NBC Panel: 'Conservative' Ruling on Gay Marriage Will Cause 'Backlash'; Traditional Marriage 'Archaic'

During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, guest panelist Carson Daly, host of The Voice, ranted over the Supreme Court's upcoming ruling on gay marriage: "The more conservative the Court decision is, the more backlash there'll be by the people....I can't believe that we're even discussing this, it still seems so archaic. Because there is a new normal out there. We gotta move on." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Attorney Star Jones compared gay marriage to interracial marriage and voiced her agreement with Daly. NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman argued that even if the Court decided against gay marriage, it would inevitably become the law of the land: "I think we're going to see a generational shift. Younger people almost think this is a no big deal. And because, much like the civil rights, once it's institutionalized, there will be an acceptance and I think 20 to 30 years from now, we'll look back at this as a hiccup."

As Daly labeled the traditional concept of marriage "archaic," Snyderman chimed in: "Because it's a human rights issue." When Daly spoke of the "new normal," Jones proclaimed: "100%. You cannot distinguish equal rights."

Co-host Matt Lauer prompted the liberal advocacy when he wondered: "Will a legal decision do anything to change the emotional opinion of the 36% or so people in this country who still think that marriage should be between a man and a woman?" Lauer was citing a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll on the subject.  

Attempting to reign in the discussion moments later, Lauer reiterated: "Let's not ignore, 58% of people are in favor, 36% of people are not. So it's not just a given." Daly remarked: "It will be."


Here is a full transcript of the March 26 exchange:

8:10AM ET

MATT LAUER: We're back now, 8:10, and another edition of Today's Professionals. Check out our panel this morning. The one and only Star Jones, Carson Daly, the ringer on the panel this morning.

CARSON DALY: Professional, thank you.

LAUER: There you go. And Dr. Nancy Snyderman. Hi all, good to see you.

STAR JONES: Good morning.

DALY: Good morning.

LAUER: Let us start with a subject that a lot of people are going to be talking about this week. The U.S. Supreme Court going to hear two cases that deal with same-sex marriage. When they come to a decision on these cases, that decision could fundamentally change the way we legally view the marriage – the institution of marriage in this country. My question is this. Will a legal decision do anything to change the emotional opinion of the 36% or so people in this country who still think that marriage should be between a man and a woman?

STAR JONES: I think that at the time I learned in law school a case that lives with me now, Loving vs Virginia. The words of the Supreme Court, and I pulled my notes from way back then, "The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men." I believe strongly that this country has moved to that.

LAUER: Okay, but they are moving, the momentum is in that direction. But Carson, the question was, will a Supreme Court decision do anything to move it further?

DALY: The more conservative the Court decision is, the more backlash there'll be by the people.

JONES: That's where I agree.

NANCY SNYDERMAN: Yeah, but I think – I disagree with Carson, because I think what's going to be – I think we're going to see a generational shift. Younger people almost think this is a no big deal. And because, much like the civil rights, once it's institutionalized, there will be an acceptance and I think 20 to 30 years from now, we'll look back at this as a hiccup.

JONES: It' like black and-

DALY: I can't believe that we're even discussing this...

JONES: That's exactly right.

DALY: ...it still seems so archaic.

SNYDERMAN: Because it's a human rights issue.

DALY: Because there is a new normal out there.

JONES: 100%.

DALY: We gotta move on.

JONES: You cannot distinguish equal rights.

LAUER: Well, but let's – let's not ignore, 58% of people are in favor, 36% of people are not. So it's not just a given.

DALY: It will be.

SNYDERMAN: But I think the marriage issue, whether it will be a states rights issue to marry versus federal, will be interesting.

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