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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  June 26, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> the late e-news and weather is on our website, kpix.com. made, but the debate continues. the supreme court changes the law of the land on same-sex marriage; the people remain divided. >> thrilled with today. >> yeah, we're absolutely thrilled. >> thrilled. >> the marriage is a-- should be a very sacred institution between a man and a woman. >> pelley: jan crawford, bill whitaker and michelle miller on what it means. he won government contracts claiming disability from a football injury. explain that to a double amputee war hero. >> my feet hurt, too. in fact, the balls of my feet burn continuously, and i feel like there's a nail being hammered into my right heel right now. >> pelley: nancy cordes has the story. and chip reid sets sail for smith island, land of american dreams slowly slipping from view.
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captioni ed by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. once in a while, a decision by the supreme court is etched into the granite of our history. americans remain divided over today's rulings, but history was written. copies of the same-sex marriage decisions rushed out this morning, and, as the words were read, cheers went up. ( cheers and applause ) a sharply divided court advanced the cause of gay rights in two cases. it struck down the 1996 defense of marriage act, known as doma, which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples. in the other case, it authorized the resumption of same-sex marriage in the nation's most populous state, california. jan crawford begins our coverage at the supreme court. >> reporter: writing for the 5-4 majority, justice anthony kennedy said the 1996 defense of
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marriage act that denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples had one purpose and one effect: that distinction, the court said, violates constitutional guarantees of liberty, equality and equal dignity. the ruling has immediate and wide-ranging practical consequences because, as, the court put it, the law had written inequality into the entire united states code. more than 1,000 federal statutes and regulations are affected-- not only federal tax laws, but other laws regulating bankruptcy, housing and social security, even veterans' benefits. same-sex married couples will
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now get the same benefits and protections as heterosexual couples. the landmark case was brought by 83-year-old edie windsor, who challenged the law after her partner of 40 years died and windsor was hit with $363,000 in federal estate taxes, taxes she would not have owed if her spouse were a man. >> children born today will grow up in a world without doma, and those same children who happen to be gay will be free to love and get married as i did but with the same federal benefits, protections and dignity as everyone else. >> reporter: in dissent, chief justice john roberts emphasized that today's ruling does not mean state laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. but in a separate dissent, justice antonin scalia said the majority clearly was signaling it will reach that point some day. "it is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe." the second same-sex marriage
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case focused on california's proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in 2008 after the state supreme court had legalized it. supporters of same-sex marriage argued proposition 8's ban was unconstitutional, and federal courts in california agreed. supporters of the ban went to the supreme court, raising monumental constitutional issues that went to the heart of state laws banning same-sex marriage. but today, the justices declined to decide those constitutional issues. instead, the court said it lacked the jurisdiction to decide the case, a technical ruling that sent the issue back to california. it means the lower federal court ruling striking down proposition 8 as unconstitutional will remain in place. now, as the result, in the near future, same-sex marriage in california could resume. but this decision, unlike that first landmark ruling, will have no impact nationwide, scott,
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because the justices did not decide those bigger issues. >> pelley: and jan, president obama on a trip to africa said today, "when all americans are treated as equal, we are all more free." thanks, jan. it was only ten years ago that homosexual sex was a crime in some states. the supreme court changed that in 2003. same-sex marriage is legal in 13 states-- if you now include california-- plus the district of columbia. here's bill whitaker. ( cheers and applause ) >> reporter: the reaction in west hollywood was jubilant, but in the home of steve soucy and tom becktold, the reaction was personal... >> so that's it. so we're recognized. >> i think we're married in california. >> reporter: ...the impact profound. >> that's awesome. >> we're talking about equal rights. we're talking about equality. >> reporter: what's that feel like? >> it just feels fair. i mean, it feels correct. it feels right. it just feels excellent. >> reporter: they celebrated at weddings for friends and relatives when california's supreme court declared same-sex
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marriage a constitutional right in 2008. but plans for their own wedding were interrupted when california voters passed proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage. >> we didn't think the right to marriage was going to be taken away in our home state. >> we were really shocked by that. >> reporter: as soon as same-sex marriage became legal in new york, they flew there to get married. >> our marriage was not recognized here in california, so today's ruling really-- well, it gives us what we wanted, which was to be recognized in our home state. >> reporter: are you planning now to have a second service here in california? >> yes, definitely. >> reporter: now, they get to file taxes jointly and have visitation rights at hospitals. >> today is a great victory for us on a federal level, on a state level. but for our brothers and sisters in 37 other states that are still waiting for equality, we have some work to do. >> reporter: scott, they say their love and their lives now
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are equal to everyone else's. california governor jerry brown has told state officials to get ready to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples once again. >> pelley: bill whitaker in our los angeles newsroom. thanks, bill. views on same-sex marriage have been changing. last year, a cbs news/"new york times" poll found 42% of americans felt same-sex marriage should be legal; more than half said no. but now, 51% support it and 44% are still opposed. what do those opposed think about today's rulings? we ask michelle miller to find out. >> that's what's happening here, changing the definition and the institution of marriage, which i think is the wrong thing for western civilization. >> reporter: we sat down with michael long in his favorite brooklyn pizzeria. he helped lead opposition to new york's same-sex marriage law in 2011. the father of nine has been married to his wife for 50 years.
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do you see this as the social issue of our day? >> some people like to try to game it and call it part of the civil rights movement. this is about an institution. this is about what marriage really stands for. this is about raising a family. >> reporter: although a slim majority of americans say same- sex marriage should be legal, 60% of those we polled with the "new york times" said state government should make that decision. the point was echoed today by republicans and conservatives on capitol hill. missouri congresswoman vicky heartzlar: >> this is a dangerous precedent which strips power away from congress with respect to defining national marriage policy. >> reporter: michael long worries the result will be same- sex couples shopping for benefits across state lines. >> if you live in new york, because of what the legislature did last year in approving what i call the destruction of traditional marriage, you're going to be able to get federal
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benefits if you are a same-sex couple. if you live in jersey, you're not going to be able to get federal benefits. we haven't settled anything. we have created more confusion. >> reporter: and, scott, there are the moral objections. the u.s. conference of catholic bishops called this a tragic day for marriage, and southern baptist leader albert mohler said today's decisions will create serious religious liberty challenges for all churches. >> pelley: michelle, thanks very much. in sanford, florida, today, an important witness for the prosecution testified at george zimmerman's murder trial. zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, shot and killed trayvon martin, an unarmed teenager. he claims it was self-defense. mark strassmann reports that the witness was the last person to speak with martin moments before he was killed. >> do you solemnly swear... >> reporter: rachel jeantel was on the phone with martin when he left this convenience store the night of member 26, 2012.
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>> what was he complaining about? >> that a man kept watching him. >> reporter: the 19-year-old talked to martin right up until the deadly confrontation. >> reporter: martin told her he was almost back at the townhouse where she was staying. >> reporter: she overheard martin talk to zimmerman. >> reporter: don west, one of zimmerman's defense lawyers, attacked her credibility. for one thing, she waited three weeks to tell investigator her story.
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she claims she thought police would track martin's phone records. >> reporter: she also lied about why she never attended trayvon martin's funeral. >> reporter: zimmerman's lawyers are still going over a series of inconsistencies with jeantel, some of which she admits were lies. scott, she will be back on the stand tomorrow. >> pelley: mark, thank you. a wounded veteran shamed a witness at a congressional hearing today. we'll speak with the woman at the center of the texas abortion battle. and we'll have new information on the condition of nelson mandela. when the "cbs evening news" continues. every day we're working to be an even better company -
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>> pelley: today, a congressional committee grilled a government contractor who won half a billion dollars in work for the i.r.s. after he got preferential treatment for what he suggested was a war injury. turns out he hurt himself playing football, and that didn't sit well with the real war hero on the committee. nancy cordes was there. >> twisting your ankle in prep school is not defending or serving this nation, mr. castillo. >> reporter: illinois democrat tammy duckworth is an iraq war veteran who still feels phantom
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pain from the legs she lost when an r.p.g. hit her black hawk helicopter, so she had little sympathy today for virginia businessman braulio castillo. he won a contracting advantage with the i.r.s. reserved for disabled veterans based on a sports injury from his days at a military prep school. >> your foot hurt? your left foot? >> yes, ma'am. >> it hurt. yeah, my feet hurt, too. in fact, the balls of my feet burn continuously, and i feel like there's a nail being hammered into my right heel right now. so, i can understand pain and suffering and how service connection can actually cause long-term, unremitting, unyielding, unstoppable pain. so, i'm sorry that twisting your ankle in high school has now come back to hurt you in such a painful way, if also opportune for you to gain this status for your business as you were trying to compete for contracts. >> reporter: castillo could not
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recall exactly how he hurt his foot in 1984, though it didn't stop him from going on to play quarterback at the university of san diego. >> i believe the initial injury happened playing football. >> reporter: in an e-mail to i.r.s. procurement officials last year, castillo described his old injuries much more dramatically, as "crosses that i bear due to my service to our great country. i would do it again to protect this great country." >> i'm so glad that you would be willing to play football in prep school again to protect this great country. shame on you, mr. castillo. shame on you. you may not have broken any laws, but you certainly broke the trust of this great nation. you broke the trust of veterans. iraq and afghanistan veterans right now are waiting an average of 237 days for an initial disability rating. >> reporter: castillo did not defend himself very vigorously today, though he did claim that he has had to have several surgeries on his foot. it was clear, scott, that members of congress were trying to make something of an example out of castillo to other would-
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be federal contractors who are thinking about massaging the rules. >> pelley: that was something, nancy. thanks very much. nelson mandela remains in critical condition tonight. the former south african president is 94. our sources tell us that he's now on life support and has suffered multiple organ failures. jacob zuma, the current president, visited mandela today. summa has also canceled a trip to mozambique. there was high political drama last night in texas. we'll take you inside the battle over abortion next. [ male announcer ] this is george. the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain... and a choice. take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief.
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side managed to stop her and begin the vote on new abortion restrictions. ( cheers ) >> if we can have oqtije chamber so that the members can properly cast their vote. >> reporter: but the objections from abortion rights supporters in the gallery grew so loud, senators could not hear the gavel or roll call. >> wendy! wendy! wendy! >> reporter: order was restored and the bill approved, but too late to beat the midnight deadline. >> members, it's now past midnight. >> reporter: depending on your point of view, the political theater has helped make the state senator from fort worth a heroine or villain. she became a single mom at 19 and put herself through harvard law school. >> i have a deep, abiding understanding of what it means to come from a place of doing without. >> reporter: your critics would argue that the bill you stopped would have actually helped women by making sure that abortions happened in hospital-type surgical facilities.
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>> you know, what's so interesting about that is that throughout the debate, not once could the members who were advancing the bill demonstrate that that would create a safer climate for women, or that there was an existing safety problem within the existing clinical climate today. when a light is shined, there is victory, because what comes behind that is empowerment of people to make a different choice in their leadership. >> reporter: davis told us she is prepared to filibuster again, but, scott, people here say it's all but certain the abortion restriction bill has the votes and time it needs to pass in the next special session. >> pelley: manuel, thank you very much. n.f.l. pro bowl tight end aaron hernandez was charged with murder today. police took him away from his home outside boston. hernandez is accused of shooting a friend, odin lloyd. hernandez pleaded not guilty, and the patriots cut him right away.
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for generations, this island has been paradise, but will the next generation get to enjoy it? that's next.
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at expanding equal rights. y some lawmakers say "no way". nex kpix 5 weather talent appears at wx center with generic >> pelley: just yesterday, president obama unveiled a sweeping new plan to cut the pollution linked to climate change. if you want to see a clue of what has himself concerned, look no further than a small island off maryland's eastern shore. chip reid went there. >> reporter: by sunrise, pal bradshaw and his son, chad, were already on the water, hauling in blue crabs as the people of smith island, maryland, have done for generations. >> i don't know nothing else, you know, and i hope i do it until i can't no more. >> reporter: in the middle of the chesapeake bay, smith island is reachable only by boat.
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>> at one time, more than 1,000 working skipjacks sailed chesapeake bay. >> reporter: cbs has been documenting life here since 1965. oysters and crabs were thriving and the population was about 850. but when we returned in 1990, there were barely half as many. >> its people, 450 of them, live on the water. >> reporter: by 1999, it was down to 350, crabs and oysters were suffering due to pollution, and the island itself was washing away. >> there were five houses right in the line there. >> reporter: jennings evans was the island's unofficial historian. 14 years later, at 82, he still is. evans says the population now is less than 200. with your own eyes, you can actually see this island slowly disappearing. >> yeah, and i don't like to think of it. i can see the graveyard where i'm going to be laid one of these days-- pretty soon, i guess-- and seeing the water coming over.
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>> reporter: scientists at the university of maryland say the water level is rising in part because of climate change and that the island could disappear in 20-50 years. >> better safe than sorry. >> reporter: for high school seniors, including kyle tyler, the biggest decision is whether to go. >> i don't want to. that's for sure. i dread it. i dread it 100%. but i've got to move off and try to make some money. >> reporter: the bay can be kind and cruel. for nearly 200 years, it provided a way of life that it now threatens to take away. chip reid, cbs news, smith island, maryland. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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>> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald we'll take what we have today and keep moving forward. >> the rulings have been handed down. tonight, gay marriage supporters. >> we don't just tolerate diversity; we celebrate our diversity. >> and opponents. >> i think it's wrong and ugly. i don't like it. >> look down the road ahead. >> we will not rest until we have marriage equality throughout this country. >> whoo! >> good evening, i'm elizabeth cook. >> i'm ken bastida. we are live in san francisco's castro district on an historic day, not only in the united states but here in california for sure. the party is just beginning now. they have barricaded off castro at market and thousands of people have come down to celebrate today's supreme court ruling. and standing with me today is
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somebody with really some probably a perspective that most of us will never have. you were a political science major cleve jones at san francisco state university. we both went to school there and you interned for somebody by the name of supervisor harvey milk. >> that's right, ken. i got to this neighborhood in 1972 when it was still a pretty sleepy little village. and i got to know harvey and he mentored me. i was there in city hall the day he was killed. [ screamin in the background ] >> i lived through the neighborhood during the epidemic. we have survived and moved forward. >> reporter: what would harvey think if he saw what was going on and the case made it all the way to the u.s. supreme court and it came out in favor? >> harvey would be so proud of his people and our community here. but i think he would also understand that this ruling doesn't just benefit gay people. it strengthens our democracy. it strengthens the constitution. it's good for america.

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