Gay Marriage Gets Boost in Supreme Court

High court strikes down a key section in the Defense of Marriage Act.
37:22 | 06/26/13

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Transcript for Gay Marriage Gets Boost in Supreme Court
This is an ABC news special. Three network news. And I endorse -- couples here in New York were breaking right now because the Supreme Court has handed down a decision. On gay marriage on the defense of marriage act -- -- go right to ABC's Terry Moran at the court Terry. All right George I'm waiting for the actual opinion itself but are excellent. Colleagues inside have told us that that defense of marriage act which. For federal law define marriage as the union of one man. One woman only denied all federal benefits to gay couples that has been ruled unconstitutional. Five Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the court and what's important here George is that. Kennedy is holding that that is the denial of the equal protection of the laws to gay Americans. Not just that they congress shouldn't tell the states what to do that would have banned. The more modest -- to roll here but this is this is essentially this decision would have just gotten. Is -- declaration. -- equal rights for gay Americans under the federal under federal law it is big let me take a look at -- but that is the first blush reading. The defense and certainly don't want you to take a look at it right now to five. Four decision Anthony Kennedy in the majority as you said Justice Scalia dissenting also Justice Thomas and just and the Chief Justice joining in part. I want to bring in ABC's chief legal anchor Dan Abrams right now the defense of marriage act of course now what this means. Is that couples who are legally married anywhere in the United States will be able to get the federal benefits things like social security and death. -- this was a case where you're talking about states that actually allowed gay marriage. But within denied federal benefits because of the defense of marriage act. So this is a big win. But if the opinion is as sweeping as it sounds like -- -- that's going to be a big surprise meaning. Everyone was expecting there to be some narrow -- to this ruling. And not an all out recognition that there is an equal protection issue here because if there is you would think that would also mean. That applies to the other case that the US Supreme Court is considering -- regard to proposition eight. In California we'll have to -- and you hear those cheers right now. As people are learning about this decision that's in San Francisco was still waiting for the decision what's gonna happen with proposition eight the case about proposition they wouldn't and. Kennedy is enticing to save -- the opinion he's confined to those lawful marriages so that maybe proposition eight wouldn't -- that that's -- that yeah that's going to be coming up but when you get to that did definition of lawful marriages this is where could get tricky as well. Will the court saying that. This is confined to where the marriage took place less ordinary people now what I think I'm pretty certain that it's gonna mean that the president would have to step in. If they want to extend it to say if you're married in one state you move to another state. He's still gonna need I think that any additional push there to guarantee that -- -- -- -- -- Terry -- -- the quake had -- chance slip -- the opinion. I have indeed and there is ringing language in here -- farming. The equal dignity and the equal rights of gay Americans under the federal law and this is from justice Anthony Kennedy he notes that this case the case of a widow Edie Windsor. Who married her longtime partner -- -- in the early part of this century. Their their marriage was recognized by the State of New York. When her partner died when he had died the IRS said we don't recognize your marriage because the defense of marriage act won't let us. Pay us 363000. Dollars an estate taxes taxes no straight widow would have had to pay. So I will -- briefly from the opinion of Justice Kennedy who says New York acted to give their lawful conduct a lawful status. This status is a far reaching legal acknowledgment of the intimate relationship between two people. A relationship deemed by the state worthy of dignity in the community. Equal -- all other marriages. It reflects the communities considered perspective on the roots of the institution of marriage and the evolving understanding of the meaning of -- quality. And then he says that the federal government cannot. Say that gay people are not lawfully married -- New York says so he says the federal statute here is invalid. For there are no legitimate purpose overcomes. The purpose and effect to it otherwise to disparage and injure those -- the State's. -- deemed to protect. That was a little complicated but basically what what Justice Kennedy is said is that that congress can't say they aren't married of New York -- And then where this is in keeping with -- justice Kennedy's principles and -- in so many other cases sweeping definitions of what -- knew what human liberty and human freedom mean. That's right and he is sometimes critics often criticized by conservatives because when he gets a hold of a case like this he uses this sweeping. Ringing language about human dignity about the meaning of life and love and intimate relations and this opinion. On the defense of marriage act is everything. Gay rights activists people who support marriage equality same sex marriage or marriage what do you wanna say it's everything they could a -- And then it was I bring you back in here because it isn't it interesting quote here from page twenty. Anthony Kennedy's opinion said England is called a careful consideration. A standard in determining whether a law is motivated by improper animus or purpose. Discrimination of an unusual character especially require careful consideration. Don't look cannot survive under these. Principles that that's the heart that's the heart of the ruling here as to why Justice Kennedy and the other four didn't feel this could survive to remember that there's another issue at play here. And that's federal vs states' rights which sees this as a federal law telling states how to be hate. And that is something the Justice Kennedy has always been concerned about Justice Kennedy has always. And in particular in the questioning in this case. Was very focused on ensuring that states. Have the right to meet these decisions for themselves and that's why this case is different. From the other case were waiting for today -- regard to proposition eight because there -- the state of California. Making a determination. About what it's lost energy so we're still waiting for that but I do want to that is ABC Cecilia Vega out of San Francisco this morning because we did hear those cheers. When the decision was brought down. Resounding cheers here in San Francisco City -- George this is the hub of -- Okay. We begin I don't. I don't decision. We are seeing in this crowd right now you're seeing tears we are seeing couples who clearly have been together for a long time clutching each other. Waiting eagerly for this proposition eight decision. To to find out what the state is for the thousands tens of thousands 181000 people that same sex couples who are really -- married in California. Right now who were married before proposition eight made that -- legal. Again just take a look at what's happening right here this San Francisco City Hall opened early this morning to let people in this is the only place. People up on the second I could just looking down at this -- Media popped into the rafters here but we will hear the mayor speak we'll hear from the lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom. Who was behind that -- -- allow same sex sex couples to marry in California in 2004. The case that prompted that fight this so historic -- and and and were any minute away George from from a decision. And we do see lieutenant governor -- Gavin -- their way they want to get his quick reaction to this ruling. -- -- -- -- it's pretty excited I gotta say though you know we're all and and our best behavior right now and hope and expectation that we see a similar fate of proposition eight. Here -- up next but significant. Nonetheless -- that notion. A federalism this idea that the federal government cannot discriminate against people that have been lawfully married in states across this country is a big. Big decision hats off to the -- -- states and for those that fought hard since 1996 to right. It's wrong to stand by governor we come back as soon as we learn about propositioning but I do want to go to Capitol Hill. Right now ABC's -- felony on capitol as the governor just said this was passed in 1996 signed into law by President Clinton in 1996. The Obama administration refused to defend the law. Before the supremes of course subcommittee. Of the congress of the house had to come in and do it. That's right -- and this is an example of how fast this issue is moving. Really some thirteen months ago only a year ago President Obama. Kind of reluctantly was forced into coming out just in support of gay marriage in general because -- -- vice president Joseph Biden and since then we've seen a sea change here on Capitol Hill some 25 senators have essentially rushed to announce their support for same sex marriage. Including three Republican senators and Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski was the latest one just. A week ago or so. Hillary Clinton just came out in support of gay marriage up only two months ago so this issue in the country has moved much faster than it has in the legal system in the courts. There's no question about that -- any in any reaction so far from those who. Defended Del -- any sense -- if they're going to be trying to take any action in the congress. We haven't heard any reaction yet but there was some discussion of that -- yesterday really all televisions on Capitol Hill are tuning into what's happening just across the street. At the Supreme Court and there is a lot of of resistance to this it's important to point out that not everyone. Believes that this is the right decision as we're seeing from the dissent being read by justices Scalia right now so. I do expect it there will be in a significant and predictable opposition to this. Let's bring in Tony Perkins now a supporter of the defense of marriage act from the Stanley research council your reaction. Well I think you when you talk about federalism -- federalism goes both ways what you have here now is the State's defining for the federal government what. Benefits will have to be extended -- I do think you'll we have some push back from congress because this deals with the the purse in many ways -- What. Financial benefits what what other benefits will be extended. To these various states these twelve jurisdictions and redefine -- for marriage. Allen bringing Danny was bringing their names back right now because there's something in in the dissents in this case would give a clue. Cattle quarters -- the whole thing in the -- -- it's not for sure but it does seem that there is some language in the -- here which suggests that the proposition eight case would be dismissed based on standing. Meaning the state of California wasn't willing to defend this case they said we don't we don't -- -- we don't want to be part of -- -- Obama didn't -- that's right when -- manager -- So it in in don't -- the house Republicans were the ones who defended and he and some of the conservatives who dissented in this said there should have been -- jurisdiction issue there but -- more importantly when it comes to the proposition eight case. They -- dismissed this saying that the people who are defending it. Had no right to be there meaning -- -- injured by this case and as a result they don't have standing to argue it. That would be a sort of technical way to dismiss the proposition eight case and based on the descent. In the don't like case it seems that that will likely be the outcome -- regard. Probably afraid that the Terry Moran out of the court from these dissents. -- some clues -- the proposition eight case may be found to have no standing as Dan Abrams was just explaining. That would mean if it holds that marriage will be legal in the state of California that would only -- of the city California correct. Well it day it would it would on the prop eight case their -- clues in this opinion one at the end of the opinion that Justice Kennedy wrote he says. -- is this opinion and it's holding are confined. To the lawful marriages in the twelve states and the District of Columbia which allow gay marriage. So he says that that's what's limited and then as you point out just Roberts says. You know in Perry in the -- prop eight case. We said they didn't have standing as Dan was explaining so it seems as if the dome -- ruling which I'm holding in my hand which is this broad ruling saying equal protection. For bids. The congress. From denying it recognizing the marriages of gay couples that that is going to be not the holding in the prop eight case literally -- -- yeah. Good let's take those one at a time -- to bring in Dan Abrams. As well if this is indeed confined to the twelve states where marriage. His legal does that mean if some if a couple was married legally in New York -- then they move to Oklahoma they cannot get the federal benefits when they live in Oklahoma. That none of that is that it. That's a complicated question but basically. -- a couple was legally married in new York and they moved to a state like Oklahoma where there is no legal recognition of their marriage the federal government. Must. Recognize their lawful marriage. On many many issues the problem is some federal benefits. Are granted to you based on the state where you were married. As a married couple and some federal benefits are granted. On the state where you lived as a married couple so gay gay couples will have to. If they're moving we'll have to go to a lawyer and -- which federal benefits they're gonna qualify for which they won't do the most. Basically to look at these two opinions -- the prop eight case comes out the way we think it is is the court is saying you cannot discriminate. Against gay couples. But we're not saying that there's a fundamental -- for gays to marry. So basically they're saying if there is a state where the marriage has been recognized. You can't discriminate against. But what we're not saying. If you were right about the prop eight ruling. Is -- there is a fundamental. Right for gays to marriage would strike down on the -- on the American 36 containing home right so so if there is a really big difference there and I think it's important in distinguishing between what the dome a ruling says and how you can reconcile. These two because some people does it say that this sounds like incredibly sweeping language in the -- a decision it is but it relates to discrimination against gays and not the. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- At the -- racing again for federal purposes. -- a marriage has to be recognized but they're going to be leaving the question of whether or not recognize marriages to play out in all of the states. That's right they want this great conversation that's happening across the country on this issue to continue. But this this case the -- the case has. A bomb and it has -- -- -- it has a recognition that the constitution's guarantee of the equal protection of the laws. Includes as far as congressional legislation. Equal protection. Two. Gay married couples it's just a half step forward to say. It includes equal protection of all the marriage laws in all the states it's just a half step away they didn't do that picked -- looks like they didn't do that today. But this is a very strong precedent. For those who favor gay marriage rights to go forward in the courts and in in -- elections. And is -- was pointing at a comes at a time when there's been so much support growing Dan Abrams for gamers -- -- put up a poll that shows how much the support of changes in the last. Ten years back in 2004. Only. 32% of the country supported gay marriage now that's up to 57%. In 2013. And look at this generational. Divide in this is what is most stunning under the age of 3076%. Of the public supports. Gay marriage over the ages 65 only 40%. So there does seem to be tremendous moment. -- but opponents to gay marriage at least in the courts are saying okay great. Let the public decide. Let's let's let's let's let them deal with it let's let the democratic system work. And instead what -- the other side is saying is. Fair enough but there's also fundamental constitutional issues that play here. So both sides are using those polls kind of as a as a sword depending on what the issue. And this -- -- -- they got in in California I know that supporters of same sex marriage out in that state right now believe that if proposition they were to come up. Before the voters today it would indeed go down. And that's that the people here -- exceptionally confident that if in fact proposition eight is it stands. People here say that they will put it back on the ballot and they are convinced. That -- -- has shifted in their favor and we've been out here for days start talking to people in the city of San Francisco and virtually everyone that we have met. Feels like the public opinion. -- when it comes to same sex marriage is on their side right now and and they're confident that the ruling from the Supreme Court today will be on their site is well. And if that doesn't happen. We're gonna see a lot of very upset people here in the city in fact only in San -- have they -- for a celebration this evening Castro district historically gay neighborhood here in San Francisco is preparing for huge celebration tonight they're planning on bringing in. Music in DJs and enclosing the streets down there were no plans no formal plans for protests here. -- get you can see this back here behind me in San Francisco City Hall this building that has been the hub of same sex marriages. Back in 2004 when he started under then governor Gavin Newsom. Support for same sex marriage was in the low thirties today you -- that -- or -- 57%. Around the country so here clearly the sentiments they feel is on their side we -- to wait -- just a few minutes and find out whether it is or not -- it. Let me go back to Terry Moran Terry if if the proposition eight case does indeed return on whether the fact that there was not standing if that's indeed what the court decides. That could lead to that. A situation where you see many many more lawsuits now challenging. Marriage bans both by statute in constitutional bans in all the states have now have them. Absolutely because a decision on prop eight that doesn't get to the merits that doesn't get to the real issue does the constitution. Protect of that notion of equal protection of the laws. Gay couple's right to marry anywhere in this country if it doesn't reach that. It's an invitation to -- more lawsuits. And as I said in this case that defense of marriage act case. Since justice Kennedy's language concerning. Gay couples and their essential human dignity under the federal laws and the way that the congress must recognize. That essential human equality and dignity as couples. It those those lawsuits will go forward. Armed -- with language from the Supreme Court itself. And as Dan pointed out one of the things that's happening here is the Supreme Court is looking at this astonishing democratic discussion this. Very fast transformation of public opinion that's happened over the past 1020 years. And looking at it in some wonder and essentially. They want the voters to do the job -- the wonderful as do the job but I want to bring this to Dan Abrams from my quick reading in the notes coming and it does also say it seemed to suggest. That the court lasted. Said a stand where they say if you're gonna pass a law banning gay marriage you better be sure that the motivation is not discrimination. That's right -- and what they're also saying is it's it's almost impossible to how the that kind of law without it being discriminatory. And debt to Justice Kennedy is saying his ruling here is that the justification here -- that the claims. By those supporting the defense of marriage act aren't sufficient to overcome constitutional. -- -- we have the first. The first reaction coming in from President Obama. He's got a tweet coming in. And I wanted to play that right now the view the original team. We see it right there -- -- ruling is historic step forward. For marriage equality. President Obama of course is on his way to Africa right now. With his family going to be there for most of the rest. The week were still standing by Terry Moran for the actual decision. On proposition. Eight to come in and and they go a little bit more into this standing issue. -- -- who actually turn acted to be defending. The law in the state of California because of course the governor would not do it. That's right it it's -- somewhat technical legal issue but the way you said it is the way to understand. Neither Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Our governor Jerry Brown would defend this law so who's going to defend -- law. In the court when the couples who wanted to get married brought to court. As it turns out there's -- there's a part of California law which says the proponents. Of a ballot initiative -- a referendum. Can be designated. As the -- to represent the state. And defend the law the California Supreme Court approved of that but in this court during oral arguments these justices were very concerned about that they said. Private citizens. Don't have any accountability. To the state to the taxpayers is that they could spend as much money as they want -- -- -- They could say anything they want in the lawsuit the most -- prejudicial things for example and they aren't accountable to the people of California. And they said basically we don't want every Tom Dick and Harry coming up saying I'm represent North Carolina today I'm representing Illinois today. Then standing in the federal court is tougher. More narrow -- the California courts -- so that's basically what we're looking but he's kind of. -- that in both the -- in the case and the prop eight case you don't have the US government defending a US law. And you don't have the state of California prop eight defending a California law. And that creates these these sort of interest being. Defenders. Who come forward and say okay. We understand the government won't defend their own law so we will come in instead and say were either advocates on behalf of this law or the house Republicans is the case may be. I find that just to be very. Her but again and then but the court here did though is they decided some people did believe that they might try to make the same standing argument with a Dahmer case -- say since the -- the federal government isn't defending it. We shouldn't even be considering do not do. There were number of technical ways that they could've gotten rid of the -- case and they didn't do that and as Terry's been pointing out. That that this the look this didn't -- nature of the language we're hearing. From Justice Kennedy here. He's going to be cited in the future no matter what the prop eight ruling is and we should point out. That it here's the language from the dissent in -- -- which tells us what we think the opinions going to be -- prop eight. We may in the future have to resolve challenges to state marriage definitions affecting same sex couples. That issue however is not before us in this case and we hold today that we lack jurisdiction to -- in the particular context of Hollingsworth. -- -- So the fact that -- they're not going to resolve that case means as Terry points out there's going to be additional litigation. And they're gonna come Ford they're gonna say look at what Justice Kennedy said he don't law. That's -- more than just saying don't discriminate. Let me bring that to Tony Perkins again don't bring in Tony Perkins of the family research council again when you look at that language from Justice Kennedy does it make you fear. That marriage bans in those 36 states -- -- them are now vulnerable. I don't think so I mean I think what we're trying to do here what they were trying to do what trying to prop eight -- wait to see what the decision is on that. Is that it is to try to impose a one size fits all upon the entire nation. Of redefining marriage this decision on -- is limited to those jurisdictions as we now understand it. -- and so if the this idea that this is gonna happen if it's inevitable and the trends are all that way. It is interesting that they've gone to the courts to try to impose same sex marriage on the nation's I would suggest that time is not on their side. A -- has as more jurisdictions that adopt same sex marriage. Realize the the important that the implications of this it affects religious liberty it affects parental rights in terms of what their children are taught. It has a lot of other factors involved here than just the marriage -- this has really about altering. -- -- Our landscape of America don't want interrupt you but we don't go back to coordinate with Terry Moran because we do now -- the decision a proposition eight. We do -- it is as we've been talking about chief Justice Roberts saying the defenders of the law have no standing they've got no right to defend this like the governor of California won't. We can't hear this case and so that's a -- it's no decision to practical results of that. Is that the original ruling. By judge Vaughn walker in San Francisco. Which struck down prop eight. Will stand and that will likely mean that in the near future gay couples in California. Will be able to marry will have a federal constitutional -- America it leaves for another day the question of the whole country although there's one. Very interesting detail in this chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion. -- six members of the court in dissent. The dissenters saying that we can decide this case we want to decide this case Justice Alito Justice Scalia and justice Anthony Kennedy. -- we're just reading this sweeping opinion on the equal human dignity and equal human rights of gay couples. One might read the -- -- saying he wanted to decide this case. Because I want -- he wanted to do that that's what I was just gonna -- gonna ask isn't it does suggest you -- find out more in this. Over time that perhaps Justice Kennedy did want to apply that sweeping standards -- let's deal with this once and for all right now. Well look he he he he clearly wanted to decide both cases he wrote one case. In language that is almost poetic in its embrace and affirmation of the equal status as far as congress is concerned. Of legally married gay couples. If he took up prop eight which denied the right they denied gay couples the ability to marry in California. He'd have to go a long -- not to embrace the words you just written. -- question is when can assume that that he would he would have struck again let's go back to California necessary you may get there the reaction. Well it still hasn't been announced here on this street George so you will see it if you stay with us any second I'm sure. We know -- we've been talking about it here amongst ourselves having heard it -- you guys. And I just asked lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom -- -- this is a good thing he said it's 90%. Are really good thing. We have heard from the San Francisco city attorney in memos that have been released read this decision and we do know that this sent this decision is that prop eight stands. -- that that that. That he gave same sex marriages will take place here in California. If all goes according to plan sometime between mid. The end of July we know here in San Francisco for example 64 volunteers have already been deputized to begin. Officiating at those marriages and we fully expect here in California to literally see a -- to the altar for same sex couples. I believe we're going to see this I'm gonna step aside because I believe. We -- going to see this decision -- in any minute again we're in San Francisco City Hall couples have been gathered here all morning you can see. This this route is just absolutely packed what you can't see off camera when I want to try to can -- you. Is the magnitude of this crap people are literally hanging over the second floor balcony. Waiting for this decision. That early cheers -- don't -- the decision -- -- McCain down this crowd just erupted there were cheers there was elation. And this is a crowd that fully expects to see the Supreme Court ruling -- gay marriage this is a movement here in California that has been longstanding. Before proposition eight was -- became illegal as a voter proposition in 2008. We -- 181000. Couples get married here in the state of California -- those people are still married today. And they will benefit from this ruling if proposition eight they will -- -- federal benefits that have only existed for us opposite sex couples now benefiting them from from health care. Two military benefits to Social Security to tax. And again really people are just on pins and needles here waiting for this decision I'm surprised it hasn't coming here yet. Because when it does I guarantee you we'll hear and rolls around her will stand by enlisting -- We're just thank you see was -- -- -- -- let me just reset the -- now it's 1030 in the West -- 71030 on the East -- 730. On the West Coast we do have the two major decisions on same sex marriage from the Supreme Court the Supreme Court and a five to four decision. -- led by justice Anthony Kennedy struck down the defense of marriage act. Which define marriage as between a man and a woman so from now on anyone who is legally married gay couples legally married in the twelve states. Where it is now legal will receive the full federal benefits the second case Hollingsworth -- Perry which. Dealt with the proposition eight banning gay marriage in California's been thrown out for lack of standing which means that gay marriage will once it once again. Be legal in the state of California even though they have not yet announced that -- in in California we're seeing crowds in San Francisco there as well huge crowd outside. -- Supreme Court this morning so this is just the beginning though Dan Abrams many more fights to come because of the way. The Supreme Court decided that proposition eight case it's going to be an invitation. -- couples who want to be married in the states that are where it's now illegal to come forward and say I want my rights respect. And the ticket a step back which is based on the expectations. Coming into these two cases these these these cases taking together. Are a win for same sex couples now they're gonna say this isn't enough that needs to go further fair enough but based on what people. -- expecting predicting with regard to these two cases. DC is a big win of the sweeping language. In the -- case in conjunction would effectively the punt in the proposition eight case which is going to allow now same sex couples to get married in California. On the whole is a big win percent success -- even though they did not go so far as to strike down laws banning gay marriage across the country they did give that opportunity. We're going -- they're basically saying in effect without saying it we're going to address that question later they're going to have to address that question at some point. And because of the language Justice Kennedy used because they didn't rule on proposition eight. You've got to believe that that did that -- gonna come up again in front of the let's go back Gavin Newsom lieutenant governor Gavin -- out in California. First your reaction. To the proposition eight decision and then. Trying to -- for us what's going to happen right now in the state of California with gay marriages. We'll Georgia we're just literally -- second away from this crowd about to erupt this is a big victory. For those that wanted to right the wrong a proposition eight and overturn it. They'll be legal same sex marriages in California within the next month or so -- also be a lot of litigation I think. To clean up so they're still going to be some pending issues. But this is a profound moment for every single person here remember this is an about a legal -- this is not a Supreme Court ruling this is about. Real people real lives. That are being -- firms and about -- -- -- -- pretty remarkable especially -- going to be announced there. Whether announcing its they're all watching and networks not to be named -- and whatever reason there's a delay itself when they hear it they're going to trust me -- and you and I won't be able to hear each other. -- -- -- -- today I do some gorgeous Nabisco are aware of what's happened when a show some of that. Right now some of the initial celebrations in places where they first -- And but she -- But they have not learned that yet at the City Hall in severance is -- -- go quickly back to Capitol Hill. Nine for -- Melanie -- -- -- get some reaction from. Republican -- on Capitol Hill about how this might affect. But the 20142016. Elections in what then and -- they might respond in the congress. We are George and first and foremost. Most Republicans on the ballot in 24 X 2014 and those -- May be on the ballot and points sixteen simply don't want to make this a front and center issue now of course the presidential campaign begins in a state. That already has gay marriage in Iowa but one top Republican strategist tells me just a moment ago that. He believes that there will be at least one candidate may be more than one candidate on the Republican side who support same sex marriage and when he sixteen. And that would be a complete sea change from just the last presidential campaign and certainly to 2008 presidential campaign when -- it first began in California. Let me bring that to Tony Perkins tiny little world where do you go next and what kind of -- do you expected to be brought to bear. On Republican candidates coming going forward. Well I think understanding this decision as has been discussed it's really the court punting on this issue not addressing the merits of it. You still have after the effects of this you'll have 37 jurisdictions states in the country that define marriage as a union of a man woman this is a very limited decision. Granted it would have been better had day. -- -- regard for the voters of California that a vote voted twice. To define marriage according to its natural definition. But you still have again 37 jurisdictions that we'll have marriage as the definition of a man and a woman that's overwhelming. Again I think the reason they're going to the court is that they know the time is not on their side because of the ramifications. Of changing this definition it impacts the -- -- -- education impacts religious liberty. And so I I I think the court didn't want to tackle that and I'm not sure -- the outcome will be what supporters of same sex marriage want. When the court does get to let me press you on that notion of time being on the side. Opponents of same sex marriage how do you square that with the remarkable shift we've seen. In public opinion over the last decade or so. Well what you've seen is you've only had same sex marriage and jurisdictions in the last couple of years. Where it's been we have got twelve now twelve states. But the reality is you have not had a chance to see individuals have not seen the implications of this where the curriculum in the schools are taught. Our children are taught morals that contradiction of what their parents are teaching them we've got florists we've got Baker's others who were being sued. Losing their businesses because they refuse to. Participate in same sex marriages because of their religious convictions we've had churches that are lost tax exemptions as a result not performing. A same sex unions so. When people begin to see that this is about much more than the marriage -- that it's really about fundamentally altering the landscape of America. I don't think they'll be is eager. To move down this path -- same sex marriage I don't think that time is on the side. Of those who want to redefine marriage that's why they've gone to the court to try to impose this on the nation and I failed today. Thank you Tony Perkins on the go back to Terry Moran at the Supreme Court Terry. As we said from the beginning of this day an historic day. The Supreme Court they have now ruled. That -- defense of marriage act is unconstitutional. -- said basically. That the states are gonna fight out -- state by state whether or not marriage can be legal a same sex marriages can be legal and as you've been pointing out. All morning it is been done with sweeping. Sweeping rhetoric from justice Anthony Kennedy. Absolutely Tony Perkins is -- -- the landscape is what it is most states do not permit gay couples to marry. But. Those who favor marriage equality. Same sex marital rights took a huge step forward today in language like this this is how justice Anthony Kennedy the key swing vote. Described. New York in the other states' decision to allow same sex couples he says. These states have said should have the right to marry he could've ended the sentence there. And so live with pride in themselves. And their union and in the status of equality. And all other married person. We put language like that the Supreme Court opinion I don't come back and be Lana want. And we just saw the reaction in San Francisco as they learned. -- -- -- -- -- -- once again be legal for same sex couples in the state of California thanks to all my colleagues. For that today we're in a sign off right now before you -- that we want to know what you think about these Supreme Court decisions tell us on Twitter. Using the hash -- you see on screen. Right there were were always going to be reporting on this all day long -- -- dot com have a full report tonight. On world news from this historic day the Supreme Court hundreds of -- and you. This has been a special from the keys.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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