The Early Show Gives Same-Sex Marriage Proponents The Stage

On May 26, as the California Supreme Court was set to rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 (a state ballot referendum that defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman), CBS' “The Early Show” featured a segment on the same sex marriage controversy. But instead of a balanced report on the issue, “The Early Show” the segment was a platform for same-sex marriage proponents.  

Amidst stock footage of gleeful same-sex weddings the segment featured  Jennifer Pizer, the Marriage Project Director for the gay activist organization. Pizer stated, “My aunt Sadie can tell me her opinion about who I should date, but not my uncle Sam.”

John Mancino, vice-president of the American Civil Responsibilities Union, was the only voice briefly heard from the other side, reminding that voters have upheld tradition marriage twice and will stand to uphold their position.

The centerpiece of the segment was an interview with Kate Kendell, executive director of the NationalCenter for Lesbian Rights. Julie Chen , threw Kendell only softball questions and never questioned her positions. She started by asking, “What do you expect to happen today with Proposition 8?” Kendell questioned the legality of Proposition 8, wondering if it was “validly adopted by the voters? Our argument is that it wasn't – that it needed to go through the legislation first.”

 She then described how 18,000 same-sex couples were married from June to November of 2008 and believes that same-sex marriages that occurred then will still be legal. Kendell stated to Chen's sympathetic agreement that upholding Proposition 8 “that will be devastating for couples of California, who simply want what everyone wants- a commitment validated and to have their family protected.”

Chen only replied by asking another question aimed in support for same-sex marriage. “Let's take it to the worst place from your stance. So let's say that they do uphold Prop 8. What are you and what is your organization prepared to do if that happens?” Kendell replied that, “Clearly public opinion is moving in the direction towards inclusion and justice and fairness,” because four more states have legalized same-sex marriage.

Kendell later declared that, “People have to understand this issue is about humanity.” Chen replied, “Yeah, we'll have to stay tuned and see what happens.” While Proposition 8 was being debated in the courts on May 25, there clearly was no debate on “The Early Show.”