'This Week' Transcript: 2013 Game Changers

The transcript for "This Week" on Dec. 29, 2013

ByABC News
December 27, 2013, 4:23 PM
PHOTO: Defense of Marriage Act plantiff Edith Windsor speaks at a press conference at the The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in New York on June 26, 2013.
Defense of Marriage Act plantiff Edith Windsor speaks at a press conference at the The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in New York on June 26, 2013.

Dec. 29, 2013— -- Below is a rush transcript for "This Week" on December 29, 2013.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: Good morning, and welcome to a special edition of This Week.

Game changers, as the year draws to a close, those who made their mark in 2013.




STEPHANOPOULOS: Fresh insights on a new pope, the Tea Party star shaking up Washington, the hacker who revealed America's secrets, raised fears of Big Brother.


MALALA YOUSAFZAI, WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVIST: They thought that the bullet will silence us, but they failed.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And the young girl who inspired us all by defying fear. New exclusive interviews, insights and analysis, the game changers of 2013. They changed the world. And they're right here this Sunday morning.

ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos starts now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello again. I hope you're enjoying this holiday week, one we're marking with a special look back at the people who broke through and made a big difference in 2013. Our "This Week" game changers.

We've got some surprising revelations and brand-new interviews, starting with Texas Senator Ted Cruz. It is hard to remember a freshman senator stealing the spotlight so quickly and with such force. He stopped the government in its tracks for 16 days. To cheers from Tea Party activists, jeers from Democrats and some establishment Republicans too. But that's not slowing Cruz a bit. He's setting his sights on higher office.

ABC's chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl has his story.


JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: When it comes to politics, you could say this has been the year of Ted Cruz.

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: It's government that needs more help.

KARL: Aside from the president, no one attracted more attention or more controversy. Cruz went from obscurity to leading presidential candidate in a political nanosecond, the man at the center of the government shutdown ended 2013 as a runner-up to the pope as TIME's person of the year.

Most first year senators lay low. This one ended up on the couch next to Jay Leno. JAY LENO, TONIGHT SHOW HOST: I have been reading a lot about you lately. And they describe you as aggressive, arrogant and abrasive. Accurate.

CRUZ: Well, I don't know that you can believe everything you read.

What I'm trying to do is do my job. And, occasionally people don't like that.

KARL: Do you want people in Washington to like you?

CRUZ: You know, Jon, what I want to do is I want to serve 26 million Texans. I want to do my job. That's really my focus.

KARL: Do you care -- I mean, does it bother you that a lot of people around here just don't like you?

CRUZ: Nobody should be surprised if you're trying to change Washington, that the Washington establishment pushes back.

KARL: And push back they did. Just weeks after his swearing- in...


KARL: ...Cruz seemed to be off to a rough start, quickly rubbing his new colleagues in the senate the wrong way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Cruz has gone over the line.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not a sixth grader. Senator, I have been on this committee for 20 years.

KARL: Senator John McCain branded Cruz and his fellow Tea Partyers in congress wacko birds, an insult to be sure, but Cruz didn't seem to mind.

CRUZ: You know, if standing for liberty, if standing for free market principles and the constitution makes you a wacko bird, then I am a very proud wacko bird.

KARL: A supporter even made a wacko bird hat that Cruz proudly displays in his office.

There was a brief moment early on when Cruz, after Obama met with senate Republicans, talked of working with the president.

CRUZ: I welcome the president coming to Capitol Hill to meet with us. I look forward to doing everything I can to work productively, for us to roll up our sleeves and get the economy growing again.

KARL: That didn't last long as Cruz laid out the gold that would turn Washington upside-down, defunding Obamacare before agreeing to fund the government.

At first, Republican leaders rejected the idea.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) OHIO: Our goal here is to cut spending, it's not to shut down the government.

KARL: But Cruz refused to go along with the Republican leadership. He gave an all day, all night speech, the second longest in the history of the senate.

CRUZ: I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand.

This grand experiment three-and-a-half years ago is quite simply not working.

KARL: He went on for more than 21 hours without sitting or even taking a bathroom break, filling time in some creative ways.

CRUZ: Mike Lee, I am your father.

Jay said redneck rule number one, most things can be fixed with duct tape and extension cords. That's actually very true.

I don't like them Sam I am. I do not like green eggs and ham.

KARL: The speech made Cruz a national figure, a rallying point for those who agreed with him and those who didn't, giving plenty of material for late-night comedians.

JON STEWART, THE DAILY SHOW: In the land of D.C., in the Senate of snooze, lived the showboatiest blab whose name was Ted Cruz.

KARL: Cruz found his most receptive audience among House conservatives, meeting secretly one night in the middle of the government shutdown with Tea Partiers in a Mexican restaurant on Capitol Hill called at Tortilla Coast.

You had a famous meeting right here in this restaurant. What was that like meeting with those House Republicans? They, in a way, were looking to you as a leader.

CRUZ: Well, we had lots of meetings throughout the year and throughout the shutdown as well. And nobody should be surprised that members of congress are talking to each other. It doesn't happen nearly enough.

KARL: But it's rare to see a senator to have the kind of influence that you had, especially a freshman senator, a first-year senator, over the House.

CRUZ: Well, with respect, I actually don't think it was a case of my having influence at all. I think it's a case of the American people having influence.

KARL: Right, but this was a strategy that you were putting forth and they jumped on board. CRUZ: Well, no, this is something that a lot of people came forward and agreed with. And at the end of the day, the conservatives who met here at Tortilla Coast, who met repeatedly and continue to have conversations, what we were trying to do is listen to the American people, listen to those over 2 million people who are saying this thing ain't working.

KARL: The House Republicans went along with the Cruz strategy and the government shut down for 16 days, a move widely seen as a political disaster for Republicans that accomplished nothing.

But the day Republicans caved and congress voted to reopen the government, Cruz declared victory.

CRUZ: We saw the House of Representatives take a courageous stand listening to the American people, that was a remarkable victory.

KARL: As the year draws to a close, Republican leaders have made it clear they think the strategy pushed by Cruz and outside conservative groups was a total failure.

BOEHNER: Frankly, I just think that they've lost all credibility. You know, they pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and to shut down the government. If you recall, one of these groups stood up and said, well, we never really thought it would work. Are you kidding me?

KARL: But the year also ended with Ted Cruz as the most high- profile Tea Party consecutive in congress. Again at Tortilla Coast, Cruz reflected on all of that.

When you think about the tradition of first-year senators, they tend to be seen but not heard, you have had, you said, a whirlwind for a first year as a U.S. senator, does that surprise you? I mean, you're on TIME magazine's list as the runner-up to the pope for person of the year.

CRUZ: That was a very strange thing.

This is a city where it's all politics all the time. And I'm trying to do my best not to pay attention to the politics, to focus on fixing the problems.

KARL: Really?

CRUZ: I know that's hard to believe, but because no one in this town does that. This is a time for people to step up and do the right thing and that's what I'm trying to do.

KARL: You have had a couple of months to think about this whole government shutdown strategy. Now that it's over in hindsight, are you prepared to say that it was a mistake, it wasn't the right tactic?

CRUZ: I think it was absolutely a mistake for President Obama and Harry Reid to force a government shutdown.

KARL: Now you know even John Boehner has said this was a Republican shutdown.

CRUZ: Look, I can't help what other people say.

And Jon, I understand that in the media, every day the media reported the Republicans shut the government down...

KARL: No, I mean, but come on. I mean we're a couple months away from this, the only reason why this happened is because you insisted, Republicans insisted that Obamacare be defunded as a condition of funding the government. If you didn't -- if you took away that insistence, there would be no shutdown. I mean, really.

CRUZ: You've got conservatives who stood strong and said let's stop the train wreck that is Obamacare, and you've got Democrats in the middle of the shutdown, President Obama called every Senate Republican to the White House, sat us in a room and said I called you to tell you, we're not going to negotiate, we're not going to compromise on anything.

Repeatedly Republicans were compromising, trying to find a middle ground. And repeatedly Democrats said, no compromise, shut it down.

KARL: One of the odder signs of Cruz's new celebrity is the new coloring book about him.

There is a Ted Cruz coloring book. This is the number one selling coloring book on Amazon.

CRUZ: Jon, if ever there were a sign that the world is a crazy place, that is it. I didn't know about it...

KARL: You obviously had no idea until it came out. I don't want to take a coloring book all that seriously, but it does say in this coloring book that you're filibuster was so important, because millions of citizens believe Obamacare is worse than any war and that more people will die as a result of illness because of Obamacare than in all of the wars since World War II.

CRUZ: Now, let me ask you, Jon, just for clarification, is this the first time anyone has ever been on your show cross examined for a coloring book.

KARL: It is the first time I have ever questioned a political figure over a coloring book.

But Obamacare is not worse than war.

CRUZ: No, of course not.

KARL: One more thing, when it comes to the year that was, feathers ruffled, the shutdown, the late-night jokes, Cruz says he has no big regrets.

For This Week, Jonathan Karl, ABC News, Washington.


And now we turn to the hacker who made headlines around the world with the most dramatic and extensive intelligence revelations in history.

Edward Snowden revealed a secret surveillance operation that went far beyond anything the public had imagined. It set off alarm bells across the intelligence community, angered America's allies, sparked calls for reform from the president and congress and at least one federal judge believes he uncovered a program that violates our constitution.

He's been called a patriot and traitor, a fugitive and a freedom fighter, how Edward Snowden will spend 2014 and the rest of his life is anyone's guess. And as ABC's Pierre Thomas reports, his dramatic actions in 2013 will reverberate for years to come.


EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: My name is Ed Snowden. I'm 29 years old.

PIERRE THOMAS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: With that, the world was introduced to the mild-mannered IT guy whose revelations would shake the foundations of U.S. national security and fracture international relationships.

SNOWDEN: I had access to, you know the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world.

THOMAS: And he used that access to NSA computers to secretly steal a treasure trove of the nation's most sensitive secrets.

Snowden not only stole the secrets, he gave them to the press to publish.

To some, he's a hero, a whistleblower.

To others, a traitor.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I don't think Mr. Snowden was a patriot.

THOMAS: Snowden fled the country to Hong Kong and is completely committed to his cause. He wants to expose what he believes are massive violations of privacy done in the name of fighting terror.

SNOWDEN: The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong. This is the truth. This is what's happening. You should decide whether we need to be doing this.

THOMAS: His actions reveal some stunning gaps in national security. He secretly downloaded the material for months undetected and walked out the door.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: How someone at his level was able to get access, it's hard for me to fathom how this was allowed to happen the way it did.

THOMAS: June 5th, the first explosive leak is published in the British newspaper, "The Guardian." It contains details of a top secret court ruling. The public had never seen anything like it -- the bombshell that under court order, Verizon was providing the National Security Agency with phone records of millions of customers. Among the information, the numbers and times of calls being made across the country.

It's something the nation's top spy had publicly denied.

REP. RON WYDEN (D), OREGON: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?


WYDEN: It does not?

CLAPPER: Not wittingly.

THOMAS: The leaks sent shock waves throughout the entire U.S. intelligence community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time and time again, the American people were told one thing about domestic surveillance in public forums while government agencies did something else in private.

THOMAS: Just recently, a federal judge in Washington stated that he believes the data gathering is unconstitutional and could violate the Fourth Amendment protecting against unreasonable searches.

But Snowden's critics say he's unleashed potentially ominous consequences for the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taking a very sensitive classified program that targets foreign persons on foreign lands and putting just enough out there to be dangerous is dangerous to us. It's dangerous to our national security.

THOMAS: The leaks, officials say, have caught the attention of terrorists.

(on camera): Are we less safe because of what Snowden took?

KING: Yes, we are. We know that already that certain al Qaeda elements have changed their means of communication based upon what Snowden has disclosed. What Snowden has done has unraveled a significant part of the defenses that we had set up after September 11th, and not just defense, but also some of our preemptive abilities to stop something before it happens.

THOMAS (voice-over): As for the diplomatic damage, enormous. Authorities say for hostile intelligence agencies, the leaks are a bonanza. For friendly nations, the revelations of spying on allies are, as one intelligence official put it, "a foreign diplomatic disaster."

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's the latest bombshell from Edward Snowden. There you see President Obama looking relaxed with other world leaders at the G8 summit today, only after hours "The Guardian" revealed that America had spied on its own allies.

THOMAS: Embarrassing disclosures that the U.S. was monitoring the phone calls of 35 foreign leaders, close allies among them, including German Prime Minister Angela Merkel.

The leaders demanded answers, with the European Union even sending a fact-finding delegation to Washington.

In protest, Brazil's prime minister canceled a visit, foregoing the pageantry of a state dinner, all forcing the president to engage in full-on diplomatic damage control. And the damage is far from over.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Should we be expecting more revelations from you?


THOMAS: "The Guardian's" editor recently testified before parliament that only a tiny fraction of the leaked files have been revealed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about 1 percent of what we were given.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only 1 percent of the information in those files has now gone public?


THOMAS: WikiLeaks, the whistleblower organization which has leaked some of the most explosive secrets of the U.S. government, has supported Snowden throughout. Its leader says there's no turning back.

JULIAN ASSANGE, FOUNDER, WIKILEAKS: Look, there is no stopping the publishing process at this staged. Great care has been taken to make sure that Mr. Snowden can't be pressured by any state to stop the publication process.

GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER, DIRECTOR, NSA: I wish there was a way to prevent it. We don't know how to stop it.

OBAMA: I continue to be concerned about the other documents that he may have. That's part of the reason why we'd like to have Mr. Snowden in custody.

THOMAS: Snowden, charged with espionage and theft, is now a fugitive from justice. He managed to stay a step ahead of authorities, escaping from Hong Kong to Russia, where for (AUDIO GAP) he was stuck in limbo in the Moscow airport before being granted asylum. While it remains unclear whether Snowden will ever face justice in the U.S., his actions may lead to sweeping changes in what the government shares about its most sensitive spy programs.

In late December, a White House review panel recommended greater transparency.

RICHARD CLARKE, MEMBER, WHITE HOUSE NSA ADVISORY PANEL: It's not just the facts that matter here, it's the appearance. The facts are NSA is not reading our e-mails or abusing its power. The appearance, however, is that they are. And we need to end any mistrust by opening it up.

THOMAS: Even the president, while still critical of Snowden, acknowledges the disclosures ignited a legitimate debate.

OBAMA: Just because we can do something doesn't mean we necessarily should. And the values that we've got as Americans are ones that we have to be willing to apply beyond our borders.

THOMAS: And with many more potential leaks to come, the debate is far from over.

For THIS WEEK, Pierre Thomas, ABC News, Washington.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are just getting started on our special edition of THIS WEEK. The game-changers of 2013. We'll be back after a short break with Pope Francis reenergizing the Catholic Church.

Also, soccer star Robbie Rogers and NBA veteran Jason Collins on a ground-breaking year for gay rights.

And we ask some of our THIS WEEK regulars for their game- changers.


MARY MATALIN: My game-changer this year, and I suspect many more years to come, is Pope Francis, who's building on the teachings of his predecessors, Benedict and John Paul, to show us the way of faith, show us how to walk the walk.



DONNA BRAZILE: Senate women were the game-changer this year. They proved that you can put aside partisanship in order to get things done through partnership.



STEPHANOPOULOS: We have a fresh look at Pope Francis right after this. More of our THIS WEEK game-changers.



NANCY PELOSI, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Edie Windsor is my game changer; she took her case of injustice all of the way to the Supreme Court. And when she won, she changed the game in terms of marriage equality and ending discrimination in America.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR: My pick for game changer is the pope and it's an easy one, when he said that the Catholic Church should be a home for all, I think he meant that we should be focusing on issues of bringing people together, not on issues that divide people. I think our country should be doing the same.


STEPHANOPOULOS: There's never been a Pope Francis before, from the moment he stepped on St. Peter's balcony as the first pope from Latin America, it began to dawn on all of us that this was just the start of dramatic change. Francis is sending a spiritual jolt to the world's billion Catholics, spreading joy and teaching lessons with a caring smile, a simple life, his sense of time, place and history impeccable.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): It is white smoke. There is a pope. A new pope for the 1.2 billion Catholics around the world.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): That historic moment, a centuries- old tradition, but this year, a surprise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Here it comes, let us listen, let us watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Italian).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): From Argentina.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): The first Jesuit pope.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): That is really something.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): We're really breaking ground here, these cardinals, someone from Latin America who's a Jesuit. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): He's taking the name St. Francis for the first time, which is clearly a signal that he wants to show a different face of the church, face of the poor.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): His first words were casual, conversational.

POPE FRANCIS: Buona sera.


STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): The first sign of a new day at the Vatican.

FRANCIS (through translator): I would like to give a blessing, but first, do me a favor --

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): That favor: a pope asking the people to pray for him.

COKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It was an incredible moment, because we all had our list of papabile (ph), the people who were likely to be pope. And he wasn't on any of them.

Suddenly here's this Argentinean who was really of a completely different mold. And it signaled that the College of Cardinals had come to a decision that they really wanted a different kind of pope.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): With that first humble greeting, Pope Francis captured hearts. Down in the crowds, reaching out to those most in need, living simply. He's leading by example and enlivening his church.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he's working very honestly and simply to transmit his humility to the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's very true to what the church stands for, but I think he's much more in touch with the fact that, yes, you have to take the message out to people and actually live it.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Less than a year after the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis has shifted focus from the scandals of the past to a future centered on the poor.

CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN: We have not had a good run of late. And what I have tried to say, George, is this pope has successfully, finally shattered the caricature of the church that his predecessors have tried hard to do.

What's that caricature? That the church is kind of mean and dour and always saying no and always telling us what we can't do and always telling us why we should be excluded. He's saying, no, come on in, the church is about warmth and tenderness.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): In an ABC News/Washington Post poll, 92 percent of American Catholics think well of the pope. And 85 percent think he's moving the church in the right direction.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York sees the Francis effect first- hand.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you all really have seen the kind of impact this man would have?

DOLAN: No. I think nothing that he's does has surprised us. But what surprised us is that he's done it even more effectively than we thought. What we were after was a good pastor with a track record of solid administration but fatherly warm, tender care for the sheep, for his people. And, boy, we got that on steroids with Pope Francis. He's the world's parish priest.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Drawing in the young with a sense of humor and laid-back style, on his travels, Pope Francis is a rock star, speaking out in new ways.

FRANCIS: In the worlds of politics, business, art and social media.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): And downplaying what he calls the church's obsession with social issues.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He seems to want to rebalance in some ways. He says, of course, he holds to the church doctrine on things like abortion and gay marriage. But he says also, let's not just talk about this (INAUDIBLE).

DOLAN: Yes, you know what? John XXIII said, look, the teaching of the church is a timeless gift, you can't change it, it's ours, we inherited it, we're given it.

But the way we gift wrap it, the way we make it more attractive and more compelling to the world, that could always change and that's what Francis is saying.

ROBERTS: Pope Francis is emphasizing different parts of church doctrine. So, he's talking about income inequality and the need for the church to be the church for the poor.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): In his first exhortation outlining his vision for the church, Pope Francis took on capitalism, denouncing the idolatry of money and an economy that kills.

DOLAN: What he says is that the dollar is money, if the economy becomes our God, that's idolatry. There's only one God and money ain't it, OK? Money is morally neutral. It's how we use it that makes it sinful or good. And so he said use it for the good to support yourself and your family, to reinvest in society and to help those without. Don't let it become the be-all and end-all of life.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He's not the first pope to speak like this, but it's also drawn some criticism from some.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. There's no such unfettered capitalism that doesn't exist anywhere.

DOLAN: You get it from both sides. And sometimes, criticism is good, Jesus said, be careful if the world is only saying good things about you. So Pope Francis probably shrugs and says, well, it's good that I'm upsetting some people. It's good that people are taking me seriously. And he'll get it again. He knows that.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Not shying away, responding to critics, challenging them with questions of his own.

ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH KURTZ, U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS: He's not asking us to change the teachings of our church. He takes very seriously his responsibility to pass on the sacred traditions. But he is saying let's not get so pigeonholed that we're involved in a kind of an intellectual debate.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Archbishop Joseph Kurtz is the new head of U.S. Bishops.

KURTZ: He's giving us a new zeal, he's giving us new expressions and a new method. He's saying the same time-honored, beautiful message of Christ, but in a way that's really touching hearts.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): An age-old message delivered in a modern way, by "Time" magazine's Person of the Year.

DOLAN: He said, "'Time' magazine? I'm more worried about timeless things." OK? So that's the way he is. He shrugs and says, well, thanks. Who cares?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): He doesn't want to be the center of attention. He wants others to be the center. And gosh, that's a great Francis effect, isn't it?


STEPHANOPOULOS: And when the pope said those words, "Who am I to judge when asked about gay priests?" It really signaled a sea change for many in the church's attitude toward acceptance of gays. (INAUDIBLE) landmark year for gay rights, so much change, kept a Supreme Court's historic sanctioning of gay marriage.

Here's ABC's David Wright.


DAVID WRIGHT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the highest court in the land --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tonight, landmark ruling. The Supreme Court redefines the modern American family.

WRIGHT (voice-over): -- to the most competitive court in the land.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You always knew you were gay? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It's -- I sort of describe it as you know that the sky is blue but you keep telling yourself that it's red.

WRIGHT (voice-over): 2013 was a game changer. From the church and its new, more accepting pope and state after state after state legalizing gay marriage, 2013 broke the rainbow ceiling, the biggest year for gay and lesbian rights since the Stonewall riots 30 years ago.

WRIGHT: This has been a good year for the gay and lesbian community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it has. It's funny to me because I've just come out and I'm kind of on the other side.

There it is.

WRIGHT (voice-over): Soccer star Robbie Rogers of the L.A. Galaxy is living that change in real time. Earlier this year, he posted a courageous personal note to his blog and became the first professional soccer player in history to tell his fans that he was gay.

ROGERS: Yes, I was really, really nervous. And then instantly after I sent it, I felt so much lighter.

WRIGHT (voice-over): Plenty of other professional athletes have come out after they had already left their respective sports.

But active players, still in their prime, openly gay? Unheard of in American sports. At least on a professional level, until this year. Not only did Rogers come in, so did veteran NBA center Jason Collins, who sat down with George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Martina Navratilova said that this is going to save some kids' lives.

COLLINS: You know, I look at her as one of my heroes. Hopefully going forward, I can be someone else's role model.

WRIGHT (voice-over): Collins made the cover of "Sports Illustrated," where he disclosed that he chose the number 98 to honor Matthew Shepard, a young gay man murdered in 1998 in a hate crime.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What do you say to the 12-year-old boy who's out there practicing right now, wants to be a pro ballplayer and happens to be gay?

COLLINS: It doesn't matter that you're gay, but the key thing is that it's about basketball.

WRIGHT: Pro sports is of course high pressure, high profile, almost stereotypically manly, but so is another realm of American life that saw a huge shift in attitudes in 2013, the U.S. military, having already dropped its longstanding ban on gay and lesbian service, this year it extended full benefits to same-sex spouses. Astonishingly, the U.S. military is now more open than U.S. professional sports.

If the military can change, surely the locker room can change.

ROGERS: Yeah, you would think so.

WRIGHT: For the armed services, that final shift toward full acceptance of gays and lesbians, came as an immediate consequence of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling this year in a landmark case brought by Edie Windsor who spoke with Diane Sawyer.

SAWYER: When you see the words, though, Edie Windsor versus the United States of America...

EDIE WINDSOR, ACLU: When I first saw it, I was terrified. I was just -- I thought what have I done? And then I gradually understood that the government wasn't going to be personally mad at me.

WRIGHT: Windsor and her partner of 42 years got married in Canada in 2007 and sued to have their marriage recognized in their own country. It took the U.S. Supreme Court to make it happen.

SAWYER: When you heard the news, what did you do?

WINDSOR: Cried. First thing, OK. And the room was full of people, so we were both screaming and crying at the same time.

WRIGHT: Sadly, her wife Thea Spyer did not live to see it.

SAWYER: Do you think about what you would like to say to her today?

WINDSOR: I know that you're stunned, OK. It's really just -- I know what she would say, she would say you did it, honey.

WRIGHT: The latest ABC News polling data finds that support for gay marriage is at an all-time high. 58 percent of Americans now say it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to wed.

Ironically, one of the biggest financial backers of the minority view, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-gay causes is Robbie Rogers new boss, the owner of the LA Galaxy, billionaire Philip Anschutz.

Has he said anything to you?


WRIGHT: No conversations at all.

ROGERS: No conversation at all.

WRIGHT: Rogers says his fans and his family have been every bit as accepting as he could have hoped.

ROGERS: They were supportive from the minute I told them. Everything that happens was the exact opposite of what I thought would happen. You know, I come from a very Catholic, conservative family. And I can tell you they've never, ever voted liberal or Democrat in their lives.

WRIGHT: He says there have been a few abusive remarks from the sidelines, but mostly from fans of rival teams.

ROGERS: Just like -- like fag or stuff like that. But it's usually when we're winning.

WRIGHT: So we're not talking Jackie Robinson abuse?

ROGERS: No. No. And I don't like when people compare Jason Collins or I to him, because people wanted to kill him. And you know, there's just people that don't agree with us.

WRIGHT: The place he was most worried about -- the locker room.

So any awkward moments in the locker room at all?

ROGERS: For the most part, no, especially in our locker room. The guys are very respectful. And we make jokes.

WRIGHT: What kind of jokes?

ROGERS: Well, like, guys will like I'm the first person they come to for fashion advice. And I'm just like, come on, are you serious?

WRIGHT: Rogers' experience is in keeping with other high-profile Americans whose highly personal decision this year to come out hasn't made their careers miss a beat.

So there are about 6,000 professional athletes in this country, exactly two of whom are out, you and Jason Collins, what do you suspect the real number is?

ROGERS: I have no clue. Not one has reached out to me. You know, Jason and I are friends, we talk all the time, but besides that I haven't spoken to any -- any other athletes that are closeted.

WRIGHT: No one has reached out to you?

ROGERS: No one.

Again, I have...

WRIGHT: No one has quietly said, hey, keep it a secret, but...

ROGERS: No, no. And I've had like thousands and thousands of e- mails and letters and everything, from people from everywhere, everywhere around the world -- or the world. so...

WRIGHT: It's amazing.

ROGERS: Yeah, nothing.

WRIGHT: He's hoping his example will make a difference.

For This Week, David Wright, ABC News, Los Angeles.


STEPHANOPOULOS: It already has.

And coming up, more of our special edition This Week game changers, including the teenager nominated for a Nobel peace prize in 2013 Malala up next.

But first, more of our This Week regulars and their game changers.


SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, (D) NEW YORK: My game changer of the year is Malala Yousafzai, because she told up to the Taliban, she withstood their attack. And she's still fighting for equality for all in Pakistan. She is standing up to make sure every young girl in her country has the right to an education. She's my game changer of the year.



STEPHANOPOULOS: When we come back, the teenage girl who stared down the Taliban. That's up next in our special edition This Week game changers.



MATTHEW DOWD, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: My pick for game changer this year is Miles Scott, of Batkid fame in San Francisco. Here's a 5-year-old who recovered from leukemia, got a wish from Make a Wish Foundation. He wanted to become a super hero. And when the country is in dire need of superheroes, we found one in a 5-year-old and drew the attention of the country.


STEPHANOPOULOS: This morning, we are looking back at the game changers of 2013. The next, a Pakistani teenager who cheated death to become an inspiring global star. Malala Yousafzai refused to back down to threats from the Taliban. They shot her in the head, but she refused to die. And this year became the youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel peace prize.

ABC's Bob Woodruff has her amazing story still in its first chapter.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BOB WOODRUFF, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: We first met 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai in Birmingham, England just three months after the Taliban tried to kill her. She had returned home from the hospital between surgeries and spoke to ABC News for the first time since the attack.

YOUSAFZAI: Dear Malala, I heard what happened to you on October 9.

WOODRUFF: Her home was filled with letters and presents from around the world.

(on camera): You must have a lot of people that you want to thank.

What would you say to them?

M. YOUSAFZAI: Today, you can see that I am alive. I can see. I can see you. I can see everyone. And I'm getting better day by day.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): It was a miracle she had survived at all -- shot in the head at point blank range. This little girl from the Swat Valley of Pakistan was not only fighting for her life, she was fighting for the right of all girls to go to school.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Malala Yousafzai was attacked and shot by extremists who don't want girls to have an education and don't want girls to speak for themselves.

M. YOUSAFZAI: I have the right to an education. I have the right to play. I have the right to speak up.

WOODRUFF: Malala was speaking up because Taliban was bombing schools, threatening teachers and ordering girls to stay at home.


WOODRUFF: She was even featured in this documentary by the "New York Times."


M. YOUSAFZAI: They cannot stop me. I will get my education if it is in home, schools or any place.

I want to become a doctor.


WOODRUFF: Her father, Ziauddin, an activist and school teacher, was targeted for death. Soon, his only daughter would be, too. She doesn't remember the man with a gun boarding her school bus, but she described what her friends sitting next to her told her in this interview with Diane Sawyer. M. YOUSAFZAI: He said, you were just holding my hand and you just squeezed my hand like you were just forcing it. And you said nothing. And she said, like you just look at -- looked at the man like this. And then she said like, then he fired three -- three bullets and one hit you on the left side of my head. And it hit me like this. So I hide my face, because there was gun powder on my finger.

WOODRUFF: The alleged shooter, Atta Ullah, was never arrested. As word spread that Malala was alive, her survival became the ultimate defiance.

(on camera): Malala has become a hero. She has now triggered a huge movement around the world. She gets letters from children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Malala is incredible.

WOODRUFF: They have made videos for her.


WOODRUFF: Did you ever imagine that there would be this kind of reaction to what happened to her?

ZIAUDDIN YOUSAFZAI: I think Malala is an inspiration for the children all over the world. Every girl is like Malala Yousafzai.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): But not every girl would risk her life to take on the extremists who tried to kill her.

SHIZA SHAHID, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE MALALA FUND: I was with her only a couple of days after the incident. And I asked her, what do you want to do?

And she said, I want to continue doing the work that I'm doing.

And I said, sweetheart, you need to rest right now.

And she said, but I'm OK and I'm going to be OK and there is many, many more people that I need to help.

WOODRUFF: She could have disappeared. She could have silenced herself. This is pretty courageous of her, to do this kind of work.

SHAHID: She will not back down until she thinks every child has the right to go to school.


M. YOUSAFZAI: I'm here to speak up for the right of education of every child.


WOODRUFF: So on her 16th birthday, the bravest girl in the world took to the stage at the United Nations, an emotional moment for her proud parents.

M. YOUSAFZAI: They thought that the bullet would silence us. But they failed. The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed in my life, except this. Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.

WOODRUFF: The little girl from Swat has become a symbol for a cause much larger than herself.

Z. YOUSAFZAI: Her life is a miracle. Her standing up again with her full stature is a miracle. And the way she spoke, I think it was amazing. And now, I'm not the only person who own her as a daughter. She's owned by everybody.

WOODRUFF (on camera): She's the daughter of the world?

Z. YOUSAFZAI: She's the daughter of the world. And she wants an education for everybody, especially for the daughters and sons of Taliban.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): But on the one year anniversary of Malala's attack, the Taliban said they would target her again.

M. YOUSAFZAI: I think life is always dangerous. Some people get afraid of it and people don't go forward. And now I know that you must not be afraid of it and you must move forward.

WOODRUFF: To move forward, she has created The Malala Fund, to raise awareness and money for the 32 million girls around the world who can't go to school. Her first grant, sending 40 young girls working in domestic labor in the Swat Valley to school full-time.

M. YOUSAFZAI: Let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls.

WOODRUFF: Many of the world's loudest voices are speaking out to support her cause.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They shot her at point blank range in the head and made her stronger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Malala, who dared to believe that every child has an equal right to an education.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What matters is if you are brave. And you are very, very brave, Malala.


JON STEWART, HOST: I know your father is backstage and he's very proud of you.

But would he be mad if I adopted you?

(END VIDEO CLIP) WOODRUFF: Despite her popularity, Malala continues to speak truth to power. When President Barack Obama invited her to the White House, she expressed concern about the innocent victims killed by American drone attacks and asked him to refocus on education.

M. YOUSAFZAI: One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.

WOODRUFF: For THIS WEEK, I'm Bob Woodruff, ABC News, New York.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Malala just announced her new goal and she wants to be prime minister of Pakistan. And she's already written a memoir called "I am Malala."

For more on Malala's mission, check out malalafund.org.

And up next, Boston strong -- how a city inspired all of us.


REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: My game-changers are low wage service workers who are striking all over this country for a better wage for themselves and their families. They're not waiting on Congress to change the law, they're taking their lives into their own hands.



JAMES CARVILLE: My game-changer of the year is John Kerry. Any time you have a chance to alter a strategic map that's been in existence for 60 years, that's a big game-changer.



REP. TOM COLE (R), OKLAHOMA: My game-changers for 2013 are Representative Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murphy.


Because they reached across the aisle. They came up with a deal for the first time in a long time and got Washington working again.



STEPHANOPOULOS: Our next game-changer, an entire city. 2013 started out tough for Boston. That deadly attack on the city's legendary marathon shut Boston down. It shocked us all. It was a hard shot.

But Boston came back strong and capped the year with some Red Sox pride.

Here's ABC's John Donvan.


JOHN DONVAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the week a fallen runner got the cover of "Sports Illustrated" along with the terror and the turmoil and the response, because that's what it started out as that morning, while the innocence still held, a sports story, one of the biggest and oldest and proudest of its kind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the battle for second is on.

DONVAN: Bearing the name of the city that has hosted its since forever.

Then to have this break it apart.

And with three people killed, one of them a kid, and many more badly wounded, the sports story became the worst kind of news story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Get out of here!

DONVAN (voice-over): That left a hurt in everyone.

MAYOR TOM MENINO (D), BOSTON: This marathon bombing, in fact, I feel like I've never, ever seen before, the violation of their privacy, of their enjoyment.

DONVAN: Did you take it as a personal wound?

MENINO: I didn't take it personally but I was hurt by it.

DONVAN (voice-over): But what Mayor Tom Menino did notice that week as he ran a city under lockdown and in the midst of a manhunt was how sports became a vocabulary used to address the hurt, how the Chicago press used the simplest of headlines to say, we're with you, Boston.

How the New York Yankees did the same with their rendition of "Sweet Caroline," the song that belongs to the Boston Red Sort of. And speaking of those Red Sox, well, in two great acts, they gave something back to their battered city.

Act one started with their first home stand at the end of that terrible week, a pregame tribute to Boston itself, its people, its heroes, a celebration some other towns might have held in a church or a cathedral or on the town square.

DONVAN: In Boston, everybody else also looked at Fenway Park and turned to Fenway Park in this terrible moment that had become a triumphant moment and to find hope. Why in this city do people go to a baseball stadium --


MENINO: We love our Red Sox.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): It's true, look at the crowd that day. It's always true. For a lot of people from Boston, being a Red Sox fan is their main way of saying that they're from Boston.

MENINO: It was very moving. Yes, it was very moving, the first responders there.

DAVID ORTIZ, RED SOX: We want to thank you, Mayor Menino.

DONVAN (voice-over): And then they gave the mike to David Ortiz and what he said was a little moving and a little shocking.

ORTIZ: This is our (INAUDIBLE) city and nobody can going to take it away, stay strong. Thank you.

DONVAN (voice-over): Act one also saw the Red Sox throughout their season making hospital visits and bringing survivors to games to throw out the first pitch. And most of all, acknowledging from that ceremony on, that this 2013 season was going to mean something different.

WILL MIDDLEBROOKS, BOSTON RED SOX: It'll take a lot of responsibility. We know how big of a deal baseball is here. We know how passionate everyone is about it. And we're just happy to get back out there and help the city heal.

JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA, BOSTON RED SOX: I think that's what we're here for, you know, there's a duty just like everyone else to come together. And that's what we're going to do.

JONNY GOMES, BOSTON RED SOX: You do want to be saddened for a second and celebrate their lives, but at the same time, I guess the American way, we got to continue to keep, you know, keep chugging and not let that act slow us down, but at the same time, we do have to take a deep breath and acknowledge what did happen.

DONVAN (voice-over): Act two, of course, was how they played this 2013 season. They had been awful in 2012 and not much better in the early days of 2013.

DONVAN: The early part of the season, you were at those games and they weren't playing very well. What were you thinking?

MENINO: I was agonizing a little bit about it. But I always said, they would get back.

DONVAN (voice-over): Well, yes, they did, all of the way to the playoffs. Then the division title. Then the pennant and then they won the World Series.

ORTIZ: First of all, I want to say, this is for you, Boston!


ORTIZ: (INAUDIBLE). We have been through a lot this year and this is for all of you and all the families that struggled with the bombing this year. This is for all of you.

MENINO: They helped the city get back on its feet. They had a real determination, this team.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 2013 World Champions!

DONVAN (voice-over): And on the day of the victory parade it was the Sox themselves who stopped at the Boston Marathon finish line where they placed their Series trophy just to let it sit there a while, to let it sink in. They had won. Boston had won.

In a vocabulary that came from sports, yes, this was their bleeping town, it always had been. For THIS WEEK, John Donvan, ABC News, Boston.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Love hearing that song again. Thanks to John Donvan for that. And thanks all of you for sharing part of your Sunday with us today and all year long.

Before we go, a big thank you to everyone behind the scenes that bring you THIS WEEK every week. And have a happy, safe, and blessed new year!

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