declaring anyone opposed to same sex marriage an enemy of human decency. millions of americans who cherish traditional marriage will agree. >> it's a sad day when unelected judges change the definition of marriage and turn their backs on the will of voters. >> reporter: but the court stopped short of declaring that every state must allow gay marriage, sending the challenge to california's proposition 8, which banned gay marriage, back to the lower courts on technical
grounds, effectively legalizing gay marriage in california. so the couples that brought the case -- >> will you please marry me? >> reporter: will wed. >> we could not have imagined we would have to go on this journey to get married. i'm proud to be here and i am just thrilled that i actually get to marry the woman that i love. >> reporter: it was a day many supporters of gay marriage rights believed would never come. outside the court, the gay men's chorus of washington d.c. lifted their voices in pride, singing our national anthem. ♪ and the rockets' red glare >> ah, terry, it's great to have you reporting on the supreme court. and you've been covering this court, you've been watching their rulings for some 20 years. give us a sense tonight of the big picture, how will the arc of history see this day? >> reporter: it was history, diane. as we've been saying. and not just because what this court did was extraordinary, whenever it strikes down an act of congress, that's rare. it not only struck down the defense of marriage act and effectively legalized gay
marriage in california, it's the language in this opinion. as you pointed out at the top, the court today broadened and deepened the meaning of equality in our constitution. the central principle of american life. and that goes way beyond marriage. justice kennedy used the word "dignity" nine times in his opinion. and it's that basic human dignity that he said is shared by gay couples and straight couples that is now enshrined in american law. it's going to be very hard from today, going forward, to pass laws that discriminate against americans on the basis of their sexual orientation. this is a law which applies -- decision which applies to specific laws, but those principles have far-reaching effects. >> terry moran reporting in from the steps of the supreme court today. and here now is a map of where the states stand on same sex marriage. as of tonight, 35 states still ban it.
but it is legal in 13 states and now including california, which, as we said, just moved back into that category. and that's where abc's cecilia vega is reporting in tonight. cecilia? >> reporter: diane, good evening. boy, sheer elation. that is what we have seen all day out here in san francisco. we are live from the hub of the fight for gay marriage in california, san francisco's castro district. and what you see behind me over here, this is just the beginning of what is probably going to be a very big, a very long party tonight. now, earlier today, san francisco city hall, when this decision came down, there were cheers of victory, there were partners clutching each other, there were tears for joy. what happened today from the supreme court is seen nothing more than a huge step in the battle for gay rights. so, what comes next? marriages here in california will begin at some point between the end -- mid to late july. we saw one couple propose to each other right after this decision came down.
we are hearing that a number of people, 64, to be precise, have been -- volunteered to be deputized to begin officiating over those marriages when they start. we know that wedding planners here in san francisco are expecting big business. diane, the race to the altar is officially on here in california. >> all right, cecilia vega, right there where we can hear the bells ringing. and as terry moran pointed out earlier, there is one woman who is being celebrated tonight. an unlikely gladiator, cheered as the champion of today's historic change. she is tiny, five feet tall, 100 pounds, 84 years old. edie windsor was with her late partner, thea spyer, for 42 years, and told us earlier tonight, this victory is for her. when you heard the news -- >> yeah. >> what did you do? >> cried. first thing. okay? the room was full of people. everyone screaming and crying at the same time. >> when you see the words,
though, edie windsor versus the united states of america -- >> when i first saw it, i was terrified. i was just, what have i done? and then i gradually got used to it and understood that the government wasn't going to be personally mad at me. i talked to the president this morning and he was absolutely charming and congratulated me and i thanked him for what he had done in speaking up. >> how young do you feel tonight? >> oh, i feel like i'm 84. unquestionably. >> so, you said that it's the beginning of the end of stigma. >> yeah. >> the end of lying about who we are -- >> the beginning of the end of stigma, okay? of lying about who we are. i think it's the end of suicides, i think it's the end of teenagers falling in love and not knowing that there's a future for them, okay, with love. i say the beginning of the end,
because we see, things do take a very long time. >> but for someone tonight who remains opposed, what do you most want to say to them? >> maybe trust me, okay? i think it will only be better. my country is now giving dignity to this beautiful person that i lived with, okay? and so today, my country gave dignity and appreciated who she was. >> 42 years. >> yeah. >> do you think about what you would like to say to her today? >> well, i really said it, okay? i looked at her picture and i said, honey, it's done. okay? it's really done. i know what she would say. she would say, you did it, honey. >> the remarkable 84-year-old edie windsor. and now, from our coverage of the supreme court, we shift to another story in the news tonight.
an athlete with soaring success, now charged with murder. handcuffed, led from his home. aaron hernandez of the new england patriots sitting in a jail cell. abc's john schriffen has the stunning reversal of fortune. >> reporter: aaron hernandez's rapid fall from grace was clear this morning when he was taken in handcuffs from his million dollar home outside of boston. the 23-year-old former new england patriot star was a fan favorite, catching touchdowns from superstar quarterback tom brady. >> touchdown, hernandez! >> reporter: but this afternoon in court, he was charged with killing his friend, odin lloyd, in an elaborate execution-style murder. >> count one is murder, count two, carrying a firearm without a license. >> reporter: prosecutors say hernandez and lloyd argue after leaving a club on friday night. monday, they say, hernandez and two friends drove lloyd to a nearby industrial park. lloyd was shot five times. authorities say hernandez was the mastermind.
hernandez has pleaded not guilty. but today, the patriots cut all ties with their former star. how bright was aaron hernandez's future in the nfl? >> well, aaron hernandez was one of the young stars, one of the young faces of the national football league. he'd been one of the best players in his first three seasons in the league. >> reporter: if hernandez is convicted, he faces life in prison. massachusetts does not have the death penalty. john schriffen, abc news, attleboro, massachusetts. and now to florida, where it is day three of the trayvon martin case. george zimmerman on trial. the last person to talk to trayvon martin, his friend, took the stand. and abc's matt gutman was there for the intense and dramatic moment. >> reporter: rachel jeantel described the raw, final moments of trayvon martin's life as she says she heard them in his last phone call. >> tell us, if you can, what he described happening? >> a man was watching him. >> reporter: the prosecution asking its star witness about the man she said martin spotted following him.
>> he said the man looked creepy? >> reporter: that man was neighborhood watchman, george zimmerman, now on trial for second degree murder. >> he looked creepy. >> reporter: while her testimony was often hard to understand -- >> if you can't understand, just raise your hand. >> reporter: the emotion in court, self-evident. martin's father weeping. she was even on the phone for that critical moment of confrontation between zimmerman and martin. >> and then i said trayvon, and then he said, why are you following me for? and then i heard a hard breath man come and say, what are you doing around here? >> reporter: then the phone went dead. under cross examination, she admitted she never reported the incident to police and never went to martin's funeral. >> you got to understand -- you the last person to talk to the person and he die on the phone? after you talk to him? >> reporter: throughout the day, the jurors were riveted, and as the defense grilled her, she became increasingly combative. we're likely to see more of that tomorrow, as her testimony continues.
diane? >> thank you, matt gutman. and there was a strange scene, all of us watched last night and today. a reminder of the movie "mr. smith" and that exhausting filibuster. this event, however, had half a million people signing onto #standwithwendy, as texas lawmaker wendy davis spent 13 straight hours talking, trying to create a barricade against a law she didn't want. abc's dan harris has the story. >> reporter: when state senator wendy davis stepped to the podium in her pink sneakers, she knew she was in for a long day. >> members, i'm rising on the floor today to humbly give voice to thousands of texans who have been ignored. >> reporter: the rules of a texas filibuster are unforgiving -- no food, water or bathroom breaks. no sitting, no leaning. >> my lower back started hurting really, really badly. >> reporter: she was motivated though. she was fighting a republican bill that critics say would
effectively close nearly all of the abortion clinics in texas. seven hours in, a colleague had to help her put on a back brace. >> there was a point where i was afraid that physically something would happen that would be outside my control. >> reporter: fans latching onto her compelling biography. davis became a single mom at age 19 and then put herself through harvard law school. after 11 hours, she veered off-topic, breaking the rules, and her fellow senators voted to end her filibuster. her supporters in the gallery erupted. there was so much commotion that republicans were unable to pass the bill on time. >> we're trying to protect innocent human life. >> reporter: this is probably only a temporary victory. republicans will likely reintroduce and pass the bill. the senator knows this, but would she do it again? >> in a heartbeat. >> reporter: dan harris, abc news, new york. and still ahead here on "world news," paula deen talks and breaks down in tears.
her empire on the brink, as walmart pulls out. will she get a second chance? and later, the mother turning little children into superheroes. she is america strong. ca strong. uh! i had a nightmare! the house caught fire and we were out on the streets. [ whispering ] shhh. it's only a dream. and we have home insurance. but if we made a claim, our rate would go up... [ whispering ] shhh. you did it right. you have allstate claim rate guard so your rates won't go up just because of a claim. [ whispering ] are we still in a dream? no, you're in an allstate commercial. so get allstate home insurance with claim rate guard... [ whispering ] goodnight. there are so many people in our bedroom. [ dennis ] talk to an allstate agent... [ doorbell rings ] ...and let the good life in. a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain
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that has never said something that they wish they could take back, if you're out there, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me. >> reporter: but at walmart today, where they sell her dishes, candles and knife sets, her tears weren't enough, and they announced that, quote, we are ending our relationship with paula deen enterprises. today, caesars casinos left her, too, closing her restaurants. >> i'm so happy to be showing y'all my new stoneware. >> reporter: at kmart and sears today, where they sell her cookware, they're currently exploring the next steps. without question, she's working hard to keep the partners she still has left -- relationships worth nearly $16 million. >> it's going to be a tough road to get back her empire, but she's got to do it now. because in a year, someone else will have replaced her. >> reporter: today, her
representatives shared letters of support from smaller partners like springer mountain farms chicken, who, quote, truly believe her when she says she is sorry. >> can she move on? >> i think we -- >> actually no, i don't think she can move on yet. >> reporter: but the sun is still shining on paula deen. tonight, advance sales of her latest cookbook are up by more than 1,000%. steve osunsami, abc news, atlanta. and coming up next here on "world news," the incredible sight in london. the man riding the side of the bus? how does he do that? coming up. with greek nonfat yogurt, loaded with protein 0% fat that thick creamy texture, i was in trouble. look i'm in a committed relationship with activia and i've been happy and so has my digestive system. now i'm even happier since activia greek showed up because now i get to have my first love and my greek passion together, what i call a healthy marriage.
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a man on the move, shocking everyone on the streets of london, by seeming to ride a double decker bus on the outside, holding on with one hand. people shrieked. it turns out he is a magician named dynamo, and -- spoiler alert -- that could be a fake arm, a steel rod attached to the bus on one side, a harness on the other. dynamo refuses to confirm his gag. and coming up right next here, how a mother turns kids into superheroes. it's america strong. [ female announcer ] love. it's the most powerful thing on the planet. love holds us in the beginning. comforts us as we grow old. love is the reason you care. for all the things in your life...
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fun into a movement. >> what does superman say? i was making them for my nephew, my son and my dog. it was just like an a-ha moment of this little girl named brenna needed one. >> reporter: brenna was battling a rare skin disorder. so robyn sewed her a cape with a big yellow "b", and she loved it. super brenna was born. word caught on. soon there was anthony in illinois, suffering heart and muscle problem, who became super anthony. there was super mable, super andrew. in just six months, robyn sent 700 personalized capes to sick children in 45 states and 11 countries. each one with a handwritten message, shipped by robyn -- >> superhero cape! >> reporter: and opened like a gift on christmas morning. >> a cape! i'm a superhero! >> reporter: meet 10-year-old super ke. >> super ke! >> reporter: battling a severe gastrointestinal disorder. his mother says he never takes his cape off. >> he has taken the cape into his biopsy, to the emergency
room. he showed other patients. it just helps him, gives him a sense of comfort. >> it makes me feel strong and brave. >> reporter: robyn now gets 10 to 20 requests a day. >> thank you. >> reporter: she's quit her job and has pulled in friends to help. >> if you would have told me six months ago that this would be my life, i would have -- i would have paid a million dollars to make this my life. but i wouldn't believe you. >> reporter: robyn rosenberger, unlikely caped crusader and america strong. >> our thanks to neal karlinsky. we believe from the very beginning that the importance in this case was to send a message to the children of this country, that you're just as good. as everybody else, no matter
who you love, no matter who your parents love. >> this is the berkeley couple that take their case to the highest court in the land. a nine-year fight for the right owe get married. >> today's decision by the supreme court clears the way for same-sex marriages to resume in california. but it side steps a bigger question whether gay couples have a constitutional right to get married. justices decided backers had no standing to defend knit court that meant the lower court ruling will stand. gay marriage is legal in california. that was reaction where then mayor defied state law, openly allowing gay couples to tie the knot nine years ago. that is reaction in the castro
district where the ruling is being hailed as historic. happening now, supporters are celebrating the high court's ruling. the streets have now been blocked off to accommodate a rally there scheduled to get underway in just half an hour. we'll take you there live in just a moment. first let's go to oakland. a celebration is happening there as well. >> the party started around 5:00. you can see that the music and celebration continues. supporters are celebrating the street party in response to a decision handed down on prop 8 and doma. not only acknowledging this as a victory but say there is more work owe to do until there is marriage equality.