Monday, June 29, 2015

OPINION - Shields and Gerson 6/26/2015

"Shields and Gerson on Supreme Court’s gay marriage and Obamacare decisions" PBS NewsHour 6/26/2015


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson join Hari Sreenivasan to discuss the week’s news, including the historic Supreme Court overturning state bans on same-sex marriage, the Court’s ruling preserving the Affordable Care Act and the growing movement to remove the Confederate flag symbols from public spaces in South Carolina.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  And to the analysis of Shields and Gerson. That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson.

The first topic is going to be a total shocker, gay marriage.  We have talked about it a little bit.  The country struggled with it for quite some time.

Does legal acceptance mean cultural acceptance?

MARK SHIELDS, syndicated columnist:  Yes.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  All right.  That was the shortest answer…

MARK SHIELDS:  No, I really — I really do think this has been moving.

Unlike Roe v. Wade, where, quite frankly, 40 years later, opinions are still frozen, as it was moving toward a legislative solution, which is always the ideal in a democracy, that you can do it by popular vote and so forth, I don’t think there’s any question that the momentum behind the support for same-sex marriage, for equity was just exponential.

It went from 40 percent just five-and-a-half years ago of Americans to 60 percent now, 70 percent of men under the age of 49 — 49 — 18 to 49, 70 percent of women.  It’s just — it’s incredible.  So, I think that this just accelerates it and seals it.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Michael Gerson, we heard someone from the Heritage Foundation earlier on in the program say that this conversation is not over, that this could be long-lasting.

MICHAEL GERSON, Washington Post:  Well, I think I agree with Mark on this.  This has moved unbelievably swiftly.

Seven years ago this summer in August, the current President of the United States said that he believed that marriage was a sacred woman of a man — a sacred union of a man and woman, seven years ago.  That viewpoint has now been declared illegal as a basis for law in all 50 states, in seven years.  I don’t know any precedent for that.  That’s pretty extraordinary.

If you step back a little bit, there are some broad cultural reasons for this, not just the court.  But there’s really the strategy of coming out, in which more Americans now know people who are gay, which I think has changed and humanized this debate in many ways, change in sexual mores that you see in Hollywood and other places that have taken place over the last few decades, and a change in strategy in the courts, really going — wanting to join a bourgeois institution, marriage, and making a conservative argument to people like Andrew Sullivan and Jon Rauch, making conservative arguments for stability and commitment.

This was an argument that appealed to Middle America.  And it is the argument that won in this court today.

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