CBS Lines Up Three Same-Sex Marriage Advocates Against One Opponent

[Update, 3:34 pm Eastern: Please read Erin Brown's analysis of the CBS segment on the Culture and Media Institute's website.]

In a promo on Thursday’s Early Show, CBS asked if same-sex “marriage” is “inevitable in all 50 states,” and during their segment on the issue, seemed to answer this rhetorical question affirmatively. The network also lined up four sound bites from three individuals who supported the legalization of such unions against one from a leader of a conservative organization. Additionally, correspondent Priya David made one factual error about California’s Proposition 8 during the report.

David began the segment by outlining which states had passed same-sex civil unions, which states permit domestic partnerships, and which states “offer full marriage rights for same-sex couples.” She continued by actually using a political label for the “marriage” states: “In allowing same-sex marriage, Vermont has joined its neighbors in the north, Massachusetts and Connecticut, which are traditionally liberal states. But now there’s support in a place you might not expect.”

After detailing how Vermont legislature had “passed a bill supporting same-sex marriage,” the correspondent introduced Mary Evans, a “same-sex marriage advocate” in Iowa, which is the now the fourth state to allow the “marriages,” after “Iowa's state supreme court declared unconstitutional a law denying marriage for same-sex couples.” David would play two clips from David, along with video of when she made her “marriage” announcement.

In addition to the sound bites from Evans, the CBS correspondent featured a clip each from Kevin Cathcart of the homosexual advocacy group Lambda Legal, which was merely described a “New York-based law firm,” and Joe Matthews of the New America Foundation.

Near the end of her report, David finally introduced the opponents of same-sex “marriage,” playing two quick video clips from traditional marriage rallies, as well as a political ad from “a rainbow coalition of people of every creed and color...coming together in love to protect marriage.” She also played the lone sound bite from a traditional marriage advocate -- Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage.

David concluded with a statement of hope and a blatant error: “Now, the day when the whole country embraces same-sex marriage is still a long way off. 29 states have voted for a constitutional ban, and California recently joined that group when it overturned Proposition 8.” Actually, California voters approved Proposition 8 in November, which protects traditional marriage, and its same-sex “marriage” proponents who are seeking to overturn it.

The full transcript of the segment, which began 16 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of Thursday’s Early Show:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Same-sex marriage seems to be gaining momentum. This week, Vermont became the fourth state to allow gay marriage. Here with more at what’s happening across the country is CBS news correspondent Priya David. Good morning.

Priva David, CBS Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgPRIYA DAVID: Good morning, Maggie. Good morning, everyone. Here’s a quick overview of where the nation stands right now. New Hampshire and New Jersey both allow civil unions. California, Oregon, and Washington allow domestic partnerships, which extend many of the marriage benefits. Now, these four states, you’re going to see, offer full marriage rights for same-sex couples. In allowing same-sex marriage, Vermont has joined its neighbors in the north, Massachusetts and Connecticut, which are traditionally liberal states. But now there’s support in a place you might not expect.

UNIDENTIFIED VERMONT POLITICAN: You have voted to override the veto.

DAVID (voice-over): Cheering erupted in [the] Vermont State Capitol Tuesday when the legislature passed a bill supporting same-sex marriage.

MARY EVANS, SAME-SEX MARRIAGE ADVOCATE: We’re getting married. (cheers of people)

DAVID: Thousands of miles away in America’s heartland, Mary Evans and Stephanie McFarland are celebrating. Last week, Iowa’s state supreme court declared unconstitutional a law denying marriage for same-sex couples.

EVANS: Iowa, and Iowans have always come down on the side of fairness.

DAVID: New York-based law firm Lamda Legal filed the Iowa lawsuit.

KEVIN CATHCART, LAMBDA LEGAL: It’s very important for people across the country to realize that this is not something that only happens on the East Coast or West Coast, but that actually, gay people have and deserve equal rights all across the country.

DAVID: A recent CBS News poll found that 33% of Americans support same-sex marriage, up from 22% back in 2004. Younger people increasingly support it -- 41% of those under 45, compared to just 18% of those over 65 years old.

EVANS: Justice is alive and well in Iowa.

DAVID: So will same-sex marriage ever be recognized by all 50 states?

JOE MATTHEWS, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: Even if public opinion keeps moving in the direction it’s sort of slowly moving, it’s not something that’s going to happen in just a couple of years. It’s going to take, I think, 10 years or 20 years, before you see, you know, broad recognition of same-sex marriage.

DAVID: Still, many people believe that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANNOUNCER: A rainbow coalition of people of every creed and color are coming together in love to protect marriage.

MAGGIE GALLAGHER, NATIONAL ORGANIZATON FOR MARRIAGE: It’s really clear that if you leave it up to the American people, they would say hey, to make a marriage, you need a husband and a wife, and we don’t want politicians messing with this.

DAVID (on-camera): Now, the day when the whole country embraces same-sex marriage is still a long way off. These 29 states have voted for a constitutional ban, and California recently joined that group when it overturned Proposition 8. 

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center