How News Networks Reported Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage

By Chris Ariens 

For the second morning in a row the news networks went into overdrive as the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling: same sex marriage is a right protected by the U.S. constitution.

At 10:01, a breathless Shannon Bream on Fox News was handed the decision: “Here. Here. Here we go. We have got it.”

NBC’s justice correspondent Pete Williams got choked up reading the decision in an NBC News special report at 10:02. “For the first time the Supreme Court has said there is a constitutional right — excuse me — to same sex marriage.”


On CNN, Wolf Blitzer anchored a global special report for CNN networks at 10:02, but, like yesterday, they delayed reporting the actual decision, even while people outside the court, in a CNN split screen, celebrated the ruling.

“It’s over. The long constitutional debate over whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry is over. And the answer is yes,” said ABC’s Terry Moran in a network special report anchored by David Muir at 10:03.

“You cannot imagine the roar of the court when the decision was announced,” said Jan Crawford reporting a special report for CBS News, also at 10:03.

From the last paragraph of the majority opinion, via ScotusBlog, Justice Anthony Kennedy writes, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. … [The challengers] ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Chief Justice John Roberts read the dissenting opinion from the bench: “If you are among the many Americans–of whatever sexual orientation–who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not Celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”