The journalists at Good Morning America seem to have decided that the gay marriage debate no longer has two sides. On Thursday, co-anchor Robin Roberts opened the program by spinning Wednesday's Supreme Court decision only as a good thing. She extolled, "And some wonderful pictures to show you of jubilation. People dancing in the streets in cities all around the country." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After using the loaded term "marriage equality," Roberts gushed, "Celebrating well into the night. Look at San Francisco city hall, lighting up right there in tribute." Over the span of two segments totaling three minutes, GMA's reporters allowed a scant six seconds to opposition. Instead, the co-host simply highlighted the winners: "So many of those celebrations we showed you, erupting from coast-to-coast. Some of the biggest in San Francisco."
Reporter Cecila Vega echoed a similar theme, touting, "There was dancing in the streets to mark a momentous victory. California's long-fought battle for gay marriage, now over."
California's fight over gay marriage may be over, but no one on ABC questioned the fact that the state's constitutional amendment was overturned by a judge, then upheld by the Supreme Court because California officials refused to defend it.
The sum total of gay marriage opposition came when Vega allowed, "But not everyone is happy." She then played a clip of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declaring, " I don't think the ruling was appropriate. I think it was wrong." That was it.
In a follow-up report, news reader Josh Elliott raved that San Francisco's city hall was lit up "the colors of the rainbow."
On Wednesday, Elliott and Sam Champion, the openly gay weatherman, celebrated on-air.
On May 10, 2012, Roberts excitedly told her co-hosts that she got "chills" after Barack Obama flip-flopped on gay marriage.
A transcript of the June 27 segment is below:
ROBIN ROBERTS: And some wonderful pictures to show you of jubilation. People dancing in the streets in cities all around the country after the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality. Celebrating well into the night. Look at San Francisco city hall, lighting up right there in tribute. We'll get to the latest in just a moment.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Big changes are coming. It was a sweeping decision.
ABC GRAPHIC: Historic Ruling on Gay Rights: Celebrations Coast to Coast
ROBIN ROBERTS: Now, to those landmark rulings by the Supreme Court on marriage equality. So many of those celebrations we showed you, erupting from coast-to-coast. Some of the biggest in San Francisco. And ABC's Cecilia Vega is there for us right now. Good morning, Cecilia.
CECILA VEGA: Good morning, Robin. Boy, what a party it was here last night in San Francisco. In fact, they're still– We just saw the street cleaners go by. They're still cleaning up out here. When same-sex marriage becomes legal in California, likely next month, that will mean about 30 percent of Americans will live in states where gay marriage is allowed. In San Francisco, the party went on all night long. There was dancing in the streets to mark a momentous victory. California's long-fought battle for gay marriage, now over. In New York, there were cheers at the historic Stonewall Inn, honoring the woman at the center of the Defense of Marriage Act case.
EDIE WINDSOR (DOMA plaintiff): The federal government can no longer discriminate against the marriages of gay and lesbian Americans.
CECILA VEGA: A sweeping win for gay rights from the nation's highest court. And now, orders from the highest offices. President Obama directing his cabinet to ensure federal benefits are extended to married gay couples. California's Governor ordering all counties in the golden state to allow same-sex weddings. And the ninth circuit court saying it will take at least 25 days before those marriages can actually begin.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I'm a deputy marriage commissioner.
VEGA: What's the conclusion in a same-sex marriage ceremony? I now pronounce you?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Spouses for life.
VEGA: Spouses for life. But not everyone is happy.
CHRIS CHRISTIE: I don't think the ruling was appropriate. I think it was wrong.
VEGA: The ruling are not just symbolic. The changes in store for same-sex couples will be practical, too. For not having to pay estate tax on inheritances, to filing joint tax returns, to collecting more in Social Security benefits.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The marriage license I got in 2008 in California, now holds the same value as the marriage license of every other person on my block.
VEGA: Well, She and her family are celebrating here in California today. A lot of other couples also. But in states, the 36 states where gay marriage is still banned, proponents there, Robin and George, say this fight goes on.
ROBERTS: All right, Cecilia, thank you. Such a historic week. When you think of the voters rights act and now marriage equality.