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MSNBC "Hardball with Chris Matthews" - Transcript - LGBT Rights


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MATTHEWS: Pretty clearly stated there. Anyway, State Representative Brian Sims joins me now from Harrisburg. He represents Center City, Philadelphia.

Ted Boutrous, by the way, he`s also joining us. He`s the attorney for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. He also represented the plaintiffs in that Prop 8 case.

Both gentlemen, thank you so much.

Representative Sims, tell me what happened. You tried to talk about the historic nature of these court rulings and were doing in what we call in Washington an executive session. Not with a big audience or gallery. And even that, among just your colleagues, bothered people.

STATE REP. BRIAN SIMS (D), PENNYSYLVANIA: Yes, you said it best, Chris. Thanks for having me back on. You know, I had an opportunity at the end ofthe session on Tuesday after the decisions had come out to rise and address my colleagues and to talk about the historic nature of the Supreme Court cases and I let the speaker of the House know ahead of time that I was just going to talk about the cases. I wasn`t going to talk about the fact that Pennsylvania lacks all LGBT rights. I wasn`t` going to point any fingers, just as a civil rights attorney, and now as an openly gay legislator, I wanted to reference the historic case is.

As you know, I got two, three words in before I was objected to. Now, the procedural rule is called unanimous consent. As it implies, when it`s not unanimous, I don`t have the consent to speak. And as soon as I started talking, Representative Metcalf and another member of the House raised their hand to silence me.

MATTHEWS: Let`s take a look at Ralph Reed, before I bring in Ted. I wonder Ralph Reed -- this idea that inevitably we`re going to have 50 states going with marriage equality is a little premature right now. Ralph Reed knows the business on the evangelical conservative side. Here he is on "Meet the Press" with David Gregory, playing down the impact of that court decision. Let`s watch him in action.


RALPH REED, CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST: I also don`t buy into this sort of Whig notion of history this is sort of an inevitable train and this is where we`re going to go. Even after this decision, David, 70 percent of the American people live in states that define marriage as between a man and a woman. Thirty-two of those states passed referendums with an average margin of 57 percent, and in a CBS/"New York Times" poll on June 9th, 60 percent of the American people and a majority of Democrats said they want this resolved at the state level.


MATTHEWS: Well, let me go to Ted Boutrous on that. By the way, Ralph looked especially tired in that presentation. I don`t know what was going on "Meet the Press" yesterday. Guy looked like he`s been up for a month.

Anyway, what`s going on here? Does the right wing have a chance to stop this movement that seems to be his historically unstoppable for equality?

Chris. I think the court`s decision last week, Justice Kennedy`s opinion for the court and Defense of Marriage act case laid out the broad principles that discriminating against couples because of their sexual orientation when it comes to marriage, it demeans them, it humiliates them and their children, those principles that the court established directly in line with the things the court had said in prior decisions. They`re going to lead, I think, to marriage equality in this country.

And I think Mr. Reed is wrong. There`s been a wave of public support, as you and your audience knows, in support of marriage equality and the wave just got a whole lot bigger last week with the Supreme Court`s decision. And to be here in California and see people getting married and the joy that is running through this state is remarkable.

MATTHEWS: Brian, do the members oppose you, won`t let you speak up in Harrisburg, even in executive session, do they know their time is running out, that young people joining the election rolls, certainly 18 to 25, up to 25 or 40 now, are clearly pro-equality?

SIMS: Not only do they know it, Chris, I think that`s what this was about. Let`s be clear: Marriage equality is going to become the law of the land no matter what. I think this is an issue of when losers are losing they start to lash out. I think that they know that this is happening. They`re doing their best to sort of stem this tide, resorting to, you know, to behavior like this and lashing out.

But I think that`s what you do when you know you`re on the wrong side of history and you`re still fighting.

MATTHEWS: So, all they can do is silence you for a couple months and you`ll be back at it again. Here you are on national television sort of overcoming their problem, aren`t you? Ha!

SIMS: Well --


SIMS: You know, I don`t get silenced all that easily. I come from a generation of people that don`t tolerate bullies, who don`t put up with bullies. Guys like the chairman have been doing this their whole lives. This has been happening in the United States for 200 years.

But now, they`re running into people like me, they`re running into a generation of people who aren`t going to put up for it, that they`re going to stand up for ourselves, our rights.

MATTHEWS: As Maggie Thatcher would say, come back again and again. Thank you, by the way, State Representative Brian Sims, and Ted Boutrous -- congratulations, sir, for being part of that amazing odd couple of Boies and Olsen.

Anyway, we`ll be right back after this.


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