This is a rush transcript from “The Kelly File,” June 26, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, America is a different country than it was 11 hours ago. A landmark ruling from a sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court clearing the way for same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Welcome to “The Kelly File,” everyone, I’m Megyn Kelly. Tonight, a remarkable sight at the White House which is aglow in the colors of the rainbow celebrating what the administration called a new chapter in the history of American civil rights. Critics say, five unelected and unaccountable judges have overstepped their authority by assuming the power to create new fundamental rights and compelling the country to redefine the institution of marriage. Others say this is a seminal moment in the civil right movement of our time.
We have a huge show for you tonight, we’re joined by 2016 presidential candidate Governor Mike Huckabee. Renowned constitutional attorney and scholar Jonathan Turley, and a cable news exclusive Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is here.
First though, Shannon Bream reports on the ruling live from Washington. Shannon.
SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Megyn, in a five-four opinion, the Supreme Court did not hold back declaring that same-sex marriage is now the law of the land in all 50 states. Justice Kennedy writing for the majority said this, quote, “The plaintiffs respect marriage so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves adding they ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law, the constitution grants them that right.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA : This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts when all Americans are treated as equal we are all more free.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BREAM: Each of the four dissenting justices wrote his own opinion including the Chief Justice John Roberts who characterized the opinion this way, quote, “The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the constitution or this court’s precedent. He went on to ask just who do we think we are.” Supporters of traditional marriage and long voiced concerns about what happens to them now especially those who have sincere religious convictions about the issue of marriage. Justice Kennedy addressed that saying this, the First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.
But nearly all dissenting justice he seemed unconvinced warning the cases like the ones we have seen involving Christian florists, photographers and bakers who declined to take part in same sex ceremonies, and were punished as a result will continue. In his dissent, Justice Alito said, quote, “I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes.” But if they repeat those views in public they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers and schools. It seems now almost certain that one of those religious liberty cases is likely to land on the court’s docket within the next year or so — Megyn.
KELLY: Shannon Bream, thank you so much.
And joining me now with reaction, Governor Mike Huckabee, presidential candidate in 2016. Governor, thank you so much for being here. Your reaction to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court today.
MIKE HUCKABEE, R-2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I kind of shutter when I heard people say that it is now the law of the land because I think all of us who passed high school civics knows that the Supreme Court can’t make a law. Congress can — has to be signed, executed by the President. The Supreme Court can review a law. They can decide what they believe the law says but the Congress has to actually create a law. What they did was not rule on marriage equality. What they did was redefined marriage. And there is a fundamental difference. Their decision was a political decision, it was not a legal one.
And they had to reach out into thin air to create a right that simply is not listed in the constitution. And I think that is what is so significant about the dissenting views that you see from the four justices. What this really means and I think Roberts puts it well, five unelected black robe lawyers essentially bypassed the legislative process, the political process that is fundamental to our country and just made a decision that they had no authority or power to make.
KELLY: But on the subject of, you know, reading writes into the constitution that you say, don’t exist, you know, the supporters of the majority opinion would say, isn’t that what they did in Brown versus Board of Education, that they interpreted the equal protection clause to provide these rights even though it is not explicit. You have to look in modern day America at what was written and try to understand what the founders meant. In this court in 2015 says, the same way they interpreted that clause to provide equal rights for African-Americans. So many years ago they have interpreted it this way for gays and lesbians today.
HUCKABEE: Well, I think it is a fundamental difference. I mean, for several hundred years they’ve had the opportunity to say that marriage was really mis-defined and they should have always had this opportunity. Even previous Supreme Court cases that dealt with marriage or dealt with homosexuality never assumed that there was a civil right of a person to redefine the very institution of marriage. And Megyn, again, this is not just about a saneness of love. This is something far greater than that, far more encompassing that. This is redefining a fundamental institution and doing it in a record period of time. I mean, this has happened very quickly and while there are a lot of people celebrating —
KELLY: And let me ask you this, Governor —
KELLY: I know that you put out a campaign release today saying, I will not acquiesce to an imperial court and said, we must resist and reject judicial tyranny and not retreat. I mean, what is that mean? You have to accept this ruling. Right? I mean, are you planning on not accepting the ruling in a way?
HUCKABEE: Well, how do we accept something that is on its face unconstitutional? I mean, has the Congress yet acted?
KELLY: How do you not accept it? The Supreme Court’s job interpret the constitution and tell us what it means. And like it or not, they do get the final say unless the people decide to pass a constitutional amendment.
HUCKABEE: Glad you brought that up. That’s the whole point. The people do have a right to say and in over 30 states they did say and they said very clearly that they wanted to affirm the laws of nature and the laws of nature’s God, words from the declaration of independence and keep marriage what it has always been. When we say that the Supreme Court has the last word, they had the last word in Dred Scott in 1857 declaring that black people were property, that black people weren’t fully human. I know of no one that believes that that was a proper decision or that we still should abide by it today or that Abraham Lincoln should have just rolled over, put up the white flag of surrender and hey, that’s the law of the land, there’s nothing I can do about it. Thank God he didn’t.
KELLY: Let me ask you before I let you go. Because they are showing it on the board now as you and I are discussing this case. Your thoughts, your reaction to the White House aglow in rainbow colors tonight?
HUCKABEE: Well, again, this is a president who has pushed this agenda. But I remind Americans that this president believed like I did back in 2008 or at least he claimed to when he said that marriage was between a man and a woman. And here’s what he said, he said that he believed that because as a Christian, God was in the mix. Now, one of three things happened, either he was lying then, he’s lying now or God changed the definition of marriage between 2008 and 2012 and Barack Obama was the only one who got the new version. I just am amazed at how quickly this issue changed. I believe it is a reminder that a president can play a significant role in shaping culture because I don’t think we would be here today if this president had not been such a staunch advocate and one of the leading voices to push for something that just three years ago he said he was against.
KELLY: He did take that position and we’re going to talk about the President’s evolving views as he put it in just a bit. Governor, great to see you. Thank you for your reaction tonight.
HUCKABEE: Thank you, Megyn.
KELLY: So, how far does this ruling really go? What does it mean for churches now? Must they perform same sex marriages over their objections? What about religious institutions? Renowned constitutional attorney and scholar Jonathan Turley is here next to help us answer that.
And as darkness falls in Upstate New York, police are said to be closing in on the last living escaped prisoner, a convicted cop killer who has been on the run for more than 20 days. He may be cornered. We don’t know. They have got the area surrounded but did not say any law enforcement officer has laid eyes on David Sweat. Back to the breaking news on that in moments.
KELLY: Breaking tonight. The search continues for one of two convicted killers who escaped from a New York prison after Customs and Border agents shot and killed one of them, Richard Matt, earlier today. As darkness falls now, police will have to rely on flood lights and infrared cameras despite earlier reports that they were, quote, “Right on top of David Sweat” who is a convicted cop killer. The last confirmed sighting of Sweat, with the day of his escape, and despite 1,100 law enforcement agents on the ground tonight is likely to be a long night in what is described as some of the toughest terrain they have faced. We’re going to go back live to the search in just moments.
But back now to the fallout from the Supreme Court ruling earlier today that cleared the way for same-sex marriage in all 50 states. It came down in a five-four decision which split the court so sharply that Chief Justice Roberts read his dissent from the bench for the first time ever.
Joining us to explain what the ruling means and what it does not, Jonathan Turley, constitutional attorney and professor at the George Washington University of law school. Great to see you again tonight, Professor.
So, here is the first question. Doesn’t mean and by the way, it was the four liberals plus Justice Kennedy against the conservatives on the court that four liberals and Kennedy won. So, does this mean that churches are now going to have to perform same-sex weddings?
JONATHAN TURLEY, CONSTITUTIONAL ATTORNEY: Well, that is part of the next chapter that has to be written. You know, part of the decision which I thought was a bit interesting is that Justice Kennedy didn’t base this decision on the status of same-sex couples as homosexuals but rather on the sort of right to dignity. He’s mentioned this in a series of cases now. And that is what unleashed a lot of the criticism from his colleagues saying, where is this right of dignity and intimacy that you are referring to? And that right is going to have to be defined a little more for us to know what happens when it comes into conflict with right of free speech.
KELLY: So, you are saying it is possible — you’re saying it’s possible we could see legitimate cases or cases that aren’t thrown out instantly against the clergy or the Catholic Church, somebody for refusing to perform a same-sex wedding?
TURLEY: No. I don’t think that the clergy is really in any threat. I think the right of free exercise is going to be protected. Where you will going to see this conflict is more on the edges. Many of these religious institutions particularly the Catholic Church has assortment of different types of services. And we have already seen conflicts on the edges on delivering those services, but then discriminating in the view of these couples in terms of their receipt of certain services.
KELLY: So, for example, a Catholic University that allows married housing for heterosexual couples but not for gays and lesbians who are married?
TURLEY: I think that is where you’re going to see it on the edges. And then you are going to see a very interesting conflict over things like bakeries and photographers. So far the courts have been ruling against them and saying that they can be fined, they can be sanctioned for failing to offer their services to same-sex couples. And part of the confusion that’s going to come out of this opinion is once again this somewhat ambiguous right since it wasn’t focused on their status who they didn’t create a protected class around homosexuals as a group.
TURLEY: That’s going to make this a little more challenging as to know what gives when you have these types of conflicts.
KELLY: And what about Justice Alito’s comment that Shannon Bream was commenting on? That now I want to play it here. That now that all those who believe that same-sex marriage is not okay, people who oppose it and believe in traditional marriage will be treated, run the risk of being treated as bigots by the government now. Is that where we are?
TURLEY: Well, I hope that is not where we are. And I don’t expect it will be. This court remains very strong in its support for free speech. I’m hoping that will remain. I was concerned today in the coverage and I tried to make this point repeatedly that the suggestion that these justices and — are bigots are people that take this view are bigots is really wrong headed. I mean, you can actually support same-sex marriage and still believe is that Supreme Court should not play this role. I happen to agree with the decision, but I think there are good faith arguments and some of them were in the dissent that this is not the role of the court. Even justices like Ginsburg said she had qualms about Roe v. Wade, about the court making this decision for states when it came to abortion. The court as a whole has resisted leading the country in this sense. And so, I really regret some of the overheated rhetoric that you have seen directed at the dissenting justices.
KELLY: Uh-mm. It’s unfortunate. They are all good faith jurors up there, trying to do their best. And they have different idea logical prisms. It is true. But it is sad when you see them personally attacked so viciously. Whether it’s the conservatives or the liberals who get hit after these decisions. Great to see you, Professor. Always appreciate your thoughtful analysis.
TURLEY: Thanks, Megyn.
KELLY: Well, you just heard Professor Turley suggesting that today’s ruling could produce more legal attacks on some Christian groups. And that’s going to be the question now. How do you balance these rights?
Up next, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a cable news exclusive, and also former White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton. They’ll take up that debate.
Plus, law enforcement officials now searching in the dark to find the convicted cop killer. These are live pictures of the search for David Sweat. Kris Jenkins earlier managed to get inside the search area, and he will join us live in moments and tell us what he saw.
KELLY: The U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling today on same sex marriage left some Americans feeling that a civil rights battle had been won. Others wondered how the ruling will affect their religious freedoms.
Joining us now, Bill Burton, former Obama White House deputy press secretary as well as Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
Bill, we’ll go to you first. Obviously, those who support same-sex marriage today are thrilled and believe this is like a Brown versus Board of Education moment.
BILL BURTON, FORMER DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Well, it is an amazing day and it’s rare that you have a day in politics that’s good for the President, that’s good for the country and it’s actually even good for Republicans to almost take this issue off the table for them in 2016. But it looks like folks like Mike Huckabee are not excited for the issue to go away any time soon from the comment you’ve just made.
KELLY: Although he and Ted Cruz I would say were the most vocal Republicans on this today, against it. And the others had sort of muted reactions. So, do you think this removes it as a political issue?
BURTON: I think that Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee are going to try to keep, make it an issue but I think that most of the other Republicans Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, they are going to love to walk away from this because for most voters if you are not there on gay marriage and marriage equality then, you know, it is disqualifying for you.
KELLY: But what about, I just want to talk to Tony about this in a minute. I want to get your take on it. What about religious liberty and what about the right of, you know, a Catholic university to adhere to it’s, you know, long standing beliefs? How does that fit in now?
BURTON: Well, I think that there is probably always going to be some sort of religious exemption for all sorts of laws. I think it is hard to get around that. But, you know, right above the Supreme Court door when you walk in, it says equal protection under the law and the Declaration of Independence —
BURTON: — and then the —
KELLY: Equal justice —
BURTON: Yes. Thank you. And the Declaration of Independence that Mike Huckabee cited, you know, starts off, you know, we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. It wasn’t that the Supreme Court made law today. It said that gays, lesbians, they are not in some special other class that don’t deserve equal protection under the law. So, you know, I think that this issue is going to be around as long as Mike Huckabee wants to talk about it but it will be a shrinking and shrinking minority of people who continue to discuss it.
KELLY: Bill, thank you. Good to see you.
BURTON: Thank you, Megyn.
KELLY: Well, my next guest says, this court decision will, quote, “never be accepted.” Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council. Tony, what do you mean by that?
TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Well, I mean, Megyn, let’s look at for instance, the issue of abortion back in 1973. The court said it was going to take this issue off the table and wasn’t going to be a political issue. Forty two years later it is an issue in every election from president on down. And I mean, look, look how divided the court was. They weren’t just divided, they were deeply divided and the dissenting opinions that written were very strong. In fact, the justices wrote their own so they could express themselves. That’s reflective of where the nation is on this because it’s so intertwined with religious freedom. And we have already seen that. You have reported on it. Todd Starnes of FOX News has the stories weekly. About how faith is in collision with this agenda that the President has embraced and the court now has endorsed.
KELLY: What do you make of, you know, the people who you’ve heard Professor Turley references that say that if you oppose this ruling, if you have questions about it, you must be a bigot? And, you know, the thing that you are up against Tony is, you look at, you know, for example the plaintiff in the case today. You know, a dear man who is standing out in front of the Supreme Court today honoring his partner. We have the soundbite. Let me play it for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES OBERGEFELL, LEAD PLAINTIFF IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE: Most importantly, I would like to thank John for loving me, for making me a better man and for giving me something worth fighting for. I love you. This is for you, John. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: And folks say, how can you deny him the right to marry the person he loves?
PERKINS: Look, no one denies him the right to live as they please, living with one another. But I would encourage people to go to freetobelieve.com and look at all of the stories of people like Erin and Mosby Kline (ph) who used to have a bakery but after $135,000 fines for simply not wanting to be a part of a same-sex wedding were driven out of business. There is a reason that people have deeply held beliefs. Look, religion is so entwined with who we are as a nation. I mean, that’s why we have this nation. It was founded upon that freedom to believe, the freedom to live your life according to your beliefs. That is at stake here. And for Christians, for evangelicals, those who follow the Bible, this is not an issue that can be negotiated away. I mean, Jesus himself in Matthew 19 said, you know, have you not read from the beginning that God created them male and female and for that reason a man will leave his mother and father, cling to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. Jesus spoke specifically to what marriage was.
KELLY: What do you do with that now? What do you do with that now? I mean, in the face of the Supreme Court decision. Obviously, I’m sure you would like to have it reversed or have it overturned by a later court, but where does the battle go now for a group like yours and people who are defending this view of marriage?
PERKINS: Well, for instance. You were talking to Jonathan about where this may lead. I think you look at the Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and what he said in the oral arguments that this was going to be an issue for religious institutions like colleges and universities and other religious organizations not initially the churches. I think they will leave them alone. They will be the last they go after but they will take away the tax exemption, accreditation, they will take away grants. There will be an effort to force people to conform.
We are seeing it in the corporate world. We will see it in government, we will see it in the public square. But I am just here to say Megyn, that this is not going to go away. Just as Roe v Wade did not solve the abortion issue. This is not going to solve the issue of what marriage is. Marriage preceded this court, it preceded this country. It has been around since the very beginning and is here to stay. The natural definition of a man and woman, is marriage is a man and a woman and it’s going to remain that way through the end of time.
KELLY: Tony, good to see you. Thanks for being here tonight.
PERKINS: All right, Megyn.
KELLY: Well, as we watch the White House bathed in rainbow colors tonight, Chris Stirewalt is here next to offer some context on how the President has handled this issue.
Plus, we are live in Upstate New York. After the break where 1,000 armed officers are looking in the dark now for one killer known to be dangerous and possibly armed.
KELLY: Breaking tonight. One dead, one on the run in the manhunt for two convicted killers. Authorities say, one of two murder convicts who escaped from an Upstate New York maximum security prison, the only two to ever do so, three weeks ago, would not comply with them. When they found them in the woods, and he was shot and killed, and he was armed, as well.
Despite reports that police, K-9 units and some 1,100 officers were right on top of what they believe to be the area of the remaining fugitive, he is still at large and will likely be pursued well into the night. On the record, Griff Jenkins is live in Malone, New York. He went up there with, well, for Greta and he was inside the search perimeter earlier. Griff, what do you know?
GRIFF JENKINS, WASHINGTON-BASED CORRESPONDENT, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: That’s right, Megyn. And we are just north of Lake Titus here on Route 30, and I went inside the perimeter with one of the locals here, a guy named Sean Martha (ph). He’s checking on his daughter. She lives just a quarter of a mile from where Richard Matt is believed to have been shot. Where that happened — where Matt was shot is in the southwest part of Lake Titus. There’s only about five or six roads off of Route 30 that go to the lake, only about a quarter a mile to get to the lake. It’s gorgeous.
He walked me down there and gave me the view of it. As we went into Route 30, we saw cop after cop after cop, guns drawn. We saw bus after bus. I saw more than six buses where they have deployed law enforcement on foot to pursue in that southwest area of Lake Titus and work around the southern end to an area called Elephant Head that’s where they believe according to some of the law enforcement that talked to me “Off-the-Record” down there. So, we believe we’re on to him down in that southeastern part.
So, if I can just orient you a little bit, the original cabin where the DNA was found about eight miles from here in the Wolfe’s Pond area, they work their way 8 to 10 miles this way where Richard Matt is shot about a mile down this road in the southwest side of Lake Titus. Now, it seemed they’re pushing Sweat back towards the east. And I’ll tell you, it’s important that law enforcement are aware that the one is remaining, David Sweat is the one that brutally killed a police officer, so they’re going to pursue him as hard as they can into the night. Megyn?
KELLY: Exactly, right. Griff, thank you so much. He is now alone and is he doubtful, he has food. And they are all around him.
Joining me now with more, Lenny DePaul, a retired commander with the U.S. Marshal Service and member of the New York, New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force. Lenny, you said you guys were going to get him. One down, one to go. What did you make in the news conference? What could you glean from what they were saying and what they weren’t?
LENNY DEPAUL, U.S. MARSHAL SERVICE, RETIRED COMMANDER: Well, Megyn (ph), I mean, let’s hope that he is contained in that perimeter. I know it’s a tense, tense time right now for law enforcement. Aviation supports up, radio communications are very, very important right now. It is getting dark, you know. If he is in that perimeter, I’m hoping this does go down quietly but, you know, here’s a guy that if he is captured alive, he’ll die in — in — in solitaire confinement. So, he knows what he is up against also.
KELLY: Yes. And — and when — you know, there were reports earlier from another network that he was contained, that law enforcement — that according to them, they had law enforcement sources saying he is contained. Do you believe that? Do you have any information of that other than contained in the way we all see with law enforcement surrounding a certain area where they believe he might be?
DEPAUL: Well, Megyn, I can’t confirm or deny that. Hopefully, there’s some evidence to prove that and that he is contained there. I believe some of the evidence that was taken out of that cabin, some — some food wrappings and — and fresh tracks and whatnot, may be leaning in that direction, but they are still processing all that evidence, Megyn. Again.
KELLY: What — what else could they be doing? What else? So, they’ve got — you said that there’s helicopters there. We heard bloodhounds earlier. Do they have infrared scanners? What – how are they searching?
DEPAUL: They have all assets that are needed to take him into custody peacefully. However, they do aviation support, thermal imaging is very important, right now. The fluoros infrared are deployed. They have hostage negotiating teams on the ground, SWAT Teams. The perimeter is tightening from what I hear. So, I’m just hoping that he is contained and the noose gets tighter and tighter and — and no one is in the crossfire. And again, communications are very important. The Command Post is hitting on all cylinders, right now, Megyn.
KELLY: We see the law enforcement officers surrounding the perimeter. We saw that in some of the Griff video with the cops stationed, you know, a matter (ph) of 25 feet apart from one another. They are also in the woods right now, searching? Or is it — I mean, it’s not just a perimeter waiting game, right?
DEPAUL: Well, they’re relying heavily on aviation support as — as it gets dark up there at this point. There may be dogs that have entered the inner perimeter. Again, I’m not sure, I’m not there, but that certainly, you know, is right on the mark and what would happen especially in this crucial moment. If they are 25 feet — 25 yards apart, that — that sends a pretty strong message that it’s a very tight perimeter, maybe a mile, mile and a half, y k, wide. But, you know, that.
KELLY: What would the rules of engagement be with somebody like this, a convicted cop killer who’s got nothing left to lose?
DEPAUL: Hey, hey, you know, what, hands up. If it don’t happen, and he’s got a weapon. You, you know, you certainly have to react accordingly. And again, no officer, no police officer wants to do that and react that way. But, you know, is it suicide by cop? I mean, anything can happen, and I’m sure.
KELLY: And they probably know, Lenny, that he has a gun, right? Because they — he — they’re believed to have stolen that 20-gauge from a cabin, so presumably they spoken to the owner, and they know what other firearms he had there that may be missing.
DEPAUL: Well, also at the scene where Matt — where that gunfight was, he had a shotgun. Somebody opened up on that camper. The camper did dial 911 and then found out 20 minutes later that it was his camper that was shot. So, they probably tried to carjack him, unsuccessful. That’s why law enforcement responded to that area. They confronted Matt. The Border Patrol did a great job and, of course.
KELLY: They did.
DEPAUL: . I believe.
KELLY: Got to go, but what do you think the odds are they will find him tonight?
DEPAUL: What is say to two weeks ago, Megyn, we’ll find him.
KELLY: And you did say that. I hope you are right. Lenny, thank you.
DEPAUL: Thank you.
KELLY: At this point, it’s a matter of find him and make sure no other lives are lost. Certainly, those in the law enforcement officers.
With today’s Supreme Court ruling, President Obama is singing a very different tune than the one he was singing seven years ago, actually just three years ago. Up next, Chris Stirewalt walks through the evolution.
KELLY: Well, President Obama celebrated today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision with what sounded a lot like a victory speech in the White House Rose Garden. But remember when the president was first running for the White House, he took a very different position.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I have stated my opposition to this. I think it’s unnecessary. You know, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and I’m not in favor of gay marriage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Chris Stirewalt is our Fox News Digital politics editor and today a rumor has it he was running around the White House saying taste the rainbow. No way.
But the White House is bathed in the rainbow, so.
CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: It’s bathed — bathed in the rainbow. He’d be counselor (ph).
KELLY: He has evolved. That’s his point.
STIREWALT: Well, he has evolved and the way he gets out of it is David Axelrod said he was lying. His senior political adviser said, “Oh, he was lying, the whole time.” The whole time that he was in favor of traditional marriage, he was lying about that.
KELLY: That’s probably right.
STIREWALT: So, it’s cool.
KELLY: And he is probably right.
STIREWALT: And everybody went, “Oh, yeah, probably that’s probably some stuff he said in order to get elected,” and then changed his tune right before the 2012 election because it would be better to say before the 2012 election it was in ’08, because he was more focused on getting the base fired up than uniting the country.
KELLY: Should we care that he either lied or very quickly evolved right before his reelection?
STIREWALT: If you like your traditional marriage, you can keep your traditional marriage. Look, is it — is it — is it material? Probably not. It’s just a politician being a politician. For Hillary Clinton though, it’s dog gone (ph) material because what she — her prior position seems to be strongly held when was questioned about a political evolution were you holding a position until 2013 and you were lying about it because the political necessity. She said absolutely not. That is what I believed when I said traditional marriage is a bed rock institution, dah-dah-dah-dah.
She comes out today, and she is, you won’t talk about tasting the rainbow, she’s acting like she was right there a vanguard of gay marriage and doing all of this stuff, and she was supporting the Defense of Marriage Act when her husband signed it. She was in 2000, 2004, 2006. She spoke on the Senate floor. So, she’s got a problem because her base knows that she was not with that.
KELLY: Here she is 2004. Let’s take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe that marriage is not just a bond, but a sacred bond between a man and a woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Well, she evolved, too.
KELLY: But listen, in their defense, Chris — in their defense.
KELLY: The country has evolved since 2004. I mean, the numbers in terms of support for same-sex marriage has — have really changed — dramatically changed in the past 10 years. They would not be the only ones whose views had legitimately genuinely changed.
STIREWALT: They are way behind their party though (ph). Washington Post pointed out today, it was five years, six years after a majority of Democrats already supported same-sex marriage that they came around to the topic. So, they are following not leading in this case. The problem for Clinton today is she is out accusing Republicans of hateful intolerance, bad conduct for supporting a position that she held in 2013 where reports (ph) to have held. So, that’s not going to work. So, this will not jive.
KELLY: Politicians are fun.
STIREWALT: They are fun. Delightful (ph).
KELLY: Great to see you. Great to see you, Chris.
STIREWALT: You bet.
KELLY: Joining me now with more, Two other fun people. Rich Lowry who’s a Fox New contributor and editor of National Review and Robert Zimmerman, DNC Committeeman from New York and Democratic political strategist. So, evolved. Differently now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
KELLY: But does it matter? I mean, or does the public know this is all B.S. (ph) and politicians lie to us?
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEEMAN: Well, first of all, evolving and lying are two different things. You throw on the word lie way too often. The reality is we have to look at where they are now.
KELLY: Axelrod was the one who said President Obama lied.
ZIMMERMAN: I heard (ph) what he said. The point is, if you look at where President Obama is now, and the leadership he has shown — look at the leadership Hillary Clinton has shown in this issue, that gives me great pride as an American. The bigger question is why haven’t the Republican candidates for president evolved. If anything, they’ve regressed (ph). They’re even more.
KELLY: But isn’t it wrong.
ZIMMERMAN: . demonican (ph). There were attached (ph) in the game.
KELLY: . isn’t it — isn’t it wrong even he supports same-sex marriage, isn’t it wrong to — to suddenly say that they are all bigots. I mean, they hold a view that the vast majority of Americans, you know.
RICH LOWRY, NATIONAL REVIEW EDITOR (?): Now, Megyn.
KELLY: . not that long ago actually.
LOWRY (?): I know, actually.
KELLY: No. First to you and then I’ll go to Rich. But you answer that first.
ZIMMERMAN: OK. First let me be clear. When you have people like Mike Huckabee referred to the gay community as trait (ph) or say it’s a choice or Ben Carson calls it beastiality (ph).
KELLY: No. He didn’t call it beastiality (ph). He didn’t.
ZIMMERMAN: Excuse me.
KELLY: He didn’t.
ZIMMERMAN: He was.
KELLY: He was talking about where will it go? Where — if you say that.
ZIMMERMAN: He was relating it to that. The point is simply use that kind of ugly hateful rhetoric and not one Republican presidential candidate says, “That’s wrong. That’s indecent.” They they’re all accountable.
KELLY: OK. But, but.
ZIMMERMAN: Tolerating bigotry is as bad as expressing it.
KELLY: That’s it — with all due respect to Robert, that’s a little bit of a dodge because my question is the people who have genuinely sincerely held religious beliefs are now.
KELLY: . as a leader was suggesting at risk of just being condemned as bigots.
LOWRY: That’s where this debate will go next. And this is what happened in Canada. Canada is one of the — the earliest adopters of all — all countries, and you will never get people who hold traditional views of marriage and — and sexual morality, they get fined. They get hauled before human rights tribunals, and we’re just beginning to see the front edge of this fight now over religious liberty. And it will get more intense as we go on.
And Democrats (inaudible) now well, they can all sign on to legislation in Congress that says no one will be ever punished for opposing gay marriage.
LOWRY: They won’t do that.
ZIMMERMAN: Ireland embraced gay marriage, a Catholic country. They found the wisdom and the strength and the ability to embrace marriage equality for the gay and lesbian community and not feel that their religion or their faith was threatened. Let’s stop fear mongering around point.
LOWRY: You’re missing my point there. There have been Evangelical florists and bakers around the country who are coerced into participating in ceremonies that they oppose. Now, why would anyone want to do that to these people? Why?
ZIMMERMAN: Because the — Rich, because the reality is you — you are not allowed to discriminate against.
LOWRY: What you’re telling those.
ZIMMERMAN: . including lesbian and gay marriage and so.
LOWRY: And so you.
KELLY: If it’s a fundamental right.
LOWRY: I mean.
KELLY: That the Supreme Court has just held.
ZIMMERMAN: I’m very frank (ph) here, Rich. That’s why Indiana changed the law. That’s why Arkansas withdrew the law because the law and Marco Rubio admitted it. This law allowed discrimination against — to get lesbian and gay community and that is just not acceptable.
LOWRY: So, you’re conceding my point that people with genuine religious convictions are going to get ground down by this great progressive wheel. Where does it stop?
ZIMMERMAN: Now, Rich.
LOWRY: A cast (ph) — creatures against it. The church that won’t have do these ceremonies, they are a bigot, as well.
LOWRY: They are irrational as well.
ZIMMERMAN: This is not about — this is not about religious surveys (ph).
LOWRY: You’re going to go after them. That’s the way that you’re headed.
ZIMMERMAN: This is about commerce.
KELLY: Do you agree that the clergy — they’re never like — there’s never going to be a question.
ZIMMERMAN (?): That’s a tool (ph).
KELLY: . and make the clergy quarrel less.
ZIMMERMAN: Professor Kelly (ph) just said earlier in the program. They’re not going to be a target. Of course, they are not vulnerable to that. But the reality is if you’re a business, you don’t have the right as a business person to discriminate in the same way the idea of keeping African-Americans away from the lunch counter, making them sit at back of the bus was intolerable and against the American principles and our idealism and our.
LOWRY: You know what, what you’re doing — what you are doing is saying opposition to gay marriage is hateful, bigoted and irrational and deserves no protection under the law. So, you’re saying — you are going.
ZIMMERMAN: Even if you’re — you know the law
LOWRY: … you say you’re going to stop at the florist or the baker, but if that logic really applies five years from now, you’ll be going after the churches.
ZIMMERMAN: But remember.
KELLY: Let me ask you this, Robert. But let me ask you this, Robert. Let me ask you this. Because you take the more extreme cases out of it, right?
KELLY: But you concede.
LOWRY: We have.
ZIMMERMAN: I mean saying coming up.
KELLY: You can see that there are good people who are not bigoted in their hearts.
KELLY: They don’t have hate in their hearts who oppose gay marriage because that’s what they were raised to believe that the bible doesn’t support it and they’re God-loving people and they’re Christians and this is what they.
KELLY: So, how do — how does society now handle those sincerely held beliefs and this fundamental right that the Supreme Court recognizes?
ZIMMERMAN: I absolutely respect the rights of those who don’t believe in marriage — in gay marriage to have a gay marriage, to marry a person, who is a — to marry a man or a woman against their will. That’s not the issue. Just because — just because.
KELLY: I don’t think that’s going to make them feel better. That’s a marriage (ph), right?
ZIMMERMAN: I report — I support the right to be in heterosexual marriages but they have no right to use their — to use their — to use their faith.
LOWRY: SO, open-minded. So, grab (ph) minded.
ZIMMERMAN: .their faith.
KELLY: I got to go because we’re out of time. I got to go because we’re out of time. But we’ve heard.
KELLY: . we’ve heard from a couple of folks who are against this will, and I just want to ask you if somebody supports it. What did it feel like today when you saw the ruling come down?
ZIMMERMAN: You know, take all the politics and the rhetoric away. When I saw those courageous young men and women on the steps of the Supreme Court singing “God Bless America,” when I saw the excitement come about, people who worked for years, as a proud voices, it make — wee became a stronger and — and prouder country because we’re a more inclusive country. It’s great day to our nation.
LOWRY: And a less democratic country.
ZIMMERMAN: Because even if you support it.
LOWRY: A bunch of.
ZIMMERMAN: That’s the way it should have happened.
LOWRY: Love wins.
KELLY: That’s a lot of people say — a lot of people who want same-sex marriage say it wasn’t handled the right way and — and others disagree.
Great to see you both, Bob — oh, respectful nicely done.
ZIMMERMAN (?): Thank you.
KELLY: Just perfect with our “The Kelly File” brand.
The last word on today’s marriage ruling goes to — we’re going to surprise you and you won’t be disappointed.
KELLY: Earlier this year, I spoke with our friend, Guy Benson, after he publicly came out as a brace for it, Republican gay man. Now, he is back with what today means to him. Guy Benson is a Fox News contributor and the co-author of the book “End of Discussion. Guy, good to see you today. I was following you on Twitter, and you — you offered so many thoughtful tweets on this. We really wanted to end the show with you who – some people they can’t understand you. They hear Republican gay man. And they think huh? So, what was your take on what we heard today?
GUY BENSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, Megyn. Look, as someone who would like to get married someday, this was an exciting day on some levels, certainly. I mean, having the knowledge that I will have the freedom to get married is gratifying. And so, I was pleased by the outcome here. I also found the final concluding paragraph of Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion to be really quite moving. So, some of the joy that I’m experiencing, I will say, has also been tempered a bit by trepidation. Trepidation that arises from some of the concerns raised eloquently by the dissenting justices, including what is the appropriate role of the judiciary in our Republic and also what are the potential ramifications in the days ahead for people and institutions of good will who don’t agree with same-sex marriage.
So, I guess as I’ve been reflecting on really the enormity of what has happened today, my hope and really, my prayer, for our country tonight is that we can perhaps forge ahead into this new era together in the spirit of respect for one another’s dignity, for one another’s beliefs and for one another’s rights. And I hope that that respect is a two-way street.
KELLY: Well said. It’s even better live than on Twitter. But the question is how do we do that, right? Because you can hear just in the show we did tonight — we — we tried to get thoughtful guests, you know, who are not going to be vitriolic but that those are sincerely held beliefs that Governor Huckabee and Tony Perkins has and he would side (ph), too.
KELLY: You know, so with — how do — how do you get to a point where somebody’s long-standing biblical beliefs reconcile with the strong beliefs of the Gay Rights Movement?
BENSON: Right. It’s such a good question and it’s a tough one. So, in our book, “End of Discussion,” we have an entire chapter on gay rights and religious liberties and some of the tensions there and one of the concepts that we explore is what we call authentic coexistence. And it’s sort of a reference to those coexist bumper stickers, right, the people drive around with little morality, billboard on their fender.
And we asked sort of, OK, what does authentic coexistence look like in modern America, and I think that’s a particularly salient question today given what’s happened. And I think what it requires is not just respect, but also grace from people on both sides of this question. And as someone who’s gay, and a Christian, I think that now is the time more than ever for America to embrace the real spirit of the golden rule.
KELLY: That’s great. Respect and grace. Again, well said. Guy, thank you.
BENSON: Thank you.
KELLY: We’ll be right back.
KELLY: Quote from Justice Kennedy, it would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. They do respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law, the Constitution grants them that right. What do you think? Let me know.
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