California Attorney General Kemala Harris gave an impassioned, pithy defense of marriage equality during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s hearing on whether California’s Proposition 8, which overturned the state’s marriage equality law, is itself constitutional.
Asked by CNN’s Candy Crowley to explain why she was refusing to defend the state’s proposition, Harris insisted that the measure undermined the fundamental rights of gay Americans, taking away their equal protections under the law:
I am absolutely against a ban on same-sex marriages because [bans] are simply unconstitutional. And it is one thing to read the polls, which we have discussed which show again that a majority of Americans are in favor of same sex marriage, but it is more important to read the Constitution. And the Constitution of the United States dictates, I believe, under every court precedent that we have discussed in terms of describing marriage as a fundamental right that the same-sex couples that are before the United states supreme court — Mrs. Windsor, Miss Perry — be allowed to have equal protection under the laws as any Americans when it comes to their ability to join themselves with their loving partners in marriage and raise their children. And 61% of Californians are in favor of same-sex marriage.
Watch it (Harris’ central case is from :18 to 1:10):
When asked afterwards by Crowley why Californians voted in 2008 to ban same-sex marriage, Harris points out that, in 2013, 61 percent of Californians support equality. But, more importantly, she argued that there were 50,000 children in California “who are asking: why can’t my parents be married too?”