November 13th, 2008
02:38 PM ET

Battle over Prop 8

Anderson talks with his panel in a heated discussion over same-sex marriage in light of the passage of Proposition 8.

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Mark Hafner

    I am extremely saddened by the passage of proposition 8. All it has done is legitimized and legalized discrimination and hatred against one group of people denying them basic rights under the constitution. I feel that proposition 8 is entirely fueled by religious beliefs and has no place in the world of consitutional rights and legal issues.

    The passage of proposition 8 has inserted hatred into the lifes of everyone, and I fear it won't go away until the proposition goes away. It is a true step backwards for the nation and democracy. I am saddened every day I hear the rhetoric surrounding proposition 8, which is rife with religious beliefs and indoctrination. I feel that separation of church and state was instituted for a reason, and this proposition is one case that should be headed for supreme court and ruled unconstitutional.

    We would simply all be better off without proposition 8. EIGHT IS FOR HATE!!....and we will live with hate in our hearts every day until it goes away.

    November 16, 2008 at 12:15 am |
  2. Kent A. McCoy

    The solution to the same-sex marriage issue is to have the states issue civil unions to everyone, straight and gay and to leave marriage to the churches. Of the seven religious sacraments, only matrimony is granted by the states. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees a wall of separation between church and state. The states granting of a religious sacrament is unconstitutional.

    November 15, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  3. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I thought Savage was making excellent points. Perkin's religious beliefs have no place in dictating what marriage is. I just read in Egypt polygamy is legal and CNN had a blog about another country where women actually take more than one husband (usually brothers) for economic reasons. Marriage is not black and white to be between a man and a woman. There are different variations of it all over the world so if America is the land of the free – why should two consenting adults regardless of sex not be allowed to marry?

    November 15, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  4. Dag Slungard

    I am a CEO of a big European company. I am white, my children are white, and we all have blue eyes.
    My children woke me up at 5 in the morning to tell me that Obama had won. Last week that was, and they are about 20 years old.
    I think they felt like I felt when Apollo landed on the moon.
    Everything is possible, and yes we can!

    November 15, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  5. Julia Encarnacion

    I believe everyone is free to have their own decision. Any church shall not discriminate a human being for his or her choice. I believe we all follow JESUS, and JESUS said: 2ND. COMM: LOVE YOUR BROTHER AND SISTER LIKE YOU LOVE YOURSELF. We can't judge, we can't save no one, we are not going to hell for someone else, we can't live the life of others, even for our children. There are so many straight parents that have lesbian/homesexual children and not for that they love them and do not take their rigjhts from others sibblings...

    November 15, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  6. Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.


    Proposition 8 was a California State ballot proposition that amended the state Constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman. It overrode a recent California Supreme Court decision that had recognized same-sex marriage in California as a fundamental right.

    This is not the first time nor will it be the last time that the democratic process is allowed to strip American citizens of their civil rights. Refusing to allow two consenting adults that are in love with one another from marrying runs afoul of the spirit and letter of the law. We are a nation of laws that is committed to protect the integrity and rights of all American citizens and yet we sit idly by and allow the enactment of state laws and the passage of public referendums prohibiting same sex marriage. We are witnessing a nationwide abuse of power that denigrates the democratic process and pays lip service to the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence.

    The invocation by Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address of the Declaration of Independence defines for many Americans how they interpret Jefferson's famous preamble: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The Gettysburg Address has gradually become ingrained in our national consciousness. Nether an argument nor an analysis nor a new credo, it was instead a moving tribute incorporated into an alluring affirmation of the nation’s ideals.

    In just over two minutes, Lincoln invoked the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and redefined the Civil War as a struggle not merely for the Union, but as "a new birth of freedom" that would bring true equality to all of its citizens, and that would also create a unified nation in which states' rights were no longer dominant. Abraham Lincoln spoke out against slavery and stressed that the unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” were not limited to the white race.
    Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States sought to re-invoke the spirit and emotional response of Jefferson’s own inspiring words to remind our great nation that four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Although the ideals and principles set forth by our founding fathers declaring all men equal were abundantly clear, as a nation, we have failed to embrace the true meaning of equality by continually subjugating American citizens based on immutable characteristics such as race, color, national origin, gender and most recently, sexual orientation.

    Our great nation has a sordid history in refusing to accept the equality of "other" American citizens who do not fit into the category of white male anglo saxon protestant. For a long time, minorities living in the United States, especially African-Americans were not considered social equals. In the United States, the various state laws, prohibited the marriage of whites and blacks, and in many states also the intermarriage of whites with Native Americans or Asians. In the U.S., such laws were known as anti-miscegenation laws.
    From 1913 until 1948, 30 out of the then 48 states enforced such laws. The taboo among American whites surrounding white-black intermarriage can be seen as a historical consequence of the oppression and racial segregation of African-Americans. That taboo was finally removed in 1967 when the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Loving v. Virginia that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional. With this ruling, these laws were no longer in effect in the remaining 16 states that still had them.

    Anti-miscegenation laws and their progeny, whether enacted by state law or public referendum cannot be tolerated in a just and fair society that recognizes the equality of all men. Anti-miscegenation laws are identical to state laws and public referendums that prohibit same sex marriage as they both refuse to acknowledge the legal marriage of two consenting adults whom love one another.
    According to the U.S. Census, in 2000 there were 1,432,908 Hispanic Origin-white marriages, 504,119 Asian-white marriages, 287,576 black-white marriages, 97,822 Hispanic Origin-black marriages, 40,317 Asian-Hispanic Origin marriages, and 31,271 Asian-black marriages. All of these marriages would have been illegal prior to the United States Supreme Court unanimous ruling in Loving v. Virginia.

    As a Country, we need to learn from our mistakes and we need to stop spreading the seed of intolerance, which has manifested itself once again in the form of state laws and public referendums. We must take the first step today for we are a nation of laws that is committed to protect the integrity and rights of all American citizens.

    My name is Stephen M. Dunne, Esq., and I have created the following website: http://www.stephendunne.org to begin a nation wide protest against state laws and public referendums that prohibit same sex marriage. I am organizing a mountain climbing expedition intent on climbing to the peak of the tallest mountains in each of the fifty states in the hope that our elected officials realize that "From Above We Are All Equal."

    It is my hope, that through a concerted collective effort by concerned citizens, our elected officials will remove the vestiges of the anti-miscegenation laws from our jurisprudence.

    We must never forget that the Declaration of Independence espoused the principle of human equality declaring that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Very truly yours,

    Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.

    November 15, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  7. Chelsea Florida

    As an ardent opponent of the passing of Proposition 8, I was disappointed in this debate. I had previously seen Dan Savage and Tony Perkins talk about the issue and found them to be intelligent and normally level headed debaters. However, I think emotion got the best of them this time around, and both are to blame for this mess. There were points where I couldn't understand what either one was saying and there were some comments made by Savage that I thought were inappropriate and immature. I also felt it was the responsibility of Anderson to step in at certain points and be an assertive moderator, which didn't happen. I understand it's a delicate issue, and any hint of a bias might damage credibility, but he really shouldn't have been so passive.

    November 15, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  8. Bart

    I believe homosexuals will eventually be given the right to marry. The courts will strike down Prop 8 as unconstitutinal and reinstate legalized gay marriage. I am from Canada where gay marriage is leagal and gay couples are afforded all the rights as heterosexual couples. Our government recognized that the courts view gay marriage as a civil rights issue and as such, will rule in favour of gay marriage everytime it is presented before them. If the government ever took away the right for homosexuals to marry, the law would just be struck down as unconstitutinal by the courts and we would be back to where we started. Any challenge to gay marriage would be a waste of time and money. It is just a matter of time before this happens in the United States.
    I am opposed to gay marriage based on moral grounds and in my belief in marriage as an institution created by God to be a union between one man and one woman. This is the belief held by many mainstream churches in Canada and it is a belief that is protected by the courts based on freedom of religion. Churches in Canada still have the right to refuse to marry a gay couple based on this. Any attempt by the homosexual community to change this would be struck down by the courts as well.
    There seems to be a balance struck between civil rights and religious freedom in Canada. I can no more force a gay couple out of wedlock than could a gay couple force my pastor to marry them. This is the law of our land and nothing in the foreseeable future will change it.
    As a man of faith I turn to scripture and listen to the words of Joshua from the Old Testement. When the Isrealites rebelled against God, Joshua told Moses, "As for me and my house, we will worship the Lord." This is all I can do.

    November 15, 2008 at 1:20 pm |
  9. Jacob

    I am a "young person," and I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. So to answer the claim (of Dan Savage) that all of the youth believe in gay marriage is incorrect, I know many that do not believe in it and I am sure they do not want, somebody on the show telling them what they believe.

    Please give fair coverage to all sides of the debate, your job as a reporter is to give unbiased coverage, and a fair voice to all sides of the debate.

    On a side note, what was not mentioned in this report was that seven churches in Utah have been vandalized, the Los Angeles Temple and the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church) have had packages sent to them in the mail that contained a white powder within the past two days, and the fact that people have been protesting right outside of their sacred religious facilities.

    What kind of America do we live in. All that the Mormon Church did was contribute to the effort of many. They informed people, they let them know that they have a choice, which is what we as an American people believe in. The people of California voted on this, they made the ultimate decision not the Mormon Church.

    People all over the country put money and time into things they believe in. President-elect Obama, but hundreds of millions of dollars into a campaign and won. I do not agree with a lot of his views, but I am not outside his door or of the people who supported him protesting, and breaking their windows.

    If you disagree with someone elses view, do it in a civilized manner. Hold a conference, send letters, make telephone calls, but don't damage peoples properties, threaten lives with toxic powders, or protest outside of their sacred buildings. Could you imagine if this was your home that was vandalized, or had 10,000 protesters outside of it, would you want that.

    Once again, it is not just the elderly that are for the marriage of a man and a woman. Many of today's generation are. I guess one point that really sticks out to me about gay marriage is that if everybody in the world married people of the same-sex; civilization as we know it would cease to exist. To me right their, that says that something is not right.

    November 15, 2008 at 11:55 am |
  10. Perry Brown

    The Cairo American College (CAC) in Maadi, Egypt is homophobic and I think we should do something about it. They are putting on "A Chorus Line" but they have sanitized it – taking out any possible references to homosexuality. They were, I thought, an advanced school. Turns out they are in the middle ages when it comes to social issues. Is this what we want to teach our children, to be intolerant?

    November 15, 2008 at 9:40 am |
  11. Alex (Aliso Viejo, Ca)

    I think Anderson was awesome in dealing with the situation. Great moderation. This issue will always be heated and there will always be very passionate people on both sides. I just hope they will exercise some restraint so the American people can understand their feelings and point of view a bit better. I could barely understand what they were saying. Anderson was the only one who rose above the occasion and he was the only one I can understand. Not that I am complaining..mind you.. 🙂

    November 14, 2008 at 3:26 am |
  12. Joe Miale

    There is a NATIONAL PROP 8 PROTEST this Saturday, November 15.
    A massive online grassroots movement is underway.

    Every major city in the US protesting simultaneously!

    15 second Promo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrTjybaY03g
    30 second Promo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpltL8GOqwQ

    Visit http://www.jointheimpact.com to find Protest Locations near you.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:30 am |
  13. Mark G

    I understand that the passing of Prop 8 in California is an emotionally charged issue for supporters of gay marriage, but its unfortunate that supporters of gay marriage find it necessary to lash out and demonstrate against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – just one part of a larger coalition of supporters of traditional marriage.

    Just as unfortunate is to tune in to AC360 to see panelist Dan Savage so disrespectful to Tony Perkins and for AC to allow the disrespect to happen – unchecked – on his show. I saw very little "Keeping them Honest" during that segment.

    If AC is really "Keeping them Honest", then he would discuss the following facts:
    * the vote of members of the Mormon faith made up less than 5% of the "Yes" vote on Prop 8
    * the No on 8 campaign raised more money than the Yes on 8 campaign. Unofficial estimates put No on 8 at $38 million and Yes on 8 at $32 million, making it the most expensive non-presidential election in the country
    * the Yes on 8 coalition was a broad spectrum of religious organizations. Catholics, Evangelicals, Protestants, Orthodox Jews, Muslims – all supported Yes on 8
    * supporters of Proposition 8 did exactly what the Constitution provides for all citizens: they exercised their First Amendment rights to speak out on an issue that concerned them, make contributions to a cause that they support, and then vote in the regular electoral process

    I hope that in the future AC will keep both sides of the Prop 8 debate honest and panelists in-check.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:05 am |
  14. Jerome Bowen

    Anderson, your recent show on prop 8 was poor at best. While I usually enjoy watching your program, you simply sat there allowing the two guests, especially the one favoring the defeat of prop 8, to argue at the same time. Frankly, I really hadn't taken a position prior to watching your program. However, after the seeing the contentious and/or mean-spirited nature of your guest opposing prop 8, I now realize that he exhibited the very hostility, bigotry against religion–race, and ill will against his fellow citizens who supported prop 8, that he espouses to preach against. Does he not realize that the people of California, not just Mormons, Catholics, Jews, and/or any other religious people, have spoken through our democratic process. Lashing out with such hostility and vile actions and comments towards people of religion-race and/or any supporter of prop 8, only weakens the very purposes for which our forefathers fought; that is, for a republic by the people, for the people, and of the people.

    November 14, 2008 at 12:50 am |
  15. d.gutierrez

    I think that this issue right here has cemented the fact on why democracy in this country will not work forever, if it has not already crumbled. Why do we care what or who or why they voted against gay marriage, The people of that state decided that they did not want it, and that is how democracy is supposed to work. But no matter what the MAJORITY of the people voted for there is always an uprising. I am sick in tired of it and I would like if states, and the people inside those states, worried about themselves

    November 14, 2008 at 12:09 am |
  16. CaseyJ - Palm Springs, CA

    This was a great debate. I learned some handy talking points and facts. If Tony Perkins hadn't attempted to filibuster the segment, maybe his opponent would have not been compelled to overtalk. I'd like to see more of this as the "conversation" continues.

    November 14, 2008 at 12:06 am |
  17. Sandra L. Reed-Mansfield Ohio

    Until the Mormon Church or any other church or religious group starts to donate some of their non-taxable income or better yet starts paying their fair share of taxes they have no rights under the Constitution of these United States to input their faith-based nonsense on any issues. They can, however, bail-out the auto industry with some hard cash charity.

    November 13, 2008 at 9:21 pm |
  18. Terra

    I'm ashamed to say I'm from california i don't care what your view on homosexuality is it should be irrevealnt , to the fact that taking away civil right should be revelant

    November 13, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  19. Bill

    What's destroying marriage in this country isn't gays wanting to get married, but heterosexuals divorcing. In the Gospel of Mark Jesus says divorce is a sin, so why aren't the hatemongering Christians trying to ban legal divorce? Wouldn't that restore marriage? Personally, I don't think religion should enter the equation as we are only dicussing civil, not religious marriage. I certainly won't be attending any more weddings or wasting money on wedding gifts anymore.

    November 13, 2008 at 7:00 pm |
  20. Don K

    I think that most of Perkins arguements fall short. He keeps inserting his religious beliefs and calling it social policy and public good. Doesn't he realize that many children are raised by one parent households? Does he want to outlaw that? Why doesn't he just start a movement to outlaw divorce as that causes children untold emotional damage.

    It's not about the children or the "sanctity of marriage" It really is about him imposing his religious beliefs wherever he can. And there are direct parelles to the court decision on interractial marriage just look it up. http://www.filibustercartoons.com/marriage.htm for stats.

    It is about bigotry and the fact that it is NEVER good to allow civil rights to be taken away from any minority group.

    November 13, 2008 at 6:58 pm |
  21. Jo

    Hey AC 360 crew.. love your show.. but i am gettng to to the point when i see Tony Perkins on your show i want to turn it off , i try very hard to respect others beliefs and opinions, but he sends me into a rage...I I think needs to get some help to deal with his homophobia....
    I feel marriage should be seen as a union between two people who choose to spend their lives together ,out of love and respect ,irregardless sexual preference.
    Maybe instead of spending so much time trying to keep the gay and lesbian community from marrying, Mr. Perkins should look at the rate of divorce and the number of couples that co-habitate and perhaps focus on strengthing family values as a whole ..

    November 13, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  22. Rheba Arizona

    What is the problem with gays getting married? Who will it hurt? If gays get married they have the right to medical insurance provided by one of their employer's if the other one becomes unemployed or insurance is not offered. Our constitution insures Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. By not allowing same sex marriage Arizona and California have both ignored the US Constitution. Give gays the right to be happy!
    Straight people produce gay people!

    November 13, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  23. M Byrd Texas

    Elton John said it best, what do homosexuals need marrige for, domestic partnership is just as good.

    The majority voted and they said no.

    move on.

    November 13, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  24. Sandra

    Dan Savage claims the No on 8 supporters are peacefully demonstrating. I don't consider knocking a cross out of an old womans arms and stomping on it and yelling at her as "peaceful". The voters have spoken again, if the courts over throw it I have to wonder why we even vote. They have equal rights under the law and I support that, but I cannot support it being called "Marriage". Call it anything else.

    November 13, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  25. Josh

    Tony Perkin's and the Family Research Council like James Dobson and his Focus on the Family distorts and lies about social science research.

    A. McEwen wrote a book called "Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters" where he debunks the myths, lies, and distortions that these groups use.

    These groups are religious organizations that pose as social science organizations.

    Many of the scholars and academics of the research they have distorted have spoken out against them.

    The Family Research Council's "expert" on homosexuality is a Theologian and NOT a scientist, medical doctor, or a social scientists.

    The ban on gay marriage in CA took away pre-existing rights for same sex couples there since 18,000 gays had married legally.

    The ban on gay adoption and foster care in Arkansas also basically took away pre-existing rights. Will gay couples who already adopted or took foster children lose their children?

    The courts gave equal rights to women and African Americans and ended the ban on inter-racial marriage against the majority will of the people.

    Civil Rights shouldn't be up for a popular vote.

    The 14th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees equal rights and protections under the law in part to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority.

    Dan Savage did a really good job in countering Tony Perkins' misinformation.

    However, why doesn't anyone acknowledge that Tony Perkin's organization is a sham that uses pseudo "experts" and intentionally distorts and lies about scientific research?

    November 13, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  26. Melissa


    The angry hostility expressed by Savage last night on your show, while perhaps understandable given the outcome of Prop 8 in Calfironia, should have been quelled and quieted. Tony Perkins was not given an opportunity to give even one full response without rude and ridiculing interruption by Savage. Ultimately this kind of exchange reduces both sides to caricatures and no one is better informed on the real issues afterwards.

    In fact, I thought the whole story was badly mishandled. No one who might be interested in understanding the real issues involved from the voters perspectives would have any better idea why Prop 8 won in Califorina after listening to your show. The detractors might reduce the moral complexity, legal implications, theological grounds, sociological implications to simple bigotry, but there are wide variety of reasons people have for wanting to define marriage as an institution between a man and a woman and you explored none of them in the story. In a world full of biased news broadcasts from FOX on the right to MSNBC on the left, I count on CNN for objective analysis and fair reporting. Last night you failed in that obligation to the public.

    November 13, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  27. Jon twitter lejoneric

    Anderson- fine job covering this story. I think that it was one of the best interviews I have seen on the subject.

    Especially loved it when the "youth vote" was brought up. Cant tell you how many times I have heard young people say that old people just need to die before we will live in a country where civil rights are not an issue.

    Maybe this is the crowd that is running out to buy guns. I was in John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek (top 40 US hospital) and heard a white admissions clerk tell the other candy canes " I hope the people of the US realize what they have done"...

    November 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm |