Face The Nation Transcripts April 26, 2015: Cummings, Bratton, Perkins

The latest on the deadly earthquake in Nepal, protests in Baltimore, and same-sex marriage politics in Washington, with Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, Evan Wolfson, Tony Perkins, and others

(CBS News) -- Below is a transcript from the April 26, 2015, episode of Face the Nation. Guests included Holly Williams, Orla Fagan, Chris Skopec, Rep. Elijah Cummings, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller, Tony Perkins, Evan Wolfson, John Dickerson, Ruth Marcus, Kimberly Strassel and Peter Baker.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I'm Bob Schieffer. And today on FACE THE NATION, a devastating earthquake abroad and angry voices at home. Rescue and recovery efforts are underway in the Nepal earthquake but the aftershocks continue as the death toll rose to more than two thousand. Our Holly Williams has a report from the scene.

Back home, the protests got violent last night in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody. We'll hear from Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings on that. And we'll talk about the continuing incidence of police problems involving race with two of New York City's top cops, Commissioner Bill Bratton and his Deputy John Miller. Plus, a preview of the Supreme Court case that could settle the gay marriage debate. We'll hear from Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Mary, and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. All that and more, because this is FACE THE NATION.

Good morning. The news overnight is staggering from Nepal. More than two thousand four hundred dead, thousands more injured after a 7.8-earthquake hit the country yesterday. The epicenter was just north of Kathmandu, Nepal's capital and its largest city. But strong aftershocks in the region, some as high as 6.7, are making rescue efforts more difficult. CBS News correspondent Holly Williams is there. Holly.

HOLLY WILLIAMS (CBS News Foreign Correspondent/on phone): Good morning, Bob.

It was just before noon here in the Kathmandu Valley yesterday when the earth began to shake violently. And that continued for several minutes, burying people beneath their own homes and tearing up roads in some areas. It also demolished several centuries old towers and temples in this historic city. Rescue workers here are picking through the rubble of toppled buildings. They're obviously hoping to find survivors but they're expecting to find more bodies. And we may not know the final death toll here in Nepal for several days to come. This is an impoverished country, one of the world's poorest, and a disaster like this one will severely test its resources. The hospitals here are struggling to cope with the sheer number of injured people. There have been plenty of promises of international help, but the airport was closed in Kathmandu until this morning. The very little of it has come in. I was just driving through the center of the city and everywhere I went, I saw people sitting out, camping out on the street, some of them in the middle of the street. They are too terrified to stay at home, too terrified to be anywhere near a building. Aftershocks are still jolting the city and people are fearful that more buildings could collapse. One aftershock hit just after I arrived in Kathmandu this morning. I was inside the airport as the ground started to heave. Light fixtures-- light fixtures were swinging from the ceiling. And many people ran for the exit, fearing another large quake. Nepal sits high in the Himalayas, as you know, and it's also located on the edge of a tectonic plate. It's prone to earthquakes. But this is the biggest quake in over eighty years and some scientists had predicted the country was overdue for a big one. The quake even triggered an avalanche on Mt. Everest where hundreds of climbers were attempting an ascent. It's thought several people were killed. Others were also killed as far away as China and Bangladesh. Bob.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Holly, is there any way to know how long these tremors are going to last? Is there any kind of news on that coming in?

HOLLY WILLIAMS: We-- we have no information on that but when there's a quake of this size, sometimes for several days afterwards there are tremors. That was certainly the case a few years ago when that large quake hit off the coast of Japan.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Is there any kind of communication going on? I mean how are people finding out about where to go or what to do?

HOLLY WILLIAMS: There's very little communication. The internet is down across most of the city. The phones are only working sporadically. What I see happening is communities pulling together, deciding to camp out on the street near their home or on sports grounds and really pulling together to make sure that they're fed and that they have shelter during the night. What they don't want to do is return home because they're so fearful that more buildings might collapse during aftershocks.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, Holly, we're all very proud of the job you're doing out there. But be very careful. Holly Williams in Nepal. Holly, thank you so much.

Joining us now by phone is Orla Fagan. She is in Bangkok. She is with the United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Ms. Fagan, thank you for joining us. Where do the relief efforts stand right now?

ORLA FAGAN (U.N. Humanitarian Affairs/on phone): Teams are being mobilized. There are international missions underway. India has sent in three very large military helicopters. Other nations are planning to do the same. UAE were responding-- they'd probably would respond, European Union will respond, the U.S. will respond. What they're looking for now is heavy shifting materials to clear the debris, to start the search and rescue operations to get as many people out of the rubble as possible, to also clear the dead bodies out of the way so that there will be no (AUDIO CUT) it will minimize the threat of disease outbreak.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What-- at this point, what is the most serious challenge that you face?

ORLA FAGAN: It-- it will be that the weather actually is turning really bad with thunderstorms forecast for the next couple of days. Nobody will be staying indoors because this afternoon there was a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, so people will be terrified to be indoors. It means then the people will be exposed to the elements because there is no temporary shelter set up, yet. It's too soon after the event. And they will be all sleeping outdoors tonight in terrible weather conditions. And that will be-- that-- that raises the possibility again of people becoming ill with respiratory infections, also then with, you know, the water system have being damaged, the food system will have been damaged. Also raises the possibility of water-borne diseases. At this stage we're talking about really lifesaving response, making sure that people who have survived are kept safe and-- and can survive through the next few days and next few weeks when things really will begin to move.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Orla Fagan of the United Nations. And Ms. Fagan, we thank you and all the best in your efforts.

And here in the studio with us now is Chris Skopec. He's the senior director of emergency preparedness and response for the International Medical Corps, a nonprofit relief agency. So what's your organization doing now?

CHRIS SKOPEC (International Medical Corps): Our organization, International Medical Corps, is on the ground. We've actually reached the epicenter of the earthquake. We're providing medical relief, we're treating patients and we're trying to assess the extent of the damage and see how best we can mobilize supplies and resources.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What do you need and how can people help?

CHRIS SKOPEC: Firstly and foremost, we need more resources on the ground. We need human resources, doctors, nurses. We need pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and we need the ability to bring clean water to the people that need it the most in a place where cholera is endemic. How can people help? We can provide cash. Cash can help us mobilize the supplies that we need.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What are your people there telling you about this?

CHRIS SKOPEC: They're telling me that the extent of the damage is significant. The needs are critical. We're still in very much lifesaving mode. And the logistical challenges are immense. The roads are damaged, communications are down, finding out the extent of the damage, the number of people that are in need, the casualty numbers, unfortunately, is only going to increase as we learn more and as we get farther out into the-- into the other communities.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, these-- these pictures we're seeing that Holly Williams is sending back to us, I'm not sure I've ever seen anything quite like this or at least on-- on this scale. If people want to help, what-- what do they do? How do they get a hold of you?

CHRIS SKOPEC: The best thing they can do is provide cash donation so that we can mobilize our resources through www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, Mister Skopec, best of luck in this.

CHRIS SKOPEC: Thank you so much.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Thank you. Thank you so much.

We'll have more on the earthquake as new information becomes available. But back home, the protests in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, who died last Sunday from a spinal injury sustained while in police custody, turned from peaceful to violent last night. Tension rose following a march through downtown Baltimore that grew thousands of people. After that protesters clashed with police officers, police car windows were smashed, a convenience store was looted and some twelve hundred policemen were deployed to keep the peace. Twelve arrests were made. And fans were kept inside the Oriole Ballpark at Camden Yards until things outside the stadium settled down.

And we are joined now by Congressman Elijah Cummings, who represents Baltimore. Congressman, this is-- didn't happen in Baltimore, it happened in your neighborhood.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-Maryland): In my neighborhood.

BOB SCHIEFFER: So you were there last night.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: Yes, I was.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Bring us up to speed.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: Well, we had a situation where of course Mister Gray died a week ago and I think the thing that upset so many people was the fact that he is a young man, we still don't know exactly why he was arrested, we do know that he was hollering out for aid, he was not given aid after being arrested and we also know that he was not seat-belted. And the next thing we knew a week later, Bob, he was dead. And a lot of people are very, very frustrated as to trying to figure out what happened here and is very upsetting.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, you were-- you were there.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: Yes.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What-- what triggered this violence? I mean this started out peacefully.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: Well, I got to give it to the citizens of Baltimore. I was there all day and it was very peaceful all day, thousands of people. And then at the end there were a few people who said, we're going to-- we're going to turn this city down, we're going to close it down. And the next thing you know, we had a few people, mainly from out of town to come and to start beating up on police cars and throwing all kinds of projectiles. But the fact is that for the most part, it was-- it could have been-- been worse. But, again, this is-- this whole police community relation situation, Bob, is the-- is the civil rights cause for this generation, no doubt about it. This thing here, this cell phone with the camera, this has caused a whole new situation where a lot of the police interaction with citizens is being recorded. That used to not be the case with when you and I were growing up.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Mm-Hm. How did-- how did they get this stopped last night?

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: Basically, what we did was the mayor to her credit and the police commissioner went on air and told people to go home. I went on air and asked people to go home and tell people to e-mail and text their relatives that we're down there, a lot of them left. And the next thing you know-- then, of course, we had rain that came along and that helped. But pretty much, and then we had a lot of people in our community, and I got to give credit to the people of Baltimore, a lot of community leaders were in the crowd saying this is our house, we will protect our house. And-- and asking people not to be violent, like I said it could have been worse.

BOB SCHIEFFER: One-- one decision that was made was to keep the fans who had gone to the ball--

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: Yes.

BOB SCHIEFFER: --game to see Orioles play, they made decision to keep them in there and not let them out until this thing calmed down.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: I thought that-- I thought that was a-- a smart idea because there was quite a bit of confrontation right outside the stadium and for everybody's safety, I think that that was the appropriate thing to do.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Are you satisfied with the way the chief of police and the-- the mayor has handled this case? After all, I mean we're talking about this-- this breach between African-Americans and police departments. We're seeing it happen in other cities as well.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: I think that they're doing the best that they can under these circumstances. That's when I-- but we have determined, that is Senator Mikulski and Cardin and yours truly and our delegation, Maryland delegation have asked the federal government, Department of Justice to come in and take a look at our department from top to bottom. They've agreed to do a civil rights investigation and-- and we feel good about that. But we've got to take this department apart and try to figure out what is wrong and what is right. This is a-- a significant moment, Bob. If we don't correct this now it-- it will only get worse.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You-- you've just said this is the civil rights challenge of our time.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: No doubt about it.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And the police officers who have been suspended with pay is that okay with you or?

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: I-- I believe in fairness. And as a lawyer, that's very important to me. But one of the things that we have pushed for is that they move this investigation as fast as-- as possible, make it as thorough as possible. And it's our understanding that they're going to be that is the mayor and the head of police will be bringing to our state's attorney information this coming Friday and then the state's attorney will go from there.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Are-- are you satisfied at this point with the way this investigation is going?

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: Yes, I am. And I'm-- I'm also pleased that the federal government is involved to do it.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, Congressman, we want to thank you for joining us this morning. I know this is a tough time for you and I expect you'll be going right back to Baltimore when you leave here.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: That's exactly right.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Thank you so much.

We will be back in one minute with two of New York City's top cops for more on this and this whole situation across the nation in a minute.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

BOB SCHIEFFER: With us now New York City's police Commissioner Bill Bratton and deputy commissioner for Intelligence and counterterrorism John Miller who brings a lot of experience to the table, including being a former CBS News correspondent. So welcome both of you. Chief, this looks a whole lot like the Eric Garner case in your city. He, of course, is the man who died after the police put a chokehold on him. Where are you on that internal investigation of that incident now?

WILLIAM BRATTON (NYC Police Commissioner): We have finished our investigation, the NYPD but the U.S. government, the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn who is now the attorney general for the United States has asked us to put our investigation on hold while the federal government moves forward with the civil rights investigation. So we're on standby till they finish their research.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Can you tell us anything about what you've learned so far from this investigation?

WILLIAM BRATTON: Well, in our case that where we are-- as you're aware that the Staten Island grand jury opted not to proceed with criminal indictments. We will be reviewing it for administrative policy procedure violations. And so where we are we have finished our investigation. We're ready to move forward into our prosecution trial phase. But, again, that won't happen until the U.S. attorney stands down with their investigation.

BOB SCHIEFFER: John Miller, you know, we saw the relations between the police union and the mayor in your city really deteriorate when that case happened. What advice would you have for police departments across the country now as they're trying to deal with this thing?

JOHN MILLER (NYC Deputy Commissioner): I think I would give very basic advice, which is what we learned time and time again and the lesson that-- that we've taken in New York for many years is don't-- you know, create your relationships under non-stressful circumstances. These crises, each one represents an opportunity to build dialogue with the key community leaders. But the problem is if you start to try and develop those relationships after some terrible event has happened and you're behind the-- the eight ball, that's a problem. So I think if anything, if there's something good that comes out of all of these, police chiefs across America have to be saying, let me do-- let me-- let me do my outreach now, let me do more of it, let me do it better and let me have those relationships in place because when the phone rings at three o'clock in the morning, if-- if that's the night you're exchanging business cards, you've lost already.

WILLIAM BRATTON: Well, if I may expand on that that, ironically, that we have these flashpoint incidents with this guy, a guy in my city, the recent events in Baltimore. But the trending over time is that there's been a dramatic improvement in the crime situation in America. And with that improvement with crime down, we're also seeing a significant falloff on police actions that result in arrests, for example. In 2009, there was something on the order of 13.7 million arrests in this country. Last year there were 11.3. Almost two and a half few-- few million fewer arrests reflecting the police of necessity don't have to be quite as active in many of the communities in the country. So losing, unfortunately, some of the good news, but each one of these events offers us an opportunity to have more dialogue, more discussion to use the expression for us to see each other better than we have in the past.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I mentioned the-- sort of almost the estrangement between the mayor and the police union in New York.

WILLIAM BRATTON: Mm-Hm.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Where-- where are you on that?

WILLIAM BRATTON: Oh, I think we're recovered from that. The union contracts with the exception of one union have been resolved. I think that public sentiment really came behind the mayor as the event went forward. And I think the raw of emotions two police officers murdered have healed somewhat in the city. So there's much less tension fortunately in that regard in our city. And that's helpful as we go forward with the engagements we're going to have to have with the community, the police, and the mayor.

BOB SCHIEFFER: John, we've seen, you know, incident after incident are we just seeing this more or-- or has there been an uptick? Have relations between police departments and-- and African-Americans really gotten worse?

JOHN MILLER: Bob, it's actually a fascinating question. There's a little chicken and egg piece to it about which-- which came first. As Commissioner Bratton just said, you're seeing law enforcement contacts in a negative sense, arrests and detention and things like that, the prison populations, everything, have been going down as-- as crime is trending down. So why does it look like we're having this. You got a-- a combination of a couple of factors. One is now everybody has a camera, so incidents that might have happened, once they're recorded become much more of a flashpoint than just a story that wouldn't have ever left that particular city. The other factor, frankly, is cable TV which is between the cell phone cameras which capture the emotional moments or the brutal moment of an incident and that fact that it's played on, you know, endlessly over a period of days till the next one happens creates this false perception of an increase of this. But as Commissioner Bratton said if the worst thing that happens from that is that the incidents get more scrutiny if the best thing that happens from that is that that scrutiny leads to increased dialogue it's about-- it's about a conversation.

BOB SCHIEFFER: As if there weren't enough news, we now have this new report that's emerged, a new threat from al Qaeda against American military people, they-- it somehow in this chatter that's being picked up, California comes up, can either of you tell me anything about that?

BILL BRATTON: Well, I think that ISIS has clearly ramped up the encouragement of terrorist acts, either by the travelers-- those that travel to that part of the world to fight, then would seek to return home, the home status, those that are here that they seek to inspire. And some of those-- some of that of that invective has been directed very specifically at police and at military. In New York City some months ago we saw that turn into action where an individual madman attacked four of my police officers with a hatchet and severely injured one of them before he was shot.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Are you taking this seriously, John?

JOHN MILLER: We certainly are. We sat through some very detailed classified briefings on Thursday, on Friday, we conferenced on the phone again on Saturday. But, remember, you've got a drumbeat of attacks or plots to have attacks in Paris and London and Australia. We arrested two women planning to use a pressure cooker bomb that they were attempting to develop in New York City. So this is a little bit of the new normal. Lot of chatter out there.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well thank you so much.

And we'll be back. I'll have some personal thoughts in just a minute.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

BOB SCHIEFFER: At this point, you may be asking is there any good news today. Yes, there is and from a most unexpected place, Capitol Hill. As best as I can make out Congress has actually done something, several things. The Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch after months of inexcusable delay. They broke a partisan deadlock on a human trafficking bill. Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi found a way to prevent draconian cuts in the fees that Medicare pays to doctors. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said early on there would be no government shutdowns on his watch. So far he's making good on his promise. That is no small achievement. And he has opened up the process to allow Democrats to offer amendments on key legislation. You might also ask why are you congratulating them for doing what we pay them to do. I'm not. What's happening is by no means on the scale of an Old Testament miracle. But some progress is better than no progress and every journey begins with a first step. Let's hope what we're seeing is the first of many steps needed to get Washington back on track. It won't be easy. It never is. But this could be a start, maybe.

Back in a minute.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

BOB SCHIEFFER: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. Well, here is something you don't see very often in Washington. These people have been lining up all weekend in hope of getting a seat in the Supreme Court argument scheduled for Tuesday. This is a case that could ultimately settle whether the right to marry someone of the same sex is constitutionally protected. We're going to hear from both sides. Evan Wolfson is the head of Freedom to Mary, a group that's lobbied for gays to marry. He's in New York this morning. But I'm going to start with probably the most vocal opponent of same-sex marriage and that is Tony Perkins. He is the president of the Family Research Council. And, Mister Perkins, I'm going to say this to you upfront. You and your group have been so strong in coming out against this-- and against gay marriage that the Southern Poverty Law Center has branded the Family Research Council an anti-gay hate group. We have been inundated by people who say we should not even let you appear because they, in their view, quote, "You don't speak for Christians." Do you think you have taken this too far?

TONY PERKINS (Family Research Council): No. Bob, we stand-- well, first of all, let me say thank you for allowing us to continue to have this discussion. Because I think it's a discussion that's going to continue on, regardless of what the court says. The court is not going to settle this issue. In fact, I think it does a disservice to both sides if the court weighs in on public policy like this. The courts are decided to interpret the constitution and the constitutionality of laws, not create public policy. When they do that they create division and they erect barriers to reaching consensus on-- on public policy like this. So, no. We-- we stand with millennia of experience that the union of a man and woman, the sacred union of marriage is the cornerstone of society. That's where kids learn to become citizens.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well you said the other day and I believe these are your words, if the court rules in favor of gay marriage it would be open season on people of faith. I mean how can you say that?

TONY PERKINS: Absolutely. Well, I can say it very clearly. This is what's at stake here, Bob. This is a-- this is not about the marriage alter. This is about fundamentally altering the culture. Just on Friday, a-- a bakery in Oregon was fined a hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars for not refusing to serve gay people but simply saying, I don't-- we cannot participate in a same-sex wedding because it violates our Christian faith. A hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars. Within hours, though, about a hundred thousand dollars was raised for this couple until gay activists demanded that GoFundMe take down their site.

BOB SCHIEFFER: But, you know, Mister Perkins, in the two years since the court took up this issue, we now have surveys that show that six in ten Americans now favor gay marriage. That says to me this may be working. Thirty-seven states in the district have now legalized same-sex marriage. It is illegal in just seven states. Doesn't that mean that people want this to be legal?

TONY PERKINS: No, first of, even the Washington Post said, the numbers are based on, yeah, how you ask the question. The nation really is evenly divided. And the narrative thirty-seven states that works for those who want to say the consensus is on the side of redefinition, but you have to realize only voters in three of those states actually voted to allow the redefinition of marriage. And the vast majority of the others, it's been imposed on them by the courts. And for those who would say there is a global consensus, that's not true either. Only seventeen of the one hundred ninety-three-member states of the United Nations have redefined a marriage. And only one, Brazil, is the only nation that's allowed it to be done by the courts. The court will only supercharge this issue as they did Roe v. Wade back in 1973.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Did you really say that justices who come down on the side of gays on this should be impeached?

TONY PERKINS: No, I didn't say that.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Because there are-- there are reports to that affect.

TONY PERKINS: No, I-- I didn't say that.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What did you say?

TONY PERKINS: Well, I-- I said that-- I didn't say anything about impeachment of the judges. What I said that they're not the final say on this issue. In our system of government, the-- the courts are not the final say on issues. And for-- for the court to decide on something like this and impose it on the nation, which the polling, even CBS's own polling says the majority of Americans are opposed to the idea that the Supreme Court what imposes on the nations. They think it-- on the nation, they think it's best left to the states. That's how we come to a consensus in this country. And as abortion remains an issue forty-two years later in every election from President on down, it will continue to be an issue, just as the major Republican candidates last night in Iowa made it an issue.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, thank you very much, Mister Perkins, for being with us.

TONY PERKINS: All right, Bob.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And now we go to New York and Evan Wolfson who is head of Freedom to Marry. Well, you just heard what the main-- one of the main opponents to this says, Mister Wolfson. What-- what's your side of the story here?

EVAN WOLFSON (Freedom to Marry): Well, I would say that Tony Perkins is really an outlier and what's to be celebrated here is that the vast majority of Americans have opened their hearts and changed their mind and moved forward to embrace the freedom to marry and the courts are following where that public opinion has gone. And the reason that's happened is because gay people and none-gay people have talked about shared values of treating others as you'd want to be treated, we've talked about our love, our commitment, real families, not just stereotypes and insinuations and the American people have moved. And that's to be celebrated and that's why we feel such hope going into this day in court that we'll be having later this week.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you this question. I mean the-- the polls do show six in ten Americans do favor gay marriage now. But regardless of what you may think of Tony Perkins and his group there are some very sincere, thoughtful people that are on both sides of this issue. What do you say-- what is your message to the four in ten who do not favor gay marriage?

EVAN WOLFSON: You're absolutely right that not everybody opposed or not with us is somebody like Tony Perkins. You're right that there are people who are still thinking it through. And the good news in America is people do think it through and they do move. And I'm confident that these people will see what the majority of Americans have come to see, which is that when we end discrimination, when we end exclusion, families are helped and no one is hurt. You know, last week the Williams Institute, Bob, released a poll showing that in every single state where we brought the Freedom to Marry support has gone up. People when they get a chance to see it for real and to open their hearts and to talk to their neighbors understand that-- that civil rights advances like this are good. They're good for the community, they're good for the country, they're good for the constitution and they're certainly good for families.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What do you think has been the-- the theme that has caused a lot of people to change their mind on this?

EVAN WOLFSON: The overwhelming engine of change here has been conversation. It's been gay people talking about love, talking about commitment, talking about why marriage matters, the reality of our lives, talking about how the exclusion and discrimination has really harmed us intangible and intangible ways. And it's also been none-gay people being willing to be part of those conversations and thinking about shared values. Millions of conversations over many, many battles have led to this momentum.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What-- go ahead, I'm sorry.

EVAN WOLFSON: Well, I was just going to say the fact that we've now seen in the last two years, more than sixty courts, state and federal courts, Republican judges as well as Democratic ruling in favor of the freedom to marry is because the courts like the country have come to understand that the command of the constitution does apply to gay people like other Americans.

BOB SCHIEFFER: None of us who have ever had any experience in-- in sitting in a courtroom and watching a trial or whether it's at the lowest level or at the-- at the Supreme Court, knows better than try to guess what the outcome is going to be. But the opinion seems to be that the court is going to rule in your favor on this but I guess I would ask you this, what happens if they don't?

EVAN WOLFSON: Yeah. Well, you know, actually, fifteen years ago today was the day I got to argue in the Supreme Court on the Boy Scout case. And one of the lessons I learned going into the court was, count to five. When it comes down to in the Supreme Court is will we have five justices at least who are ready to rule for us and, of course, we've done everything we can to make the case not only in the court but in the country, in the court of public opinion to create the climate for the court to do the right thing. If the court doesn't do the right thing this time, we will keep working; we will build on the progress we've made. We will continue engaging our fellow Americans. We will continue the strategy of winning more states and winning more hearts and minds and we'll go back before, if necessary, another set of justices. But I'm very, very hopeful that this set of justices will see what all these other judges and what the majority of Americans have seen, it's time to end the freedom to-- the exclusion for marriage, it's time for the freedom to marry.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, Mister Wolfson, thank you again for joining us.

EVAN WOLFSON: Thank you.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And we'll come back in a minute with our panel of analysts. They have all the answers in a minute.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

BOB SCHIEFFER: Back now with our panel. Kimberley Strassel is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Peter Baker is White House correspondent for the New York Times, and last night, he won the Aldo Beckman Award for distinguished reporting at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Congratulations to you, Peter.

PETER BAKER (New York Times): Thank you, Bob.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Aldo Beckman was a friend of mine.

PETER BAKER: Oh.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And he--

PETER BAKER: It's good to-- it's good to hear.

BOB SCHIEFFER: --was a great guy. Ruth Marcus, columnist for the Washington Post, and CBS News political director John Dickerson here getting used to getting up every-- every Sunday morning, even the Sunday morning after the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The truth of the matter is I may still be at the White House. I'm not quite sure of where I am this morning. But it's an amazing evening. I mean in a town that generally goes to bed at nine o'clock get people stay out past midnight. Ruth, just as you were sitting down here you told me something that I never knew you went to school with Evan Wolfson--

RUTH MARCUS (Washington Post): I did.

BOB SCHIEFFER: --who is heading up the right to marry thing.

RUTH MARCUS: I did. And when Evan-- we went to college and law school together. And in law school he wrote his third year paper as was required on the then fanciful and outlandish subject of whether there was constitutional right to same-sex marriage. This was viewed as so out there, that it was hard for him to find a faculty advisor he told me later. And now I think you mentioned how difficult and dangerous it is to predict things, how amazing is it that many, many years later I think we're not even that much on tenterhooks about what the Supreme Court is going to do. It seems almost inevitable.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Is this-- will this still be an issue in the campaign in 2016?

JOHN DICKERSON (CBS News Political Director): Well, it depends what the ruling is. Let's talk about it on the Republican side where it's-- where it's complex. You have all of the Republican candidates running for President would like the Supreme Court to uphold the state bans on same-sex marriage, that's what they've said. Both as a matter of their own faith and also as a matter of the way they see the constitution. I think, politically speaking, purely politically for Republicans there's a challenge on the one hand they have the party some believe has an image problem and that support or at least openness to same-sex marriage is a part of the wave of the future and the party needs to be somehow associated with that; particularly young Republicans are very much in favor of same-sex marriage. Not older Republicans but younger Republicans and that's the future. The tension, of course, though, is there is a group of people in the Republican Party for whom this is a faith question and this is a sincere, as you mentioned, matter of their belief. And it's not just about redefining marriages they've put it but it's about the values that are being destroyed by the culture and that's a group that Republicans are trying to talk to as they make their case for the presidency. So that's where it will be interesting to see how that tension plays out.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You know, Kim, so many of these would-be Republican candidates, they're really dancing around this-- this issue and I don't mean that with any disrespect but they are. I mean those who say that well, I'm-- I'm against same-sex marriage but the question of the month has been, but would you go to a-- to a gay marriage? That's kind of seems to be the threshold question now.

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL (Wall Street Journal): Well, that question is sort of strange to me because it just seems to be restating the question of are you in favor of gay marriage. This tension that John mentions is not necessarily new. I mean you've always had these different factions within the Republican Party, those are defense hawks, those are-- who are, you know, fiscal conservatives or the social conservatives and you have these splits. So I think one of the interesting things here is how is the court going to rule. They're going to want very much for it to be a state's right. It's a question that I don't think by the way that that is still out of the realm of possibility. People are talking about Anthony Kennedy being the final deciding vote on this. And he has been very sympathetic to gay marriage in past decisions. But he's also a big fan of states' rights. And there are two questions that the court is looking at. One is, is there a constitutional right to this? But the second one is is there the 14th Amendment, does it require states to recognize gay marriages from out of states? And there is a scenario you could see in which they ruled no on the first question, and yes in the second.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I think this is going to be something no matter what the court rules. We'll be talking about it just in the same way that we talk about a woman's right to choose and-- and-- and all of that. It's just a divide here and there are sincere people truly on both sides of this.

RUTH MARCUS: I-- I don't think it's going to be the same roiling and really tearing apart society question that abortion has been since Roe v. Wade. There are sincere differences on both of those issues, but society remains incredibly split on the right to abortion. I think for the reasons that John mentioned because the demographics are in favor of same-sex marriage. It is not going to be as societally (sic) split.

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: But you also have to ask the question, though, I think maybe one of the reasons that this has played out better is because courts have not been as aggressively involved. And the states were making-- you keep pointing out to those polls America has got to that position on its own largely. And I think there is an issue about whether or not if the court does impose something here you do end up in another Row v. Wade situation and it polarizes the situation.

PETER BAKER: And it's interesting the-- the court actually set this up in an interesting way. Two years ago, it sort of gave a half decision that then gave license to all these lower courts to decide that same-sex marriage had to be allowed over the voters who had passed these bans in their state constitution. So thirty-some states now have same-sex marriage but not because of the action of democracy, not through legislative actions but through lower courts that took their cue from the Supreme Court. And now in effect the Supreme Court has set it up so that if they decide to they're coming back and ratifying the decision that they made two years ago that was then interpreted by lower courts.

RUTH MARCUS: And without a huge societal backlash.

PETER BAKER: And without a big huge backlash but some backlash.

RUTH MARCUS: I-- I wanted to just suggest two questions in addition to the, would you go to a same-sex wedding question for candidates. And one is the Republican Party platform in 2012 endorses a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Is that the view of the Republican candidates today? Number two, there are no job discrimination or housing discrimination protections in federal law on the basis of sexual orientation. Do you think that that's fair in 2016?

BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me just shift, excellent-- an excellent discussion on that. But we-- I wouldn't call this bulletin matter but there is some news this morning on the Clinton Foundation front. The Clinton Foundation has put up a message on its website saying, "...yes, we made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do, but we are acting quickly to remedy them, and have taken steps to ensure they don't happen in the future". This, obviously, has to do with these donations that were coming in to the foundation from overseas groups and so forth while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and after. Peter.

PETER BAKER: Yeah. I think, you know, look, this is a big issue for Hillary Clinton because, in fact, it goes back to some of the issues we've been seeing with the Clintons going to the nineties, which is the interaction between money and politics, money and the Clintons in particular. And they have arguments about why they made some of the decisions they made and they-- and they have made some mistake on some of the others but, broadly, I think it fits into a narrative that she's going to have to work hard to shake which is that they are so tied in with moneyed interests, with-- people with-- who have, perhaps, more than one motive in giving to a philanthropy. And in some ways that neutralized it to some extent the argument that they would like to make about the Koch brothers and the-- and the-- and the funders on the right who are going to be, obviously, participating in the politics as well. And I don't know where the voters go with this because it'd be interesting to see how they decide to settle this.

BOB SCHIEFFER: When-- when they say me made some mistakes and we're going to correct them. Kim, what-- what would-- what do they in your view, what they need to do?

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: It's-- it's all a mistake. I mean, look, the issue here, the-- the Clinton pushback on this now is there's not a shred of evidence that we did anything wrong. It's not about the evidence. It's about the appearance of conflict of interest. And everyone else seems to understand that this is a huge problem, other than the Clintons. I mean, even the Obama administration said you have to sign up for these disclosure rules, you have to stop foreign money because we understand that this is a problem. But the Clintons seem to think that the normal rules don't apply to them.

BOB SCHIEFFER: But today they put out a statement that said, well, yes, we did make mistakes.

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: They've got to stop all donations.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And you think they should stop it?

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: Yeah, they have to.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Or should they give some back?

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: How can you have a president of the United States who in any capacity is tied to a foundation that's receiving money from corporations or foreign governments and that question of appearance of conflict not be present.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Should they give back what they've already gotten?

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: Yes.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You think so?

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: Yes.

RUTH MARCUS: I think it's hard to un-ring that bell. Three quick points here. One is despite a lot of kind of smarmy suggestiveness, there is no evidence. And I think it's important to say this of any kind of quid pro quo of official action in return for donations. Number two, this is a problem I agree with what was said that is inherent in the nature of having an ex-president raising large amounts of money for a good cause while his wife is (a) the Secretary of State and (b) a presidential candidate. So this was going to be a problem from the get-go. And (c) or three wherever I am, sorry, the notion of the sloppiness and the greed that follows on this sloppiness with failing to report donations or failing to get your tax returns right or failing to comply with the rules and greed in terms of taking donations from particularly questionable people is simply inexcusable.

JOHN DICKERSON: It seems to me that as a purely political question, there's a-- the voters have to figure out something. What this goes to is if there is no quid pro quo, if there's no proof that money came in and a decision was made, there is this question of trust, can the Clintons be trusted to make-- to follow the rules, especially when they're making some of their own rules and that has to do not just with the foundation and whether they abided by the agreements--

RUTH MARCUS: E-mails.

JOHN DICKERSON: --with the Obama administration, but, of course, with the e-mails as well. So this become-- it also in weird ways becomes a trust question when Hillary Clinton is presenting herself as a van-driving Chipotle-eating candidate is that at odds with the stories of-- of five-hundred-thousand-dollar speaking fee. So it's trust--

RUTH MARCUS: I was at the low end.

PETER BAKER: Even President Obama's joke last night says I've-- obviously, the Congress is not doing too well-- too terribly because, in fact, I have a friend who used to be making millions and now she's living in a van in Iowa. So that joke actually kind of highlights that very--

JOHN DICKERSON: So the question is, trust on-- that's the downside for Hillary Clinton, but voters are going to say but who cares about me. And on that question so far she does very well. So voters could very well find themselves in a position where they don't trust her so much but they think that she understands their lives and cares about them and they're willing to forgive the one because they like the other. That seems to me the question we'll have to watch going forward.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, we're going to be talking about this for a long time. And it's an issue that certainly is not going to go away. And, certainly, this is not what the Clinton campaign at this point wanted to be talking about. We're going to come back, if I can stay awake, with some of the best moments from last night's White House Correspondents' Dinner. Stay with us.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

BOB SCHIEFFER: Last night was the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner where Washington politicians and the media mixed with Hollywood. But it was President Obama who stole the show.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Good evening, everybody. Welcome to the White House Correspondents' Dinner, the night when Washington celebrates itself. Somebody's got to do it. Now, look, it is true I have not managed to make everybody happy, six years into my presidency some people still say I'm arrogant and aloof, condescending. Some people are so dumb. No wonder I don't meet with them. And that's not all people say about me. A few weeks ago, Dick Cheney says he thinks I'm the worst President of his lifetime, which is interesting because I think Dick Cheney is the worst President of my lifetime. Quite a coincidence. It gets worse. Just this week Michele Bachmann actually predicted that I would bring about the biblical end of days. Now that's a legacy. That's big. I mean Lincoln, Washington, they didn't do that.

You know, I just have to put this stuff aside. We are going to stay focused on my job because for many Americans this is still a time of deep uncertainty. For example, I have one friend just a few weeks ago, she was making millions of dollars a year and she's now living out of a van in Iowa.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And we'll be back in a minute.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

BOB SCHIEFFER: Thanks for joining us. We will all be wide awake and back here next week for another FACE THE NATION. Thanks for joining us.