CBS ‘Early Show’: Opposition to Gay Marriage = Japanese Internment

During Monday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Bill Whitaker reported on the marriage of actor George Takei to his partner Brad Altman, following California’s legalization of gay marriage: "George Takei, Sulu on the original Star Trek, used to dream of a future where unimaginable things would happen. Well, his dream came true. Sunday, he legally married his partner of 21 years, Brad Altman." However, later in the segment, Whitaker warned: "But their marriage Knot could be undone by a ballot initiative to, once again, ban gay marriage." Whitaker then made a comparison: "As a child, during World War II, Takei and his family were forcibly removed to internment camps with tens of thousands of other Japanese-Americans. He held his wedding at L.A.'S Japanese-American National Museum to make a point."Takei went on to explain to Whitaker: "We, as gay Americans, we've been stereotyped and characterized as something frightening and threatening, as Japanese-Americans were before the war." This is not the first time Takei’s comparison was featured on CBS, on June 16th’s Sunday Morning, a report by correspondent John Blackstone featured a quote from Takei: "I know that people can change because I grew up in -- behind the barbed wire fences of American internment camps. That was in my lifetime. And here I am now, a popular actor -- supported by many, many people throughout the country. America changes. America is made up of decent people, fair-minded people." Takei and Altman were also both quests on the Early Show on June 17 with co-host Julie Chen. At the end of Whitaker’s report, co-host Harry Smith declared: "And no matter what your perspective, just listening to them and what their conversation had to say about their commitment to each other and the sense of family they have...Hard not to respect that." Co-host Maggie Rodriguez agreed: "Absolutely." Later in the show, Smith interviewed wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, Lynne Cheney, on her latest children’s book, but still managed to work in a question about gay marriage. In reference to the Cheneys’ gay daughter, Smith asked: "Can I ask you another really personal question? Because we just ran the George Takei story. And because marriage is legal for gays in California now. Would you wish that for your daughter?" Cheney replied: "Well, I would wish my daughter to have happiness and freedom to make her own choices. The Vice President said in the debate with Joe Lieberman, ever so long ago in 2000, that freedom in this country ought to mean freedom for everyone."Here is the full transcript of the segment:

8:01AM TEASER:HARRY SMITH: And Mr. Sulu is beaming this morning. DAVE PRICE: I would imagine.SMITH: The 'Star Trek" reference. Mr. Sulu being-RODRIGUEZ: I get it, I get it.PRICE: Very good, Harry.SMITH: You know, same sex marriage is now legal in California and he and his partner over the weekend tied the knot and we'll have a report on that.DAVE PRICE: Congratulations to him. 8:19AM SEGMENT: SMITH: 'Star Trek's' Mr. Sulu has agreed to live long and prosper with his longtime partner. CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker has their story.BILL WHITAKER: George Takei, Sulu on the original Star Trek, used to dream of a future where unimaginable things would happen. Well, his dream came true. Sunday, he legally married his partner of 21 years, Brad Altman.GEORGE TAKEI: And I thought that I would never have marriage in my life.BRAD ALTMAN: We want the responsibilities of marriage. We want the enjoyment of marriage.WHITAKER: But, first, the frustration of wedding planning.ALTMAN: That is a sore point you're bringing up, Bill. I'll talk about anything but don't ask me about the planning of a wedding. That's sensitive. We didn't get a wedding planner.WHITAKER: Altman planned just about all of it. From the cake, to the fittings, to decorations, the rehearsal, and, yesterday, with two of Takei's 'Star Trek' co-stars Michelle Nichols and Walter Konig by their sides, Takei and Altman exchanged vows and rings. Spouses for life. TAKEI: Cloud nine isn't high enough. Cloud 90, I think.WHITAKER: Their relationship has been tested. When Takei's mother grew ill with Alzheimer's, work kept Takei so busy, Altman became her primary caregiver the last years of her life.TAKEI: I mean, that was the test of his love and I am eternally grateful and my love for him is that much deeper. ALTMAN: We're family.WHITAKER: Their legal marriage became possible this year when the California supreme court overturned the state ban on gay marriage. TAKEI: And when the news came down, I happened to have a mouthful of sandwich. It was lunch time. Suddenly, Brad dropped on his knees and he said-ALTMAN: 'George, will you marry me?' And you said? TAKEI: Darn it, you beat me to it!WHITAKER: But their marriage Knot could be undone by a ballot initiative to, once again, ban gay marriage. ALTMAN: On November 4th, California voters are going to decide whether our marriage remains legal or is null and void all of a sudden. And that's scary to me.WHITAKER: As a child, during World War II, Takei and his family were forcibly removed to internment camps with tens of thousands of other Japanese-Americans. He held his wedding at L.A.'S Japanese-American National Museum to make a point.TAKEI: We, as gay Americans, we've been stereotyped and characterized as something frightening and threatening, as Japanese-Americans were before the war. WHITAKER: The nullification of their marriage, an unimaginable future. Their fervent wish? TAKEI: Live longer and prosper. WHITAKER: Bill Whitaker, CBS News, Los Angeles.SMITH: And the couple will join us tomorrow morning for an exclusive live interview.RODRIGUEZ: I remember last time they joined us right after the -- gay marriage was legalized, they were so ecstatic.SMITH: So happy.RODRIGUEZ: Remember that?SMITH: And so interesting. And no matter what your perspective, just listening to them and what their conversation had to say about their commitment to each other and the sense of family they have.RODRIGUEZ: Right.SMITH: Hard not to respect that.RODRIGUEZ: Absolutely.
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC