tv Washington This Week CSPAN May 3, 2015 1:00pm-1:21pm EDT
except to recognize our marriage as legal and valid. thank you. >> >> my name is april, we took this case on out of production for our children. we stand before you one step closer to being a legalized family in the state of michigan. we are honored to be standing in front of all of you. honored with our attorneys mary dana, ken bob -- and all of the plaintiffs through michigan, kentucky ohio.
it has been an honor, and hopefully we are on the right side of history. hopefully our kids will have equal protection. >> i am an american citizen. i stepped into that courtroom as an american citizen and as i read those words engraved of -- over the door. equal justice for all.
my husband was a citizen. i am fighting for our right to be recognized and respected>> -- either my husband that food have good recognize me as a surviving thousand i deserved the respect to know that my
state, this debate were i grew up. where we were productive members of society -- cannot change that death certificate. we deserve the same respect as any other couple. i have friends who have joined me in this case who are raising children. they are committed married couples with children. they deserve the same rights respect, and responsibilities as every other family in our country. our country is based on the constitution. and the
constitution demands equal rights and equal treatment under the law. i have walked into that courtroom today expecting that to be the outcome. i hope that is the outcome. i am positive. and i trust in the supreme court to uphold those ideals that our constitution enshrined. equal justice under the law and
equal treatment. we all deserve the same civil rights, the fame fundamental right -- same fundamental rights. to stand up for my friends kelly and kelly britney and britney, joe and rob, and yet my husband john -- because we all deserve it as american citizens. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon. this is my wife, sophie. together, we have a one-year-old little girl. first of all, i want to start out by thinking -- thinking -- thanking our lawyers for tirelessly working for our cause. -- shannon, bill, and of course
done, for arguing in front of the supreme for us on our behalf. we got into this lawsuit because we wanted to stand up for our families. and families like ours who are currently denied the protections of marriage. when i think about this case, i think about the love and devotion that me and my wife and my daughter have for each other. and how important it is for her and for us to be married. i think about the family and the home we are creating. and i really hope that by the end of june, we will be us. and families like us will be considered equal under the law. thank you. [applause] >> [indiscernible] now questions for mary or doug?
>> that the question is, of course about justice kennedy. you know, i guess there is some speculation about justice roberts. do you think anything in the questions might have given any hint on how they will rule? >> i think it is very hazardous to guess the outcome of a case based on the questions that the justice has asked. they are obviously very interested in probing all the council about all the issues in the case. and we would only expect as much of the supreme court. >> a number of the justices talked about -- [inaudible] >> the very process we had in this nation, by design, is that the judiciary decides these
questions whenever presented to the judiciary. and our constitution doesn't guarantee each individual equal protection, due process, dignity under the law. and that is the very question facing them. you don't decide fundamental rights and equality by a headcount. you decided -- decide it by principles that we have had in this country for over 100 years. >> -- this discussion -- i hadn't heard that before. what were your thoughts about that -- [indiscernible] >> i think the telling thing is that the most analogous case of this one is virginia, which also involved in out-of-state marriage wanting to be married in washington dc. the courts affirmed their rights under the 14th amendment without
referencing the full cost. so i expect the resolution here will likewise, be on the basis of the 14th amendment. >> [indiscernible] >> you know, the job of a justice is to ask questions and test the various theories. certainly, they have a lot of questions about, you know, ancient greece and rome. questions about that all the way up to how far this will go. that is executive what you expect. and that is what we heard. i don't think we can predict based on that. >> [indiscernible] >> you take a turn. >> the question was about the significance of the children of same-sex couples. and we certainly do think that it is critical, given that one
of the primary interest is that states report -- you know -- advancing here is the well-being of children. the children of same-sex couples count no less than children of opposite sex couples yet states deny them the very protection of -- protections of the law that children of opposite sex couples afford. so we think it is important that the court recognizes, as the indicate that they do, that same-sex couples to have children and that their interests are very much at stake here. >> and i would like to add to that. michigan is in a position of having placed and approve placing several vulnerable children with the michigan -- who have nurtured those kids to become healthy young kids. and now they are saying because these parents the net can see them together, the children are
designed -- when michigan, in a heartbeat, would allow any couple who adopted to be able to marry without regard this -- to this idea of whether or not the couple conceived them. these rules are not good for children. they are not good under the constitution. >> what would be the impact of the ruling went against you? >> don't answer that. >> the states have asked. wait and see. wait and see how this turns out to but wait and see is not neutral. in that circumstance, there is, without a doubt, you are constitutional i think a second-class status for gay and lesbian people. that will invite discrimination as this court has recognized, in other situations when a law subjects people tune outlier that is. -- to an outlier status.
>> thank you. thanks very much. >> [indistinct chatter] >> this is my husband. if you wanted to see tears you have had to have been up there. we have been together for 47 years and we got married in 2009. we are going to go home now and relax. thank you very much. >> [indistinct chatter] >> tom and i represent the state of michigan. what this case is really about is love and democracy. i think what we talked about
today is that you can love your neighbor, no matter what their sexual orientation is, and still have a disagreement about what marriage means. the question is, who gets to decide what the meaning of marriage is? our position is that it is the people. >> [indiscernible] >> sure. and different marriage laws don't help different people. but that is not what the case is really about. i think the three key justices that made comments that you should pay attention to our justin kennedy -- justice kennedy, number one. how are we in a position that we can decide better than everybody else in the history of the world? number two, justice breyer, who made the same point and say, why is it that none of us that get
to decide? and then justice roberts who said if we are going to question this, it will cut off the debates through the democratic process. those are really the themes that we are pushing from the beginning. >> as mary pointed out just a few minutes ago -- people don't get the decide to the democratic process whether or not -- [indiscernible] >> that really does have to do with the people deciding because this case doesn't involve the violation of protections. the court has long said that so far as the state has a legitimate interest in the law that is not an equal protection violation. michigan, as a number of the justices noted, has a reasonable -- for defining marriage the way it does. what is so important, i think, for the country to understand is that when the court pick social
decisions like this away from the people, it cuts off the vague -- debate. people are forced to sit down with each other, we are a much better democracy for that. >> how did you think the argument went? >> i think exactly the way that we expected. the justices all seem to have a very open mind about the issue. we look for to a decision at the end of june. >> you are -- you are against same-sex marriage -- >> no, the state is not against any kind marriage. the people can change that if they want to after dialogue and compassionate debate. this is what that is all about. >> there seem to be a lot of discussion in their about allowing the democratic process to take place and the justices not substituting their opinion for the democratic process and
ransacking -- is that your perspective? absolutely and we thought the justices were very responsive to that. it is not for nine people to step in and decide for the whole country what marriage is. and that you do have to let the people the side otherwise you lose the very democratic principles our country was founded on. yes? >> -- this would be a straightforward sexual discrimination case? >> i thought that was a fair question. i thought we had a very good answer to that. -- when you are having any kind of a state law based on a biological difference, that is legitimate and what was really important about that there was what the court said and went. that the government has a legitimate interest in forming bonds between parents and their biological children. and that the state has a potential -- substantial way of
making that stronger. >> -- about this argument that somehow recognizing same-sex marriages would lead to more children being born out of wedlock. do you subscribe to that argument? can you explain it to the public? >> when you talk about something as fundamental as marriage, anytime you take the definition, there is going to be consequences to that. for example, no-fault divorce laws, which everybody thought, on average, would be beneficial for children and families. two generations now come up we see that is not the case. it is just that reasonable voters might change that when you change the definition, something might happened. it goes all the way back to plato and aristotle. it is the people who have to make the decision whether to make a change. >> [indiscernible]
>> absolutely. and i think justice alito brought up the aristotle points. several of the justices acknowledged that the people to have to make these fundamental choices. there is a fundamental liberty interest at stake here, the right to participate in the democratic process and decide for ourselves how we will govern society. >> [indiscernible] >> john bursch. all right. thanks. have a great one. >> the european trade commissioner will be in washington dc monday. she will speak at the center for strategic and international studies about trade policies, including ongoing negotiations over the transatlantic trade and investment partnership. that is live at and not a cocky have used to on c-span2. later in the day, we take it to the cato institute on the future
of south africa. speakers will get the political and economic development in that country since apartheid was abolished. that begins at new eastern. live coverage on c-span2. >> monday night on "the communicators," we spoke with three members of congress. minnesota senator, al franken. -- and california representative doris matsui. >> -- they would have been too big a company. not in the public interest. it would have led to higher prices for consumers. less choice. and if it is even possible that the -- >> we are also working on something important for technology companies, dealing with people's privacy, and that is legislation dealing with the
nsa and the foreign intelligence surveillance act, dealing with the revelations about the gathering of telephone metadata. this bill, which passed the house with a big bipartisan vote, we are about to bring it up again. bans metadata connection -- collection and storage of the government to>> if you saw the -- government. >> if you saw -- that was unbelievable in the sense that people understand that the internet should be free. and there should not be people who get faster access or not. so, when that occurs, that whole energy that happened with that -- when chairman wheeler because of the overturning of the open internet order, when he had to have a new proposal out there. when he just tinted that there
might be prior to station, -- prioritization, and that really means the internet provider to the end-user, which is a customer in that sense, that they may have to pay for faster speeds or whatever. 4 million comments? that was unheard of. >> monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span two. >> ahead of the federal aviation -- the head of the federal aviation committee joined the committee on a recent security breach of the gyrocopter that landed on the white house lawn. the witnesses ask how the aircraft was allowed to fly into restricted airspace. this is just over two hours.
>> [indistinct chatter] chairman chaffetz: the hearing will come to order. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. i need to first express my thoughts and prayers to my colleague elijah cummings and what the people of baltimore are going through. our hearts, prayers and thoughts are with you and your neighbors and your friends, community, the