CBS ‘Early Show’ Continues to Push Gay Marriage

Hattie Kauffman, CBS Following a Thursday one-sided report by correspondent John Blackstone, on Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez continued to lament the passage of California’s Proposition 8, defining marriage as only between a man and a woman: "On Tuesday, voters in California approved Proposition 8, a ban on gay marriage. It was a stunning defeat for gays and lesbians who are now fighting back." Correspondent Hattie Kauffman reported: "Supporters of gay marriage targeted L.A.'s Mormon temple, protesting the $15 million the church poured into passing Proposition 8." She played a clip of those protesters chanting: "Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!"

Following Kauffman’s report, Rodriguez interviewed ‘Star Trek’ actor George Takei and his partner Brad Altman, who were married in September and have made numerous Early Show appearances since the California Supreme Court allowed gay marriage. Rodriguez, who had interviewed the pair shortly after their marriage, asked: "I remember your jubilation when you talked about your wedding here on the program. You shared your wedding video and you shared your hope that other gay couples in California would continue to get the opportunity that you had. This ban says that they won't. George, the last time we spoke, you felt hopeful. Today, you feel?" Takei replied: "Well, we feel that our marriage is valid, that there's no language in Proposition 8 that says it's retroactive... This is a fundamental right, all-inclusive, as Supreme Court of California has ruled, and this is taking away that fundamental right. It's like saying, you know, you don't have a certain -- a certain group will be -- will have their freedom of speech taken away from them, just because they're red heads."

Rodriguez later asked Takei: "Do you think, George, that you are, even though this was approved, do you think that you are closer to the day when this will happen?" Takei responded: "Well, you know, election night was an evening of bittersweet irony. We were listening to an African-American making a victory speech as the president-elect of this nation. I felt proud to be an American. And when he said 'we're renewing the promise of America,' it resonated to me as a Californian, where 52% of the people that voted, voted for discrimination..." Earlier, Kauffman observed: "There is disappointment, too, that the African-American community, which just saw the election of the first black president, voted overwhelmingly against same-sex marriage...But so far, there are no plans to protest African-American churches."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:00AM TEASE:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: George Takei's time warp. 'Star Trek's' Mr. Sulu trapped in marriage limbo as protests continue over gay marriage in California.

PROTESTORS: Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!

RODRIGUEZ: We'll talk to him and his husband.

7:17AM TEASE:

HARRY SMITH: Coming up, protests grow in California over the same-sex marriage ban. We're going to talk with 'Star Trek's' Mr. Sulu, George Takei, whose marriage is in limbo.

7:30AM TEASE:

SMITH: Plus, this morning, the fight over same-sex marriage in California has been bitter and very expensive. Voters apparently have approved the ban and now gays and lesbians are fighting back. We're going to talk with actor George Takei, better known as Mr. Sulu from Star Trek, and his husband.

7:32AM SEGMENT:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: On Tuesday, voters in California approved Proposition 8, a ban on gay marriage. It was a stunning defeat for gays and lesbians who are now fighting back. Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman reports.

PROSTESTORS: Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!

HATTIE KAUFFMAN: Supporters of gay marriage targeted L.A.'s Mormon temple, protesting the $15 million the church poured into passing Proposition 8. The measure to define marriage was the most expensive proposition fight in the country. Both sides raised $70 million.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The law that the Mormon church has broken is God's law. Do not judge.

KAUFFMAN: There is disappointment, too, that the African-American community, which just saw the election of the first black president, voted overwhelmingly against same-sex marriage.

ROBIN TYLER: We are a civil rights movement. We're entitled to full equality.

SONJA EDDINGS BROWN: According to some exit polls, 72% of all African-American women voted yes on Prop 8 and for traditional marriage.

KAUFFMAN: But so far, there are no plans to protest African-American churches. Hattie Kauffman, CBS News, Los Angeles.

RODRIGUEZ: Joining us now from Los Angeles, television star George Takei and his husband, Brad Altman. Good morning, gentlemen.

BRAD ALTMAN: Hello.

GEORGE TAKEI: Good morning.

RODRIGUEZ: I remember your jubilation when you talked about your wedding here on the program. You shared your wedding video and you shared your hope that other gay couples in California would continue to get the opportunity that you had. This ban says that they won't. George, the last time we spoke, you felt hopeful. Today, you feel?

TAKEI: I'm sorry. I didn't quite hear-

BRAD ALTMAN: How do you feel now?

TAKEI: How do we feel now? Well, we feel that our marriage is valid, that there's no language in Proposition 8 that says it's retroactive. However, the bigger picture, we are concerned about the others that did not get married and others who will want to get married in the future. This is a fundamental right, all-inclusive, as Supreme Court of California has ruled, and this is taking away that fundamental right. It's like saying, you know, you don't have a certain -- a certain group will be -- will have their freedom of speech taken away from them, just because they're red heads. There's the equal protection of the Constitution for minorities. And this is very wrong. It is going to be challenged and, ultimately, we will prevail.

RODRIGUEZ: We know that advocates of gay rights are challenging this. They're filing legal papers to try to get the state supreme court to overturn this ban. Brad, what do you say to people who say that's going against the will of the people of California?

ALTMAN: Well, I'm not a lawyer. I'm not a political analyst. All I know is that in September, I legally wed George Takei. I have my wedding ring on right now, I'm going to keep it on the rest of my life, no matter what happens with the legal maneuvers that are going on. And I love George. He's my husband. I have a marriage license that says he's my husband and we -- it's all about love and that's what I say to people that don't understand. It's about love.

RODRIGUEZ: Do you think, George, that you are, even though this was approved, do you think that you are closer to the day when this will happen?

TAKEI: Well, you know, election night was an evening of bittersweet irony. We were listening to an African-American making a victory speech as the president-elect of this nation. I felt proud to be an American. And when he said 'we're renewing the promise of America,' it resonated to me as a Californian, where 52% of the people that voted, voted for discrimination, but then President-Elect Obama also talked about the long road, the steep road ahead of us as a nation, and I heard that also in terms of the long steep road ahead of us as gays and lesbians, bisexual and transgender. But, in the same way that the civil rights struggle traveled that long road to get to that point where we have an African-American president-elect, that we know we have that long road ahead, full of rocky parts of the road. But we will ultimately prevail, because this is a civil rights issue and it doesn't happen overnight.

RODRIGUEZ: George Takei and Brad Altman, thank you for being with us.

TAKEI: Thank you very much.

ALTMAN: Thanks.

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