Hardball | February 26, 2013
>>> some good news for progressives in in story. welcome back. xm one month from today on march 25th , the united states supreme court will begin hearing arguments on two landmark cases both regarding same-sex marriage or marriage equality if you will. the ground swell of support for gay marriage among prominent republicans is being showcased like never before. this week a friend of the court , amicus brief signed boot at least 80 republicans will be filed in the proposition 8 marriage equality case out in california supporting same-sex marriage. six former republican governors have signed on including former presidential candidate jon huntsman of utah, former new jersey governor chris tooen todd whit man and former massachusetts governor william weld , also signing their names. mary cheney , nicolle wallace , ben ginsberg, and michael powell , colin powell 's son. and in the biggest turnaround, meg whitman who supported proposition 8 barring gay marriage now support gay marriage . joining me is jimmy la salle via president of go proud and msnbc contributor ron reagan . gentlemen, thank you for joining us. jimmy, you have been involved in this fight and i think on the republican side . when did the turn begin? when did you start meeting people who at least said priflly we got to change on this from what the platform has been saying?
>> well, i think this issue has been moving faster than any issue we've seen ever in my lifetime, and it's been the last few years. i think that certainly -- i think before then we started a lot of movement. i think especially now that we've had the 2012 elections where four states passed the marriage issues and it's just the new political reality, and people are thinking about the issue differently. everybody has got gay people in their lives now and they --
>> tell me the importance of that. the importance of people just coming out. i think that's the key. when you realize somebody you might have thought was gay but they come out and say it and you're reconciled to that reality.
>> exactly. and people want -- you know, politics is personal and people think about how issues affect their friends and family, and marriage is a good thing for people, and settling down and being monogamous and getting married is a good thing, and more and more conservatives are realizing that and wanting it for their gay friends and family.
>> you know, ron , thanks for coming on. unlike the gun issue, for example, where your rights can easily endanger if not kill somebody else's existence, the thing about same-sex marriage is it's not like it's an aggressive act. it's a marriage. it's between two people. so is might bother somebody conceptually but there's no real danger of anybody else's marriage being corrupted by same-sex marriage it seems to me but maybe some people disagree.
>> you're absolutely right. that's one of the fundamental weakness of the anti-equally people. they can't point to a harm if gay people were allowed to marry. their argument comes down to i don't like it so you should make a law and you should add, too, that i don't like it is usually based on explicit religious grounds which it seems to me you could make a base violates the first amendment. if you're going to pass a law like the defense of marriage act that is based on an explicitly judeo-christian reading of what's okay for marriage, it seems to me you're in violation or in danger of violating the first amendment.
>> so that's caused some trouble here. i don't know you so let's cause some trouble. i want jimmy to do the dirty work . the catholic church , do you think they're consistent in the way they behave in the clerical world? do you think all the way down from the papacy do you think the whole world up there is nongay? do you think there aren't any gay priests? this whole thing --
>> i work in politics, i'm not a preacher but gay people were everywhere. you know that. and so, yeah, that's my answer.
>> why are they against gay marriage ?
>> i don't know. i think that fundamentally marriage is a conservative thing. it's what we should want people to do is settle down and partner up and be happy, and so i hope that more and more people see it that way and hopefully some day religious institutions will see that, but at this point, you know, we live in a country that's governed by laws and we should treat everybody the same under the law.
>> let's take a look at the friend of the court , the amicus brief . quote, it argues that same-sex marriage promotes family values by allowing children of gay couples to grow up in a two-parent home, and that advances conservative values of limited governmented a maximizing individual freedom . i think thinking i'm not a lawyer, ron , but you and i can agree on this. if you just look at the basics, the 14 amendment , you can't be denied equal protections of the law, let's start with liberty. liberty, let's start with the declaration, the pursuit of happiness. it seems to me you look at those crisp documents that still are in our hearts and minds , it says it clearer than anything. how can you deny a person the way they were made, made by god, and feeling the way they do. it isn't something you choose like trent lott would say you choose to be gay at some particular gay. i don't know when that comes. but he thought it did. i don't want to get too ludicrous about it because it's a sengs tiff issue. the way politicians talk about it and some church people talk about it as if they aren't on this planet among our species. they're not familiar with human life .
>> and that's a huge problem for jimmy's party, the republican party . it's not just that they're hateful towards gay people , it's that they're ridiculous about this issue. you can be hated and people might still respect you in some way, shape, or form, but when you're absurd, when you're ridiculous about this kind of issue, people just -- you lack all credibility.
>> this is part of the bull fight where the matador here ron reagan takes out the cape and the sword and goes in for his opponent. but you're the bull by the way. here is the question. i may be the only guy in the world that reads party platforms. your republican platform again this year --
>> i know.
>> i was reading it down in the sweaty town of tampa. all this anti- gay rights stuff. every reference was negative. why don't you change it?
>> we should. this issue crosses all demographic groups because gay people are in every single family --
>> why is your platform stink?
>> that's it. as we look to build a conservative coalition that can win again, we have to take this into consideration and people --
>> why don't you get somebody on the platform committee? get somebody on the plarl form committee.
>> love to be. chris matthews appoints me to the platform committee.
>> i don't think i can. last week an ad by the marriage equality coalition featured patrick -- barack obama , laura bush , dick cheney , and colin powell that used their public statements to show their support for gay marriage . former first lady laura bush later asked to be removed from the ad. her spokesman e-mailed us saying why. mrs. bush did not approve her inclusion in this advertisement nor is he shi associated with the group in any way. when she became aware of the advertisement last tuesday night, we requested the that the group remove her. i think her brother-in-law is running for president and i think in your party, the republican party , it's still a problem to be publicly associated with somebody who is more marriage equality ? is that possible? do you think that's why laura bush --
>> i don't know mrs. bush so i don't know why she did that.
>> well, think. well, think why she did it.
>> this issue is baffling to me that many establishment republicans don't get it. because they're out of touch. out of touch with america but also out of touch with their own base.
>> put this guy on the platform committee. zbroo most conservatives --
>> jimmy lavalle via should be on that committee. ron , and i will never get on that committee. the sword fighter, the matador who saved his last move.
>>> one of the rising stars of the democratic party , pennsylvania attorney general kathleen kane , there she is, and this is "hardball," the place for politics.