CBS’s Rodriguez Shows Support for Gay Marriage

On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez interviewed ‘Star Trek’ actor George Takei and his partner Brad Altman about their wedding following California legalizing gay marriage and asked: "George, how was the wedding? Was it everything you dreamed of?" At the end of the segment, Takei declared: "And may sweet equality live long and prosper," making the Star Trek Vulcan hand sign. Rodriguez showed her solidarity, making the hand sign back and replying: "Let me do it. Same to you." [audio excerpt here]

During the segment, Rodriguez asked about the California ballot initiative designed to overturn the state supreme court’s decision to legalize gay marriage: "But there's this proposition on the November ballot, which you're very familiar with, Proposition 8, that may allow California voters to essentially nullify your marriage if they vote for it. George, talk about what that would mean for your marriage and for you emotionally." Takei replied by denouncing the ballot initiative, yet praising democracy:

Well, first of all, we're not going to let it get there, we're going to fight it tooth and nail. Because it's against the basic fundamental ideals of democracy. You know, we're a pluralistic society and there are many, many faiths and beliefs here. Now we respect everybody's faiths, their right to their beliefs. But there's no right for any one faith group to write those -- their own particular beliefs into civil law that applies to everyone. That's not democracy. That's not the way it works in the American way. And we are going to make sure that democracy prevails here.

Rodriguez followed up: " So does that mean that you're going to try to keep it from ever getting on the ballot or you're going to make sure it doesn't pass?" Takei explained: "Oh, no. It is on the ballot." Rodriguez then asked: "That you cannot change?...So what you're going to do -- So how will you fight it? Will you start a petition or something?"

Maggie Rodriguez, CBS Altman later added: "I'm optimistic that Proposition 8's going to be defeated on November 4th on the California ballot." Takei then warned of potential unfair opposition:

However, you know, I warn everybody that we must not be confident. We've got to fight and run scared, because we don't know what kind of last-minute campaign they're going to throw at us. That's the way it happens in elections, and so we've got to be prepared. We're vigorously raising funds. We asked our guests for no gifts, but contributions to the HRC Wedding Registry and also to the Japanese American National Museum where we got married. It's -- and we got married in the democracy forum. We -- very consciously we chose that venue because we wanted our union to be in the forum of democracy.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

8:30AM TEASER:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Also coming up, 'Star Trek's' Mr. Sulu, George Takei got married, he married his long-time partner in California and this morning they're going to join us for an exclusive interview.

DAVE PRICE: That is very cool.

8:40AM SEGMENT:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: As we learned over the weekend, George Takei, Mr. Sulu from 'Star Trek,' married his longtime partner Brad Altman. They join us exclusively this morning from Los Angeles. Gentlemen, good morning and congratulations.

BRAD ALTMAN: Thank you very much.

GEORGE TAKEI: Good morning.

RODRIGUEZ: George, how was the wedding? Was it everything you dreamed of?

TAKEI: It was exquisite. It was magical. It's something we're going to remember for the rest our lives.

RODRIGUEZ: Brad, you've been married two whole days now. So how's married life?

ALTMAN: It's great but we've been busy sending out thank you e-mails to all of the musicians and singers and entertainers that helped make our wedding the best day of our lives.

TAKEI: He is obsessed with details.

RODRIGUEZ: A lot of people there or-

ALTMAN: About 200 people. It was a packed house.

RODRIGUEZ: Oh wow, big, big wedding. So let me ask you, George, what does this change legally?

TAKEI: It has made us equal to everybody and that makes a world of difference. We feel just fantastic.

RODRIGUEZ: Give me some examples, Brad, of how it has made you equal in the eyes of the law.

ALTMAN: Well, it's like any -- we're a long-term, well-established couple, we've been together more than 21 years and now in California we have marriage equality. Marriage is a fundamental right for all Californians and I'm legal and George is my husband and it makes a world of difference.

RODRIGUEZ: But there's this proposition on the November ballot, which you're very familiar with, Proposition 8, that may allow California voters to essentially nullify your marriage if they vote for it. George, talk about what that would mean for your marriage and for you emotionally.

TAKEI: Well, first of all, we're not going to let it get there, we're going to fight it tooth and nail. Because it's against the basic fundamental ideals of democracy. You know, we're a pluralistic society and there are many, many faiths and beliefs here. Now we respect everybody's faiths, their right to their beliefs. But there's no right for any one faith group to write those -- their own particular beliefs into civil law that applies to everyone. That's not democracy. That's not the way it works in the American way. And we are going to make sure that democracy prevails here.

RODRIGUEZ: So does that mean that you're going to try to keep it from ever getting on the ballot or you're going to make sure it doesn't pass?

TAKEI: Oh, no. It is on the ballot.

RODRIGUEZ: That you cannot change?

TAKEI: That we cannot.

RODRIGUEZ: So what you're going to do -- So how will you fight it? Will you start a petition or something?

TAKEI: Oh, well, no. We're -- it's on the ballot and it is going to be -- there is going to be a campaign. I think basically, the majority of Californians are fair, decent-minded people, and they will recognize the beauty of our marriage, the truth of our marriage, and they will not take it away from us.

ALTMAN: I'm optimistic that Proposition 8's going to be defeated on November 4th on the California ballot.

RODRIGUEZ: But-

TAKEI: However, you know, I warn everybody that we must not be confident. We've got to fight and run scared, because we don't know what kind of last-minute campaign they're going to throw at us. That's the way it happens in elections, and so we've got to be prepared. We're vigorously raising funds. We asked our guests for no gifts, but contributions to the HRC Wedding Registry and also to the Japanese American National Museum where we got married. It's -- and we got married in the democracy forum. We -- very consciously we chose that venue because we wanted our union to be in the forum of democracy.

RODRIGUEZ: Alright. George Takei and Brad Altman, thanks for joining us again this morning.

TAKEI: Thank you. And may sweet equality live long and prosper.

[RODRIGUEZ AND TAKEI EXCHANGE STAR TREK VULCAN HAND SIGN]

RODRIGUEZ: Let me do it. Same to you.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC