tv MSNBC Live MSNBC June 26, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT
about how the next thing that will happen is that this needs to be recognized nationwide. you saw kris perry, one of the plaintiffs in the prop 8 decision saying this is for our kids, for us to be able to tell them we are married, we are equal, we are just like any other family. but this is also for kids in the south. this is also for kids in texas. this is for kids everywhere. this is the whole country. that is something that will now happen, there will need to be additional work done. but this path has been hacked through the jung and he will now it's just the matter of other people following. >> and it is about the law, of course. but there is also a level of emotion we have seen. we heard people talking about the celebrations, we have heard a proposal, something that doesn't happen on our air every day. and we have seen a genuine outpouring here. and it's not just an outpouring, obviously, for the couples who now, like this couple will be able to marry. but for their friends. and for their families who have seen them not be treated on an equal basis. >> to see people -- and what they are asking for is for their private relationship to have equal status with other people's
familiar private relationships. it is hard to demonize them for that. and we have very -- two fights in this country about gay marriage and interpretive language and insult and invehicle active thrown around. when you see a couple, monogamous settled married couple thapts the to be treated equally it is hard to turn them into bad guys. so whether or not you're gay, whether or not this is your life this is about or whether this is somebody you know, this is a quiet emotional moment more than it is one about fighting. >> rachel maddow who will have much more to say on the "rachel maddow show" tonight. i said it would be an all-star panel, thanks to all of you, as well as to pete williams. that's going to do it for me. i'm chris jansing. that's it for "jansing & company." thomas roberts next. >> our agenda coming up, the historic day we have been watching the past hour in the supreme court. >> the supreme court has declared the defense of marriage act, the federal defense of
marriage act, unconstitutional. the supreme court has decided that it cannot take up the challenge to california's proposition 8. i must say, this is also a great way for the supreme court not to have to decide the issue of same-sex marriage. it gives them an off-ramp. >> and there we have it. that was nbc justice correspondent, pete williams, minutes ago, announcing two labtd mark decisions from the united states supreme court with unprecedented impact on gay rights in this country. right now we're looking at live pictures from outside the high court as the biggest crowd that we have seen so far this week is there, celebrating. and we begin this breaking news from the supreme court. doma, the defense of marriage act, ruled unconstitutional. california's proposition 8, dead. let's first dig into that defeat on doma. the court in a 5-4 ruling finding it a violation of equal protection. and therefore, discriminatory. we're expecting a statement any minute now from the president. we'll have it for you when we get it. and in proposition 8, the court
deciding it cannot take up that case and finds the two couples involved did not have legal standing to bring the case. still, this is seen as a huge victory. it effectively kills proposition 8. means that marriage equality can now resume in california. here is the attorney for one of the plaintiffs just moments ago. >> today, the court said that i am more equal, that we are more equal, our love is just like our parents' and our grandparents' and that any children we may have in the future will be more secure. i look forward to growing old with the man i love. our desire to marry has only deepened the last four years, as has our love and commitment to one another. we look forward to using the words "married" and "husband" because those words do matter. they are important. >> it's a wonderful day for
america. because we have now taken this country another important step towards guaranteeing the promise that is in our constitution, in our declaration of independence, that all people are created equal, that all people have the inaleable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. >> live this hour, we have the prop 8 couple there, paul katami and jeff zalittlo. let's get into the defeat of doma, an hour ago ruled as being unconstitutional under equal protection. this was a 5-4 decision. anthony kennedy writing this. this has no impact on the state level. but explain how this gives the proper footing for more lawsuits on the state level. >> well, sometimes you have to really listen to the music just rather than the individual notes. it's true the legal ruling, 5-4, is just what you said. and that is if a state already recognizes a same-sex marriage, it violates the constitution for
the federal government not to recognize that marriage. it has to give them equal treatment, literally. but the theme of the decision, the underlying message, i think, is that these are marriages, these are relationships that are worthy of equal respect. and so while it doesn't give an actual legal ruling that would give you a constitutional right to a same-sex marriage in a state that doesn't recognize it, it really does send a powerful message to the country that this is something that deserves fair treatment in the minds of the supreme court. >> again, under equal protection. that is huge. but as we talk about prop 8, that being effectively dead, but going back to california, a punt back to the west coast, because the court said they didn't have the standing to be before them. explain that. >> sure thing. there is a little bit of confusion here. standing is the ability to go into court. and there are two kinds of standing at issue here. one is the couples that wanted to get a same-sex marriage in california, and their standing is unquestioned. they had the right to bring the
lawsuit in california, saying proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. but then the state refused to defend the statute, so the people who had advocated for prop 8 and came in and said we'll ebbs plain explain to the courts why it should be banned. today the supreme court said they can't defend the statute. so that the court of appeals ruling invalidating proposition 8 and any supreme court ruling on proposition 8 is off the table. now that sounds like a bunch of different courts involved. here is the bottom line. the trial court ruling invalidating proposition 8 stands. it doesn't cover all of california. it doesn't mandate what every court clerk necessarily has to do in california. but there is a ruling on the books today that there is a right to same-sex marriage in california, and so if you are a couple in california, you can use that ruling, go to a court clerk and ask to be married. they may or may not give it to you. but certainly there are court clerks with a backing of the state's governor and state's attorney general that want to issue these marriage licenses. now, that doesn't mean in another state, in idaho, in
texas, in some other state, that that ruling helps those couples today. that's going to be more legal fights for another day. but on the whole, you would have to say that gay rights, lgbt advocates, got as much as they conceivably could have hoped for from a very conservative supreme court. >> tom goldstein outside of the supreme court there from scotus. i think we can hear the singing from the steps. joining me, more reaction to our breaking news, rachel maddow. good to have you here. i've been watching your coverage in the earlier hour. as we watch this news unfolding, striking down the federal defense of marriage act, i can't help but notice it comes on the anniversary of the lawrence v. texas decision that struck down sodomy laws and unlocked what it meant for same-sex couples to not be criminals in the privacy of their own homes. and that sweeping opinion was written by justice anthony kennedy, as well. as we see this with its doma decision, do you think that today's ruling on that
anniversary was intentional? >> it's interesting. i don't know how much the justices try to hit anniversaries. it is striking it's not just anniversary, but the ten-year anniversary. i'm also struck, thinking back on lawrence v. texas, as anthony kennedy who wrote that decision, made people realize that although this is a conservative court and kennedy is a conservative justice, he does have a sense of pro -- he has pro equality sentiments when it comes to gay rights matters. the other thing that happened, though, in that decision ten years ago, thomas, scalia wrote one of the most angry dissents we have ever seen on any issue. another today. but when he disented in lawrence v. texas ten years ago, scalia said, angrily with an exclamation points in all caps, this is going to lead to gay marriage. and he was really angry. but he was right. and you heard david boies on the steps of the supreme court with his arms around his client
speaking so eloquently how this process started ten years ago when it was clear that being gay was not a criminal status and could not be made such. that that was the start down the path toward recognizing the equal rights of full citizenship. he said it is a path not complete but where it leads is full marriage rights and in complete, complete equal rights of all kinds for gay people in this country. nationwide. he says that's where the path starts and ends. >> as we talk about full marriage equality rights, doma is obviously huge today and proposition 8 is a win as well. rachel, a lot of people looking at what proposition 8 might mean, basically a key to unlock the country. like loving versus virginia back in 1967 when it ruled that interracial marriage, the ban against it was illegal so there was no reason for other states to draft any type of law against it. but this really encapsulates california in the fact that it already ran up the chain there and was deemed to be unconstitutional, but it doesn't extend beyond those borders. >> right.
and so we do have a very interesting patchwork system right now, where we've got marriage rights in california, we've got marriage rights overall in 12 states and we've got federal marriage rights. but we still have unequal recognition of marriages between same-sex couples and opposite sex couples in 38 other states. it's a very untenable situation in practical terms for couples. it's also an untenable legal situation. as tom just said. listen, these are legal fights for another day in terms of whether or not a utah couple whose marriage is recognized federally, and say in the military and in the va system and all these other ways, isn't recognized at the state level. they will start bringing suit about that right away. what i'm curious to know from legal experts here, whether there is direction in these rulings today that tells us how the federal courts will rule when those couples that are treated unequally still, even under these rulings today, bring -- contest that in the courts. i'm not sure we know that yet, if only because the decisions are so long, nobody has gotten
through them all the way. but this is -- this as an argument is over. it's just a question of whether or not we see the consequences all fall into place in short-term or whether it takes longer. >> reflectively, as we look back on the rulings we have gotten this week concerning affirmative action, the voting rights act, and now doma and proposition 8, is it a balancing act that we're seeing here over the legacy of the roberts court? because affirmative action was put on notice. the voting rights act was basically gutted. doma is -- is in effect actively unconstitutional, prop 8 is dead. so it almost seems as if there was a balancing act pulled off here. >> you know, i don't want to read too much into what we know about the personalities of the justice, in part because i don't know any of them. but i think what we've got here, thomas, is we've got a really conservative court with a really conservative majority. and we've got anthony kennedy thinking he's pro gay rights. so anthony kennedy makes these decisions with an eye toward history, where the country is going, ought to go, and we've got a conservative majority that makes conservative decisions,
including on civil rights cases, except for kennedy's sympathy toward the rights of same-sex couples. i think that's where we are as a country. i don't think this means we have a liberal supreme court. i think i think we've got a couple decisions that lead us toward a more equal country. >> historic on the justice front. rachel maddow, we've got you is up so early, i'm keeping you for later in the show. thanks so much. really great to have you here. joining me right now is new york senator, kirsten gillibrand, helped push the repeal of doervet a don't ask, don't tell and the congressman from wisconsin, openly gay member. senator, what is your reaction to this decision today, and will you push for a legislative repeal as we move forward, as we have seen you do with don't ask, don't tell, but for how states need to look at marriage equality in the country. >> i think today is a historic day for the nation. and a real affirmation of our core values, of equality,
justice and fairness for everyone. it means so much. we know strong families are founded on strong marriages. and today's decision says that all loving couples can have that civil right of being able to marry the person they love. i couldn't be more elated. i couldn't be more excited. but it doesn't mean congress doesn't have work to do. we still have to heart atta mak clarify these rights and privileges and this protection we have just assured on equal protection grounds is able to be assured in every state. while states can decide who gets married, about a third of the country is now living in states where they can get married if they're an lgbt couple. what we are saying, we want to make sure the protections we have just assured can be assured regardless of where somebody lives. >> congressman, we have seen a huge change politically on this issue from president obama coming out in support of marriage equality last summer, to now the 12 different states, the district of columbia now supporting it, as well as california getting the right back for marriage equality. we have more members of congress
coming out in support of it. how do you expect that number to grow now on the heels of what we have seen from the supreme court, especially on the republican side? >> well, the public has clearly been where we need to be. they support marriage equality. 58% of the country. as the senator said, 93 million people live in states where they can be legally married now, thanks to this decision. so i think you're going to see the leaders coming along and following where the public is at. we're really overvo overjoyed t. i couldn't be happier. >> i want to say thanks to both of you. certainly a huge day for your country. and i do appreciate your time. i want to tell you, though, nancy pelosi is going to be making a statement on doma and what the high court has done. we're going to have that for you coming up roughly around 11:30. joining me right now, i'm happy to introduce to you two of the plaintiffs from the prop 8 case, sandy stier and kris perry, both speaking from the steps moments ago.
kris, let me start with you. you were very emotional in thanking everyone and also talking about going back to your four boys, most importantly, to let them know their family is just as important as other american families across this country. is that you are most looking forward to seeing on the heels of this decision, your kids? >> well, the most important person to see would be sandy, because we have been in this battle now for four and a half years. and together we share that commitment to our kids, all four of them. and we are really actually dying to see them. but even in addition to our own kids, we are so elated over the way in which this helps all kids in california, growing up today, they don't have to live under the tyranny of a law that tells them they are less equal than everybody else. sandy and i could not be happier that we have left a legacy in california for all kids to feel equal. >> not only have you left a legacy, you've left a legacy around the country.
i think i see chad griffin from the hrc talking on the telephone, which i believe is with president obama. chad is right there. >> the president is on the line from air force one. >> president obama. >> go ahead. >> hello, mr. president this is kris perry. >> and sandy stier, and we thank you so much for your support. >> we're proud of you guys, and we're proud to have this in california. and it's because of your leadership things are heading the right way. so you should be very proud today. and, you know, you're -- through your courage. >> thank you, mr. president! >> have a great celebration. >> well, thank you, and while we celebrate today, we know we've got to roll up our sleeves and get to work for those in the 37 states that didn't get marriage equality today. but we're well on our way.
and thank you for your leadership. >> you're invited to the wedding. >> okay. >> bye-bye. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you. >> bye-bye. >> sandy, kris, i see you have chad with you, as well as jeff zarillo and tom katami, an enormous call from the president saying we are proud of and you thank you for your leadership. obviously, you had the support of the white house all along. >> i think we've had the support of the whole country. and the president, along with his leadership and so many others, i'm looking at the nation's capitol right now. we have the supreme court behind us. so many leaders in this country recognize that the future of our country, the prosperity of our country, lies in the enforcement of equality and fairness. that is what brings us together as a nation. i know our president believes that. i believe many other leaders in this country believe it. i know sandy and i believe it. it could not be a prouder moment. >> sandy, what is the plan for a
wedding? correct? >> well, the plan is for a wedding. as soon as we possibly can. we don't know quite yet when that's going to be in california. but the second it's allowed, we will definitely be there with our beautiful sons. and we're so, so grateful to be able to get married. we're grateful we're getting married before any of them, because they're old enough now. and we're amazed by this amazing show of support by our president. >> were you prepared for an alternative outcome today? were you prepared for different news? i saw jeff when he came to the podium, he had a secondary speech that he crumpled up. with understanding. that it might not have turned out this way. >> it might not have. i was hoping so much to have a ruling on the merits, i hoped nothing more than for equality for all americans and every state of our country. equality is fundamental to the very basis of our society, and we look forward to the day when we have that, every state in the country, full equality. >> kris, does this also mean --
i guess an extra-special moment in time because of what we witnessed with doma and what that means for now an 83-year-old civil rights icon for the lgbt community, edie windsor. >> edie windsor is a hero. she absolutely did something for this country few people have ever done. she stood up for everybody. we're really proud to be in court on the day her case was also in court and we're even more proud that the justices saw their way to putting marriages on an equal platform in not only states but across this country. edie windsor is a hero. we could not be prouder to be involved in this on the same day as doma. >> we say thank you and congratulations to both of you ladies. we'll let you get back, because i know a lot more people want to talk to you. an incredible moment there to watch president obama talking to you from air force one and congratulating you. thank you so much for sharing that moment with all of us. ladies, thank you. rachel maddow is joining me now from the studio. rachel, sorry, i'm a little
flustered. i don't normally get president obama talking on an iphone -- >> you got bogarted on your own show by the president through somebody's iphone on speakerphone. >> i kind of like it. my producer was like can you ask the president if he has anything to say on msnbc and i thought i'll just wait on that one. >> sir, can i get a comment on your climate change speech? >> just a quick question. i let it go. but that was an amazing moment. these women obviously -- they will go down in history, as well, along with edie windsor, civil rights icons for just american equality in general, but especially for the lgbt community. >> yeah. and the personal stories here are interesting and strategically important. i mean, the edie windsor case, obviously is such a moving case. there was a documentary made about edie windsor and thea spyer before they were the plaintiffs in this case because they were such an inspiring couple anyway. they were together 44 years before thea spyer died but their lawyer, not a supreme court litigator.
she was the personal lawyer hired by edie windsor having financial planning trouble trying to figure out this tax bill she never expected. and roberta caplin took that case. she is a high-power lawyer but not one of these guys who argue these cases, took it all the way for them as their personal lawyer. the famous adversaries in bush v. gore on the opposite side identified with partisan politics on the left and right coming together and having both the same personal commitment and the incredibly deeply forged friendship between them as straight men on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum taking on this fight on the prop 8 case. i mean, these fights have been remarkable fights and movies will be made about the personal drama here as well as the consequences. >> certainly will. we've got reaction flowing in. we'll have that coming up. rachel, i'm going to ask you to stick around. supreme court decisions certainly momentous. we'll have chad griffin, president of the human rights campaign joining us. you saw him right there talking
on the phone with president obama when he had the prop 8 plaintiffs around there to get the congratulations of the president. we also have lieutenant governor of california, gavin newsome joining the program. also this hour, i will have paul and jeff. those are the other prop 8 plaintiffs, and there they are right there coming up to speak, as well. and at noon eastern time, 83-year-old doma plaintiff, edie windsor, is going to be giving her own scheduled live conference on the steps of the supreme court. she is an amazing woman, so you've got to stay tuned for that. >> it's been a long road. many years but gosh, feels good to have love triumph over ignorance. >> this is a major victory, judge walker's decision striking down proposition 8 now stands because there was no standing. marriage equality is going to be back in california very soon. well now i'm her dietitian... ...and last year, she wasn't eating so well.
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welcome back, everybody. the historic morning we have been following for you here on msnbc from the u.s. supreme court. live pictures right there, where we've received these two landmark decisions today on doma and prop 8. doma deemed unconstitutional. prop 8 is dead. joining me now, the two other plaintiffs in the prop 8 case, paul katama and jeff zarillo, rachel maddow agreed to stick around with me. we have watched you with president obama calling from air force one on an iphone. that doesn't happen every day. how are you feeling about what just happened from the u.s. supreme court, but moreover, what it means for the two of you when you go back to california? >> we felt great. and that call was amazing. unfortunately, the call came in as blocked so i don't have the number to return the call. but today felt amazing. not only with our decision, but with the windsor decision, listening to justice kennedy's eloquent words, talking about how important equality and equal dignity and fairness is to all gay and lesbian couples. and then listening to the chief read about our decision and how,
you know, you just can't come into court, you know, when you don't have standing and argue just because you disagree with something, you disagree with someone's lifestyle. so we're really excited, we're really stoked to get back to california and celebrate. and also to get married. i don't know if you heard that he proposed to me on national tv. >> i did. i heard that. paul, were you prepared to maybe not make that proposal today? psychologically, emotionally, if the court had gone in a different direction? >> you know, we were. we were prepared for everything, but i think deep in our hearts we knew the root of all of this was equality. and we stood in a building where it says equal justice under the law. and that always gave us a sense of optimism and pride, that we would be able to have a victorious day today. we're not forgetting we're lucky to be where we are and in california. there is a lot more work to be done. and we hope that very soon every other couple like jeff and i across the country can feel the same way. >> paul and jeff, this is rachel maddow. i've got to say, congratulations on this case. >> thank you.
>> and your decision to be part of it, your decision to help fight this out. why did you know, why did you believe, that your relationship was the right one to be on the masthead here? why did you guys decide to be plaintiffs, knowing the pressure and the time commitment it would mean from you as individuals and as a couple to fight this fight on so many other people's behalf? >> it was just too important not to. in 2008 when we elected the first african-american president, it was a glorious day. but later that night, it was a horrible night when the return for prop 8 came in, saying we were going to be treated as seco second-class citizens. and we just could not fathom being treated like that anymore. and thanks to the national organization on marriage for putting out a very discriminatory ad filled with lies and misrepresentations that we saw, and we stood up and paul stood up off the couch and said that's it, we've got to do something. >> once in a while in your life, something happens where there is no option. the option is only to move forward. you have to work with what you have to progress.
and we were -- the damage of being prohibited, the language of marriage and the rights of marriage, was so overwhelming, and after prop 8 passed, it just kind of welled up inside of us, we never talked about it to each other. we knew we wanted to get married but assumed we would never have the right. so after prop 8, it really turned our anger into action and we were able to take that forward and we are happy and proud and lucky to be a part of this case. >> jeff, i have to ask a clarifying question. we all heard paul very clearly ask you to marry him. and you responded as best we could tell by turning around and smooching him. but we didn't actually hear an affirmative yes or maybe or i'll think about it. i don't know if you wanted to clarify that for the record? >> i will clarify with a resounding yes. >> all right. >> excellent. >> you better of the. >> gentlemen, thanks so much. i want to ask you to stand by because we have the president of the hrc, chad griffin, also known as the man with the iphone, that has president obama on the other end from air force one. chad, this is certainly a historic day not only for the
human rights campaign, for what you started in taking on the fight with prop 8, a lot of people might not recognize the fact that you were the one that helped spearhead the legal challenges to that. what does today mean to you? >> you know, today all i can think of is that young person today in fresno, california or bakersfield, california who is reading tweets or watching online or on television and seeing this historic decision today. seeing proposition 8 and doma fall and crumble, quite frankly. these two discriminatory pieces of legislation were really the symbols of discrimination in this country. and to see them fall and fall in the way they did today advances us forward greatly and says to that young person in fresno or bakersfield, that they too are equal. they aren't second-class citizens anymore in california. but it also says to that young person, in hope, arkansas or, altoona, pennsylvania that
marriage equality is coming to them very soon. and we will fight like we have never fought before to ensure that this victory reaches all 50 states in this country. >> chad, this is rachel maddow in new york. thank you for so much for this and congratulations on this hard-fought battle. i wonder if the way this has gone thus far, the way these arguments played out all the way up the legal chain, to the supreme court today gave you any strategic insight into how to persuade more people who disagree with this decision? thinking about altoona, pennsylvania, arkansas, thinking about places the majority of states in this country that still have an overt ban on recognizing same-sex relationships. did you learn anything in this process about how to win those people over to your side, or is this -- are we in a difficult position now where they just have to accept defeat? >> no. there is no question, rachel i'm one who believes that everyone evolves. if you talk to folks in the language they speak and you speak to folks with a personal story, you know, harvey milk
said it so long ago. it may have taken us too long to realize it. but if we come out and we come out in our workplaces and we acknowledge who we are, and then we come out at our places in our communities, in our churches and our schools, then ultimately our neighbors, our friends, our allies, come along with us. because when you know us, you don't want to discriminate against us. and i have to say, i think one of the great legacies of this case is the pairing of ted olson, someone from the conservative right, with david boies, a prominent democratic attorney from the left. by putting them together, it allowed us lift the partisan veil from which he have always discussed this issue and finally shine the spotlight on the human faces, the faces of our plaintiffs, of their kids and of the thousands upon thousands of americans situated just like them. and i think that's our lesson. keep telling our stories. and we don't write off anyone. even governor wallace evolved at
the end. so too, i believe, will the rest of this country. >> chad griffin, thanks so much. chad, we understand you're going to be flying back to california. there is a party tonight, correct? >> this entire team is on our way to california to celebrate tonight. and tomorrow morning i wake up and fly to salt lake city, utah to a red state. >> all right. and jeff and paul, we understand you're going to be on your way back to california as well with other plaintiffs in the case, sandy and kris. but thank you all for the hard work you have invested in this. we do want to know wedding day details. because now you're on the hook. >> i'll hold him to it. >> gentlemen, thanks all very much. joining us now on-set, senator christine quinn and mayoral candidate in the city. your reaction. >> what a great day. it's just thrilling to have both of these cases, and particularly i have got to take a little home-town pride, edie windsor, a new yorker, have struck down doma. and think of what this woman did. after probably one of the worst
losses in her life, her beloved wife, who she had taken care of through a lengthy illness. she gets a $300,000 tax bill, complete kick in the tukus from the federal government. and she could have -- no one could have blamed her, curled up in a ball. and she said no. not in my country. and that bravery, that strength of this teeny, tiny little new yorker has brought down doma. >> i was going to say, she is 5'1", all bravery. an amazing woman. i know dates are really important and stone wall, the 44th anniversary comes up friday. it's amazing to think in 44 years how far the country has come, how far it still needs to go. but what do you think that doma and prop 8 now means to the country's national conversation that still needs to be had in so many states that -- where marriage equality is either unconstitutional or just not on the books being discussed so far? >> these are huge steps forward, both these victories, but they're not the ultimate win. there is still work to do. but i think it changes the conversation. because it gives us a very
strong supreme court foundation to stand on, to have that conversation with people. so when people are going to try to be like, oh, you don't deserve it. oh, you're not equal, oh, you're not this. you're not full americans. it's like, yeah, talk to the supreme court. that changes everything. and i also think what chad said was very important. these cases are about laws. the way they played out, they were about people. they were about those two men. they were about edie and her late wife. and that really does change the conversation, because you may think whatever you think about doma. but how can you not love edie windsor? how can you not have your heart, you know, filled with love and sorrow for her loss? so that changes in a legal, a fundamental and a human way, in my opinion, the conversation. >> i think it's interesting, too. i mean, for us sitting here, first of all, three gay people, discussing openly gay people discussing this on national television, is itself a moment. but edie windsor is also not somebody who came up as an activist. >> no.
>> she is not somebody out her whole life looking for a case. she lived privately, closeted almost her entire life. and this struggle came upon her because of a private matter that she never intended to turn into a public fight. she made it into a public fight because she had to. but this is not something she sought out. and i think that mirrors this overall case within this overall issue within the gay rights struggle. >> that's right. >> the struggle to get married is not the most revolutionary idea. it's a very traditional movement. i was on the left side of the gay movement coming up in the '80s and '90s thinking you know what, i'm not sure marriage is my fight. i'm still not sure that marriage personally for me is my fight. >> we're three openly gay people, two of us are married at this table. >> not me. i mean, it is -- it does raise the pressure on it. but it also means that, you know, this is a -- this is a small c conservative decision made by gay people, not trying to advance any liberationist agenda. and it's something that i think bridges a lot of divides that
might make people uncomfortable. >> and edie does that perfectly. she wasn't a radical. she wasn't even out most of her life. and this became something that her loss and then what the government did to her was just too much. >> yes. >> and that's often when great moments are born. ordinary people who just get pushed a little too far by the government. >> she did not confront the government. the government confronted her. it inserted itself into her private life that she had managed in an utterly reasonable way. and by the decision of doma to interfere in her private matter she ended up taking them on and winning. >> and can i just give her lawyer another big shoutout. >> i want to bring into this conversation, because if you are looking for someone to marry you ever, the man who married me and my husband, lieutenant governor -- newsome from california is joining us right now. i didn't know where he was going there. >> would be considered truly the grandfather of all of this. because it was in 2004 that you brought marriage equality as mayer of san francisco that started this down this path.
so what's your reaction to what we're seeing with proposition 8 as well as doma? >> well, it's a special moment. certainly. i mean, we're affirming not a supreme court decision. we're not affirming a legal brief. we are affirming people's lives, the ability to live their lives out loud. to live in dignity and to fall in love and be able to say "i do" and thomas you know this intimately. it's not just about couples themselves. it's about their loved ones, their brothers and sisters, their aunts and uncles, their kids and grandkids, whose lives are also affirmed. this is a special moment, and it's one substantive step on a journey that we all need to take to right the wrongs of those three dozen or so other states where we still have discrimination. >> so lieutenant governor, when is california going to start issuing marriage licenses once again? because there is nothing holding you back now. >> yeah. except it's just some clean-up. some legalese. i imagine within the next 30 days on the outside, hopefully
before that. so by the end of july, we should be celebrating people's marriages here in front of san francisco city hall, all up and down the state of california. even in the most conservative parts of our state. we'll no longer be discriminating based on sexual orientation. so 30 days on the outset. >> mr. lieutenant governor, when you look back at your decision to get out in some ways sort of ahead of the law, back a few years ago and starting marriages at city hall in san francisco, do you think that was the right decision? you're obviously advising caution now. nobody rush ahead and try to do anything today in california. wait until the legal clean-up happens. is that in recognition of how you feel looking back on your decision those years ago? >> yeah. i mean, i have maybe, you know -- maybe i need to be a more shrewd politician. but, you know, i'm a fan of real leaders like martin luther king and gandy and mandela and those folks about steps up and in and
not waiting around for things to change. it's interesting. every time i read on msnbc the scroll, it doesn't talk about ex president mandela. it talks about leader nelson mandela. we remember him for his moral authority, for stepping up and stepping in. guys like me, you know this, because you interview them, come and go, folks in elected office, formal authority, a dialectic by people on the outside constantly pushing us to do the right thing. and you've got to take that leap of faith. you've got to lean into that and step up and step in. i'm proud to have been a small part of that. what we're really celebrating are the extraordinary people, harvey milk's legacy, phyllis lion and del martin, at this day in and day out, exercising their moral authority to make the world a better place, a softer place where all of us can live our lives out loud. >> quickly, the statement we got from the white house. we did have the president on the iphone earlier in the hour, but now we have something more official. i applaud the supreme court's decision to strike down the defense of marriage act. this was discrimination
enshrined in law, attributed loving and gay and lesbian couples as a lesser class of people. the supreme court has righted that wrong and our country is better off for it. we are a people who have declared we are all created equal and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. this ruling is a victory for couples who long fought for equal treatment under the law for children's whose parents of marriages will be recognized rightly as legitimate. for families that at long last will get the respect they deserve and for friends who wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better. so we welcome today's decision and i directed the attorney general to work with other members of my cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including federal benefits and obligations is implemented swiftly and smoothly. on an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation's commitment to religious freedom is also vital. how religious institutions
define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. nothing about this decision which applies only to civil marriages changes any of that. this is a huge announcement, certainly, from the president. but lieutenant governor, when we talk about how someone in new york who might be married travels to alabama, that's not the case in terms of the geography of that state. is that the next big battle for the country to be able to have that protective marriage equality across border lines of states? >> yeah. well, that said, i mean -- that's why we have to put this in perspective. the doma question, still have to be worked out, and president will, of course, be in a unique position to exercise some executive leadership. but the broader issue of marriage equality, to your point, has hardly been met. the larger issues of gay rights met. we have a dozen states firmly on the side of equality. but we have three dozen that are not. this wasn't a decision on the
merits. it wasn't a decision that was nationwide. it wasn't a decision that was as impactful, for example, of the loving versus virginia decision of 1967 that overruled the laws denying interracial marriage in a dozen states. so we're going to have to get another crack. we've got to get back to the supreme court and we've got to continue the fight. it's just a reminder to everybody. the future is not just in front of you. it's inside of us. we all have to step up and step in. we can't be bystanders on this journey. final point, thomas. the extraordinary leadership of the president is not lost on me. here is someone in formal authority that exercised his moral authority. and he took a risk and leaned in. and i just want to grant his extraordinary leadership as a principle for all people in elected office to advance. it's not about us. again, we come and go. it's about principles that transcend and i really applaud the president for recognizing that. >> lieutenant governor of california, gavin newsome, aka, a fantastic universal life minister. gavin, thanks so much.
i really appreciate you being here. >> i was cheap. i was a good deal for you. >> a pair of cuff links and it will get you to the church on time. thank you, sir. i appreciate your time. and ladies, i really appreciate having both of you here. >> thank you very much. >> very important morning for our country. rachel maddow, thank you so much. speaker quinn, great to see you here. and we're going to leave you with a picture of the president talking from air force one on that iphone, chad griffin's iphone, talking to the plaintiffs, who had just come out of the supreme court and learning that they had seen history being made. doma ruled unconstitutional. prop 8 is dead. we're back after this. alec, for this mission i upgraded your smart phone. ♪ right. but the most important feature of all is... the capital one purchase eraser. i can redeem the double miles i earned with my venture card to erase recent travel purchases. and with a few clicks, this mission never happened. uh, what's this button do? [ electricity zaps ] ♪ you requested backup? yes.
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[ female announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. the president is on the line from air force one. go ahead. >> hello, mr. president, this is kris perry. >> and sandy stier and we thank you so much for your support. >> well, we're proud of you guys, and we're thrilled to have this in california.
and it's because of your leadership, things are going right. so you should be very proud today. and, you know, you're -- through your courage, you're helping out a whole lot of people. >> thank you, mr. president. >> i hope you have a great celebration. >> well, thank you. and while we celebrate today, we know we've got to roll up our sleeves and get to work for those in the 37 states that didn't get marriage equality today. but we're well on our way. and thank you for your leadership. >> you're invited to the wedding. >> okay. >> bye-bye. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you! >> that was the historic moment just earlier this hour where president obama called from air force one there on the phone of hrc president chad griffin talking to the prop 8 plaintiffs there, all four of them. after the historic morning we have seen from the supreme court. where they have ruled doma to be unconstitutional. prop 8 did not have the standing to be there, which means it gets kicked back to the state of
california where it was deemed by their courts to be unconstitutional. and marriage equality will now return to the state of california. ted butros is one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs there. we saw him earlier with our pete williams throughout the morning as these rulings were coming down. ted, this certainly has to be a relief to know that these rulings went the way that it needed to go for the investment for the equality of your plaintiffs. congratulations to you. >> thank you so much, thomas. we are ecstatic. this say major win. 40% of the population now has marriage equality with proposition 8 dead in the water. we couldn't be more excited for our plaintiffs, for the country. this is a great day. thank you so much for having me on. >> did you recognize early on that there would be a standing issue, because a lot of people have said they were surprised that the supreme court took this up because of that issue being raised from the onset.
>> we knew from the very beginning that standing could be an issue. and that it could be a way to win the case. so we weren't surprised by this ruling. and so we're very happy with how it turned out. >> in comparison to what we how turned out. >> in comparison to what we saw from doma, how do these two compliment, these rulings, prop 8 and doma, compliment one another? >> well, the doma case set the framework for future cases to strike down marriage equality restrictions in this country, so i think it's very important. and the two cases together i think are going to be extremely important for establishing equality throughout this nation going forward. so together it's a blockbuster day for equality in this country. >> when we look back consensually on loving versus virginia in 1967 where the supreme court ruled unanimously that the virginia law banning interrationale marriage was unconstitutional, that blocked the country.
california, a lot of people speculated, if the supreme court did go ahead and give a strict up or down ruling on it would unlock the country. so is there some disappointment that they didn't come back with a more broad ruling? >> not at all, thomas. we're very happy. if you look at the rationale in the doma cases -- the doma case and you apply that to proposition 8 and other rulings, it's a huge victory. we're very happy. we're not disappointed at all. >> ted, when we hear about the lieutenant governor of california on talking about there will be some cleanup necessary once california gets the legalese of this, is it your estimation that marriage licenses could be resumed by august? >> absolutely. we think that that will happen quickly. the governor and attorney general will move swiftly to bring marriage back to california so we say let the marriages begin as soon as possible. >> ted who is one of the attorneys representing one of
the plaintiffs for prop 8. again, ted, congratulations to you and thanks for joining me today. i appreciate your time. >> thank you so much. >> absolutely. for more impact on these decisions i want to bring in melissa harris-perry, host of the melissa harris-perry show right here on msnbc. your reaction to the supreme court decision on doma and prop 8. it's been a rocky week for rulings from the supreme court especially when we consider affirmative action kind of put on notice and what we got about the vra. >> i wanted to be careful. i feel so bad coming to this point because it's been celebratory the whole time. it's an amazing day. there's so much to celebrate. we have to be very careful and pause here because as much as those of us who are allies of this movement and those of us who have been working hard on the question of marriage equality would like to read this in the broadest sense, what the court did wasn't to affirm the fundamental equality of american citizens to say that everyone has a deep and equal right to marry, that love will conquer
all. that's not what the supreme court said even though that may be how we read it. what they did all week long from the beginning to the end of the week so far is to gut the power of the federal government. so in this case the federal government using its power to stand in the way of equality in the case of doma, but the way that they strike it down is basically to send this right back to the state. now at the moment the state's been doing better, right? 12 states with marriage equality doing better than the federal government was doing because of this egregious law. it also means that if you live in a state like mine, louisiana, alabama, it looks as though marriage may be even farther away in part because the same argument that just overturned doma could also potentially make it impossible for the federal government to pass a law that says marriage equality is the law of the land in all 50 states. >> melissa, i'm going to get this on really quickly, i was handed a note from harry reid who is saying this is a grave historic day for equality in
america, that the fact that the court's decision gives same-sex couples and their families the equality that they deserve. it is interesting to get the reactions that we are getting in this morning. as you say, there needs to be a pause and reflection to be able to look at all of this and obviously there is excitement, but to see how the court is looking at diversity in the country and where equality might be on a fault line. >> i love that language of the fault line because remember, of course, that prop 8 was passed on the same night that there was the election of barack obama and there was that agony within the progressive coalition of having elected the first black president and at the same time having denied equality to guy californians. on a week like this where the dra is gutted, where it's taking away the equality, this is not just a race issue, this could potentially mean lots of categories of people, including transgender people and others who don't have the kind of i.d.
that would be necessary in all of these states that are now going to go forward with voter i.d. we cannot let the coalition fall apart now. >> right. >> what did not happen this week is that the supreme court did not say we're for equality for lgbt individuals but not for these other groups. no, they gutted the power of the federal government to protect anyone's equality. it's good for this progressive coalition. we have to keep this coalition together and not let it splinter. >> certainly with civil rights actions and the progress we've made on that front, it didn't do away with racism. this won't do away with homophobia in this country. melissa harris-perry, thank you for being on. it's been an epic hour. >> it has. >> to close it out with you is like dessert. thank you so much. we can always see melissa on her own show, melissa harris-perry every saturday and sunday morning right here on msnbc. nerd land all the way. that's going to wrap things up for me. thanks so much for your time. this has been an incredible hour.
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shopping for strawberries now. find fresh berries and all your quality produce backed by our money back guarantee. walmart. the supreme court now pronounces man and man, wife and wife, or man and wife. whoever you are, you can get married. it's wednesday, june 26th, and your happily ever after begins now. i'm joy reid in for alex wagner today. in a huge victory for supporters of gay rights, the supreme court today struck down the federal defense of marriage act and issued a ruling in california's proposition 8 case that will pave the way for the resumption of same-sex marriages in the golden state. the news was greeted with joy by demonstrators outside the court who had lined up early this morning in anticipation of the
decision. the 5-4 doma ruling was written by swing justice anthony kennedy who was joined by the four more liberal members of the court in arguing that the 1996 law was unconstitutional as a matter of equal protection under the law. kennedy wrote doma's is to protect a disadvantaged, separate status and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the state. the effect of the ruling is that the federal government must now recognize the same-sex marriages currently allowed by 12 states and the district of columbia. as a result of the court's other technical ruling on prop 8, those 12 states will now be joined by california bringing the total number of states allowing same-sex marriages to 13. david boyce reacted to the decision. >> this is a great day for