The Last Word | March 21, 2013
>>> my opinions, borne out of my childhood, my faith, my beliefs, that marriage is between one man and one woman. i respect other people's views.
>> hmmm, okay. one man and one woman. so i guess john boehner is now opposed to divorce. according to the " washington post " polling and historic high of 58% of americans believe same-sex marriage should be legal, but only 34% of republicans believe same-sex marriage should be legal. today politico published an informal survey of republicans when asked if his views had changed on same-sex marriage, retiring republican senator saxby chambliss said, "i'm not gay." which many of us had actually suspended already. senator lindsey graham resisted the saxby chambliss urge to reveal his sexual preference and instead said "i'm with south carolina . i believe in traditional marriage between a man and a woman." the divorce rate , of course, in south carolina is zero. senator rand paul violated his libertarian principles in saying, "i believe in traditional, historic and the religious nature of marriage. marriage should remain a state issue." chris christie said something incomprehensible to the "new jersey star ledger ." asked about ohio senator rod portman's decision this week to support same-sex marriage after his son revealed to him he's gay, christie didn't budge on his stance, which, of course, is opposition to marriage equality . but as far as how it affects my view, no, christie said, because that question implies that somehow this is a political judgment, and for me, it's not. joining me now, msnbc's alex wagner, and ari melber. saxby chambliss said, "i'm not gay, so i'm not going to marry one." i guess that clears that up.
>> there are two things -- i'm not going to marry one is already sort of one of -- like the otherness implicit in that is sort of offensive. but actually, it's even more offensive than that if you substitute the question about gay marriage for interracial marriage . well, i'm not black, so i'm not going to marry one. i mean, these are fundamental questions about equality. and the marriage question, marriage equality , is a civil rights issue. and i think it has dawned on certain corners of the republican party they can no longer hold on to antiquated and perhaps bigoted views. but it is going to be tough, lawrence , as much as there is progress, there is a base that is very, very violently resisting entering into the modern era as far as this is concerned.
>> and ari melber, of course what john boehner and lindsay graham and these guys who say i believe in marriage of one man and one woman, what they, of course, mean is they believe in a marriage of one man and as many women as he wants in sequence and one woman and as many men as she wants in sequence throughout her life, since, of course, they have absolutely no problem with divorce, which really upsets the old one man, one woman model.
>> yeah. if you look at the demography of it, it has always been very weird that a country like the united states , which has high church attendance, but very low, you know, us is tans rates for marriage, has this sort of obsession. but i think what saxby may be trying to get at, but this may be charitable. but the old saying used to be if you don't like gay marriage , don't get gay married, which is the liberal libertarian way to look at it. and i agree with alex , he ended up sounding weird and bad, but maybe with a couple more years he can get there. i think what we're seeing, lawrence , in the end, this is all good -- growing pains but good this, this is not about ideology anymore, i don't think it's about religion. when you look at the data, it's fundamentally about age. and not unlike a lot of the other shifts we've seen, it's a question of time for the conservatives and others who are locked in a different era because as we have seen so dramatically with senator portman, their own children raised in a conservative affirment are pushing back on them and their friends are pushing back on them and this is a matter of time.
>> can i say one thing, lawrence ? josh expressed this. the best thing for the republican party at this point would be for the supreme court to strike down prop 8 and doma so this becomes settled law of the land and they do not have to deal with the schism inside their party and all the old guys who are culturally or religiously or for whatever reason resistant to marriage equality will no longer be holding office and will die off, i think is what josh says, and the republican party can move past this.
>> well, it would take a brave republican in the meantime to move against the party on this with only 34% support in the republican party . and rand paul is not that brave republican. it's always fun to watch him torn between libertarianism and republicanism as he is on this thing, the libertarian view, of course, is that government should have nothing to do with religion in any way. they don't understand why the state would -- be issuing marriage licenses . but, you know, there he is. stuck defending the republican position. and -- but ari, going forward, if the supreme court doesn't help out the republican party this way, how long would it take for there to be some beginning of peeling off of republicans from the party doctrine on this?
>> i think it would take several more election cycles to have any kind of shift at the federal level or the rnc platform if we're measuring that way. i think alex is hitting on an important point --
>> sam --
>> did i do that twice? there is a predicate here, which is the court is often used as something that both parties will organize against when they're outraged about positions unchangeable. but at other times we have seen this throughout history, the court becomes a permission structure to make change. the republicans and the democrats both had very poor records on civil rights and over time , particularly with decisions like brown that were, of course, unanimous for many republicans eventually it became a permission structure. that's why the entire caucus starts voting for the voting rights act and other things. it's a checkered history so i don't mean to simplify it. but if the court goes federal here, i do think it would actually take some of this out of the political space, which could be good if you care about human rights .
>> the a-team. alex wagner and ari melber, thank you both for joining me.