Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Watch Three Must-See Marriage Equality Debates

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com July 01 2013 12:43 PM ET

Pro-equality attorneys and activists stormed the Sunday news shows this weekend in the wake of historic victories for marriage equality, laying the rhetorical smackdown on antigay pundits who contend that marriage equality is still not inevitable. 

The Sunday news programs on all three major networks featured marriage equality panel discussions, and just like at the Supreme Court, equality supporters came out on top. Keep reading to find all the highlights you might have missed while out celebrating pride and our community's latest step toward equality. 

ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos hosted Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign and founder of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which brought the case that struck down Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, alongside Brian Brown, president of the antigay National Organization for Marriage. Two of the most recognizable opponents in the fight over marriage equality didn't mince words when demeaning the other's efforts. Responding to Griffin's promises that marriage equality was a winning strategy — both in the courtroom and at the ballot box — Brown flatly denied that, contending that marriage equality actually harms straight people who oppose it. 

Watch that exchange below. 

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Watch the next marriage equality showdown on the following page. 

On NBC's Meet the Press, out MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow squared off with former Republican senator Jim DeMint, who currently heads the antigay Heritage Foundation, as he was backed up by Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition, who now heads the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Maddow, along with host David Gregory, did an impressive job of holding the right-wingers' feet to the fire as they played fast and loose with the facts. 

Shutting down DeMint's facetious argument that one-man-one-woman marriage is best for children, Maddow called out the haters. "You guys for a generation have argued that public policy ought to demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist," said Maddow in one of several excellent takedowns. "But you don’t make any less of us exist, you are just arguing for more discrimination. And more discrimination doesn’t make straight people’s lives any better."


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Watch the final, pro-equality rhetorical smackdown on the following page.

CBS opted to host winning Prop. 8 attorney Ted Olson, a former Republican solicitor general for Ronald Reagan, opposite Tony Perkins, president of the antigay hate group Family Research Council. On Face the Nation Sunday, Olson definitively stated that last week's judicial vicotories "signal equality" for LGBT citizens. Of course, Perkins wasn't having any of it. Perkins claimed that the Supreme Court "carjacked the nation" by ruling that legally married gay and lesbian citizens deserve the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts. 

Watch Olson's statements below. 


And here's Perkins's response, promising "lawlessness" in the wake of federal equality.