Return to Transcripts main page


Focus on Shootings; Jay Leno Leaving; Same-Sex Marriage Debate

Aired March 22, 2013 - 14:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Something new today, we'll do the news, just a little differently. We're debating the stories that you're buzzing about. It is a day of hot topics. I'm Don Lemon. Let's talk.


LEMON (voice-over): Is the debate over guns getting downright tacky?

Late night wars ,networks apparently booting the old for a younger, newer model.

No soda, no smokes. Now salt? What the hell can you do these days?

And the GOP taking on the G-A-Y. Didn't they read their own autopsy?

Plus, she's the queen of hot topics, but today, she's the subject of ours, Wendy Williams, how you doing?


LEMON: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. Thank you very much for joining us. It's tough to imagine. We often hear a mother's worst nightmare; it's a cliche. This one really is though, because a mother -- imagine this -- holding her 13-month-old son when suddenly she says two kids tried to rob her, then shoot and kill her baby.

I've got my panel standing by to talk about all of this and the other incidents involving gun violence just in the last couple of days.

But first, just moments ago, CNN spoke with that mother. Pay attention.


SHERRY WEST, SAYS BOYS SHOT AND KILLED HER BABY: And what they did to my baby was terrible. What those -- that boy did to my baby. I thought the gun was fake. You know, I didn't -- I didn't think that the gun was real.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell me, Sherry, exactly what happened?

WEST: I was walking home from the post office and I thought, you know, I don't go out enough, so I should take a walk. And I was five minutes from my house, next to the blue house out this road here. I always walk Ella (ph) Street. And a boy approached me and told me he wanted my money. And I told him I didn't have any money, you know. And he said, give me your money or I'm going to kill you and I'm going to shoot your baby and kill your baby. And I said, I don't have any money. And don't -- don't kill my baby.

And he tried to grab my purse and I tried to tell him, I don't have any money, and then he shoved me and he shot me in the ear. It grazed my head back here. And then he shot me in the leg. And I didn't feel it. It got numb. I thought it was just a bb gun, because it was a small gun. And then -- and then all of a sudden he walked over and he shot my baby right in the face. And he must have died instantly because I screamed for help and a neighbor to call the police and he ran off. He got scared that I screamed.

And I wheeled my baby really quick to a safe place inside the gate of the blue house on Ella Street. And then, you know, I took him out of the harness, and I tried to perform CPR, but I saw his lungs inflating, but he was not breathing. And there was no pulse. And by the time the EMTs got there, the police, they tried to do CPR also and they -- we lost him. They were very wrong (ph) and I hope that they get the maximum sentence if they're caught. If they can commit an adult crime, I mean even the police can't even go to training without being 21 years of age. So if they can use a gun like an adult, then they can be charged like an adult. I want to see lethal injection or at least, you know, life in prison, you know, because, I mean, this child --


LEMON: It's terrible, but we must report. Our Nick Valencia just asked police whether she is a suspect and they say they don't want to talk about the investigation because it could possibly damage it. We have to report that.

Joining me now are Ben Ferguson, radio talk show host of "The Ben Ferguson Show," also relationship expert Dr. Wendy -- psychologist Wendy Walsh.

Welcome to both of you.

This baby's death comes on the heels of a Marine in Quantico, Virginia, guys, shooting and killing two fellow Marines before killing himself, a former prison inmate in Colorado is dead after a shootout with police in Texas. It's believed he was involved in the shooting death of a Colorado prison chief.

Wendy, you're a mother. You heard from the mom. She lost -- who lost her baby and the other stories. What's your reaction?

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: I'm sorry, I'm trying to hold in my tears here, Don. It's a terrible, terrible, terrible story. And, I mean, when is enough going to be enough? When, you know, when mothers are crying because babies are shot in their arms, because children have a hold of guns. It sounded like these were adolescents. When is enough going to be enough?

LEMON: Mm-hmm. You are very -- I know both your kids. I've met both of them. And it's hard for any parent to imagine anything like that. This -- I mean this is really personal for you and for moms around the country.

WALSH: Yes. It's very, very personal. I worry about my children walking to school. You know, as you know, one of my daughters has Asperger syndrome and she's doing so well now and growing up and becoming so mature. I'm afraid to let her walk across the street to school by herself. I'm afraid to let my kids walk places. I mean, they do. I swallow my fear because I don't want them to grow up being fear- based. But this gun stuff has got to stop. It makes me want to move home to Canada, Don.


BEN FERGUSON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yes, I mean, it's personal for me too because I've, unfortunately, seen one of these young adolescents who went through the juvenile system and was arrested four different times as a juvenile, was in a gang and then put a gun to my head and shot at me from five feet away. They both went to prison. But they're both out on the streets now. And they're going to commit these crimes again.

And my problem is, why aren't we catching these people who are committing these crimes, who are using guns and are bought on the black market, and yet we're not prosecuting them for long enough period of time. And I think the issue here is this. We have to have laws in this country that people genuinely fear. And doing and committing a crime with a gun in this country right now and the consequences that come with it are not feared by the criminals anymore. I mean the guy that put a gun to me -- and I say this because it is personal -- he'd already been convicted not once but twice in his life by the age of 22 of aggravated armed robbery with a gun. Why is he out of prison to do it again?

LEMON: Ben -- OK, Ben, I understand your -- listen, it's very personal for both of you. And I appreciate all your candor and I appreciate your passion about it. And I'm just -- I'm just playing devil's advocate here.


LEMON: But what if their -- if the guns were not available, right, then we -- would we be talking about this, Ben?

FERGUSON: Well, I think that you're implying as if, if we had some massive gun control, that guys that break the law --

LEMON: No, I'm just asking a question because -- I'm just asking a question because --

FERGUSON: Well, no, I'm -- but I'm -- I'm being serious though because here's my issue.

LEMON: Because if we had this problem with knives, people would be asking about knives. If we had this problem with people burning people, we would be asking about that.

FERGUSON: Sure. WALSH: No, that's not true, Don. That's not true.

FERGUSON: But here -- but here -- right, but here's my point. But here's my point. Here's my point. The point is this. Law abiding citizens are not the issue here. And to imply or to think, people watching, that if we pass massive gun control, that people that are willing to put a gun and kill an infant child are going to somehow play by the rules is just not reality. We broke 20 laws, gun laws specifically, in Littleton. Would two or three more have fixed that problem with mental health, with kids having access, with their parents not being responsible gun owns and everything else? Absolutely not. So it's not an issue to me of gun control, because I think that gives us a false sense of security.

LEMON: OK. All right. Wendy, go ahead.

WALSH: I think, you know, in Canada, which is big hunting territory, there are a lot of guns. I grew up there for 25 years. I never saw one because the gun regulations are actually enforced. America is really great at making laws, but not so good at enforcing laws.

FERGUSON: Amen to that.

WALSH: And at the very least, we need to make the sales of guns, whether it's in, you know, retailers have one set of rules and then these gun show places have another set of rules, and then every state has their own kind of rules. We need at least one standardized system of what the rules are for people who have a criminal record, for people who may be mentally ill and we need to follow them and we need to enforce them if the gun laws are broken.

LEMON: OK. Good -- great conversation. I want to continue on.

Did you guys see the Yoko Ono tweet? Both of you?




LEMON: Yoko Ono, here's what she tweeted, along with a picture of John Lennon's glasses when he was -- after he was murdered, with the blood on them. "Over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in the USA since John Lennon was shot and kill on December 8, 1980." That is a powerful -- pretty powerful image.


WALSH: I'm so proud that at the age of 80 Yoko is still being a social activist. And, obviously, this is very personal for her and the fact that she's taking to Twitter at the age of 80 is fabulous. And keep it up, Yoko, I want to hear your words.

LEMON: OK. And just a little bit more and then I'll let you respond, Ben. FERGUSON: Yes.

LEMON: And here's the front page of "The Daily News." It calls Congress "gutless cowards." And then, you know, Michael Moore was on Piers Morgan's show, "Piers Morgan Live." He said, "if a gunman killed Harry Reid's grandchildren in their school, would Harry Reid have kept the assault weapons from being introduced to Congress?" These are celebrities who are getting involved and this is a front of a newspaper taking a stand.

Go ahead, Ben.

FERGUSON: Well, I think one of the thing that you look at Yoko and what she put out there, and God bless her for her doing this and keeping the conversation alive. But one of the things that I will say is, where is the picture about mental health? The guy who killed her husband had tried to kill himself a couple years earlier. Had been in a mental institution. His family knew he had problems. How he was able to go out there and yet do this and we didn't have -- knowing that this guy should not have been able to purchase a weapon, that he should have been on a list, he was able to buy what he wanted to. He'd actually tried to kill himself. I mean that's an issue of mental health.

LEMON: But, Ben, I would say -- I would say the picture for -- the pictures for mental health are Newtown and Aurora.

FERGUSON: That's my point. So why aren't we talking about one of the biggest issues here.


FERGUSON: Because once we -- once it goes political and this whole gun control debate, oh, it's the gun, it's the gun. The consistent theme that we keep seeing in these tragedies is a mental health issue and Congress has not had one real blunt conversation about that. I would say to Harry Reid, why aren't you actually trying to fix the problem instead of both sides doing political points because mental health is obvious here.

WALSH: I'll tell you why.

LEMON: Go ahead, Wendy.

WALSH: I'll tell you why. We love to think in this country that we have free range capitalism. But we don't. And we don't have socialism either. What we have is called neofeudalism (ph) where basically about 20 brands and 20 organizations own us, own the government as well, and nobody can get into politics unless somebody pays them to get there. And then they can't really represent us, can they?

LEMON: All right. All right, thank you. Fascinating conversation. Fascinating conversation. I appreciate both of your points. Stand by, guys. I'm going to bring in a new panel on this topic.

Reports surfacing that Jay Leno will pass the torch on to Jimmy Fallon. But Jay's got some choice words for NBC execs and some thinly veiled jokes before he goes. So much to talk about. We have a new panel to discuss the late night wars. It's our super-sized panels today.


LEMON: So much to talk about today. We have a brand-new panel standing by. This is our super Friday hot topics. This is my new brew (ph) crew. They're standing by and we're going to talk about this.

Let's talk Jay Leno getting booted. Because if you -- if he was a poker player, he might have to work on his bluffing skills. A late night host not exactly hiding his feelings about NBC this week amid rumors that a deal may be in the works for Leno to hand over "The Tonight Show" to fellow NBC funny man Jimmy Fallon. Listen to this.


JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland and then they came here to the United States and became NBC executives. It's a fascinating -- a fascinating story.

And the most common thing people are giving up for Lent this year, watching NBC apparently. Yes.

The ratings are so bad, the biggest loser isn't just a TV show anymore, it's our new motto. That's how bad it is.

Things that were once thought to be extinct could now be brought back from the dead. So there's hope for NBC. It could turn around.


LEMON: Oh, ouch. Back with my new panel. DeDe McGuire -- Jay Leno, right, why don't you tell us how you really feel. DeDe McGuire, radio host of "The DeDe McGuire in the Morning Show," David Begnaud, host of "NewsBreaker with David Begnaud," and radio and TV personality Mara Davis, and also Jack Moore, editor of "Buzzfeed Sports."

Guys, Jay Leno is really letting them have it. NBC is reportedly fast tracking the move, hoping that Jimmy Fallon will attract a younger audience. "The New York Times" says that the switch is expected to take place by the fall of 2014 and the show will move from Los Angeles to New York.

DeDe, NBC isn't commenting on the swap, but that doesn't mean that we can't talk about it and Jay Leno is certainly hinting.

DEDE MCGUIRE, RADIO HOST, "DEDE IN THE MORNING SHOW": I think my problem with Jay Leno is this, didn't he learn this a couple of years ago when they were going to replace you with Conan?

LEMON: Right.

MCGUIRE: I mean, really, we've seen this before. And to sit there and now start slamming these bosses who pay him millions of dollars -- we all know how much this guy's getting paid -- I don't know, I think it's classless. And, truthfully, I'm bored with it.

LEMON: Are you really? Why are you bored?

MCGUIRE: I'm bored.


MCGUIRE: I'm bored.

LEMON: Mara, why are you bored?

DAVIS: Well, here's the thing. You know, as she said, Jay Leno has been through this before. But what does "The Tonight Show" even mean anymore when we think about this.


DAVIS: Steve Allen, Jimmy Carson, that was back in the day. It's almost irrelevant now.


DAVIS: So now you've got Jay Leno. And, look, nobody feels sorry for Jay Leno. He's loaded. It is time for him to wrap it up.

JACK MOORE, EDITOR, BUZZFEED SPORTS: Jay Leno made is irrelevant (ph) though.

DAVIS: Yes, exactly. He totally did.

LEMON: Well, Jack -- Jack -- Jack, listen.

DAVIS: Totally did.

LEMON: And, you know what, Jay Leno, for some reason or other, listen, people, especially comedians, late night talk show hosts, they don't really have a lot of nice things to say about Jay Leno.

DAVIS: Nobody likes him.

MOORE: No. Well, it's because Jay Leno coming up was the coolest on -- when he was on Carson, when he would go on Letterman's show, Jay Leno was awesome. And he slowly sanded down every edge he had to become this milquetoast -- I mean, I wouldn't mind -- it's -- you would hear, like, those headlines are, Jay Leno is attacking NBC in his monologue. You think, that's exciting. And then you hear the jokes and you're like, God, I wish they were good jokes. Like it's terrible. And so the reason why "The Tonight Show" is irrelevant, it's like -- it's because of Jay Leno. "Saturday Night Live" is still relevant years and years and years later and it's --

LEMON: But is it because of -- is it because of the format? I mean, listen, "The Today Show" was the most popular show. Now "The Today Show" is not doing as well. Is it the format, maybe, of "The Tonight Show," David, or is it -- is it just a thing of relevance? DAVID BEGNAUD, HOST, "NEWSBREAKER WITH DAVID BEGNAUD": No, I don't think it has anything -- Don, I don't think it has anything to do with wanting to attract a newer audience and thinking Fallon's going to bring it. I think it has everything to do with the fact that Leno's just not funny. His NBC jokes are funny. And, listen, I take exception that he shouldn't be making fun of them. That's what Carson did. That's what you do when you're a late night host.

LEMON: Yes, but why didn't he bring those kind of jokes before, right?

BEGNAUD: Well, yes, he should have done it earlier. But they're funny. You should do that. Why do you get in trouble for making fun of your bosses? That's what those late night shows are all about.

DAVIS: But no one's saying he shouldn't be barred (ph) from them (ph).

MCGUIRE: Well, I kind of feel like, when your boss pays you millions -- wait a minute, when your boss pays you millions like that, I'm sorry, walk out with class. But here's the other problem.

BEGNAUD: Who cares? That's what the show is all about. That's what they do.

MCGUIRE: Hold on. Here's the -- here's the -- but here's the other -- here's the other problem to me with the show is, guess what, they lean on celebrities to get us to watch. And celebrities are so accessible today with all these entertainment shows and the Internet, I mean, I'm sorry, I don't find Jay Leno to be relevant. The only --

LEMON: Yes, but, DeDe, listen, I -- maybe you don't find Jay Leno to be relevant. I've got to tell you, though, I tune in, especially for the monologue, especially when -- because he does a take on the news, to Jimmy Kimmel almost every night, as often as I can. Jimmy Kimmel is a funny, funny guy.

BEGNAUD: Right, because he's funnier.

MCGUIRE: Jimmy's great. Jimmy's great.

BEGNAUD: Because he's funnier.

MOORE: I thought -- Don, I thought you were about to say you tune into Jay Leno every night. I was going to be like, whoa, what is going on here?

LEMON: No. No, no, no, no, I don't.

MOORE: Yes, no, Kimmel is great. It shows that the talk show is still alive.

BEGNAUD: Oh, he's -- he's got the premiere franchise.

LEMON: Last word, David. Last word, David.

BEGNAUD: He's got premiere franchise. There is no reason "The Tonight Show" should not be number one. DAVIS: Bring Howard Stern. Howard Stern. Howard Stern.

MOORE: But, (INAUDIBLE), this is a problem with (ph) Leno. NBC is being so ridiculous here.


MOORE: They have so many battles to fight.

LEMON: All right, thank you. And you had to get into Howard Stern, right? I think I was ba-ba-buoyed on the air by Mara.

DAVIS: No. He should do late night. He is the king of late night. He's (INAUDIBLE) Jay Leno to rip off (INAUDIBLE).

LEMON: All right, guys, we have to move on. You'll be back. You'll be back. We'll -- you'll be back. We have to move on. We can talk about Howard and everybody else.

Up next, the GOP taking on the g-a-y-s. The gays. Did you hear what Saxby Chambliss said about same-sex marriage. We'll debate that with a brand-new panel.


LEMON: Back to my hot topics panel in just a moment. But first, another blow for the postal service to tell you about. Congress' watchdog arm says the post office must deliver mail six days a week. That could end the post office's plan to cut first class service on Saturdays.

A man is busted for impersonating a pilot on a U.S. Airways flight wearing an Air France uniform and fake credentials. We're told he sweet talked his way into the cockpit. But when the real pilot arrived, Philadelphia police arrested him on the spot.

Michael Jackson's daughter, Paris Jackson, questioned about the days leading up to her father's death. Her testimony is part of the family's lawsuit against the pop star's concert promoter. The family's camp (ph) says lawyers for AEG also tried to question 10-year-old Blanket, but a doctor warned it would be detrimental.

All right, now back to the panel. Ben and Wendy are back with me as well. Also joining us, David Dirota, syndicated columnist and radio host, and Teresa Wiltz, deputy editor for "Essence" Magazine.

Welcome to all of you, especially the new ones who just showed up.


LEMON: All right, let's talk got the GOP and the g-a-y-s. More specifically same-sex marriage. Starting with Senator Saxby Chambliss making sure everyone knows he's not gay. By the way, did you know he's not gay? Because when asked by Politico if he would consider changing his views on gay marriage, the Georgia Republican said, quote, "I am not gay. So I am not going to marry one." So let's remember, just a few days ago, the GOP released an autopsy on the party to help it figure out how to best move the party forward. One of these items was to be more inclusive.

Ben, what kind of start was that?

FERGUSON: Yes, how did I -- how did I know you were going to come to me first on this one, right?

LEMON: Oh, oh, come on. It's obvious. You're the -- go ahead. I was just kidding.

FERGUSON: I -- you know, I --

LEMON: You're the guy who said you were going to be on the cover of "Out" magazine with me. That's why. Go.

FERGUSON: Side by side, exactly. No, I think what's interesting about this is how many times senators get asked the same question. Obviously this is not the PC way to answer the question. I think we can all agree with that. But it's also for -- if you're a journalist student out there, don't ask stupid questions of people if you know what the answer is going to be. And I think that was his point. It was poorly worded. Don't get me wrong. And it was not a statement that would make more people want to, per say, become conservative. And I think, you know, shame on him for that. But at the same time, he's been very blunt about his stance on gay marriage and I think that's the reason why he got a little irritated and answered the way he did. I know his advisors wouldn't have told him to do this though.

LEMON: Teresa, you know, they're also reaching out to African- Americans and this, I don't know, maybe there will be some different outreach for African-Americans, but this -- I'll ask you the same question, does it appear to be a good start here?

WILTZ: Does it appear to be a good start for Saxby or for Republicans in general in terms of alienating their --

LEMON: For Republicans reaching out to -- trying to make, you know, the tent more inclusive?

WILTZ: Certainly CPAC was evidence of that. That was not, you know, exactly a ringing way for them to try to reach out to anybody with, you know, the guy standing up for slavery at CPAC. And then, in terms of Saxby, I mean, to me this is a classic non-statement statement. I mean it's a kind of way to miss the point. I would take -- I don't exactly agree with Ben on that. I don't think he was taking the journalist to task. I think it was just a real sarcastic non-answer.

LEMON: OK, so listen --

WILTZ: And missing the point.

LEMON: Yes, this is -- and it's not just him. In New Jersey there's a bill to ban gay conversion therapy with minors making way -- making its way through state legislature. And then Governor Chris Christie says he does not believe in gay conversion therapy, but he hasn't said if he will sign the ban into law. So he doesn't believe in it, but he's not sure he's going to sign it into law, Wendy. That's kind of -- is that a non-answer answer just like Teresa said about the other thing?

WALSH: It makes absolutely no sense. If he's supposed to represent his beliefs, and we voted him in because of his beliefs, then he should vote on his beliefs. But obviously there may be other special interests involved. And I always question that. Who's he voting for? Who are politicians voting for this day? And we -- I mean, you and I don't have to debate how wrong gay conversion therapy is, or any way to try to change someone's sexual orientation, it doesn't make sense. Have we not reached the time where we can just be who we are? Come on!

LEMON: Yes. David, you know, we saw Rob Portman, you know, last week saying, my son came out to me, therefore I'm changing how I feel about same-sex marriage. I'm in support. Do you have to have a loved one in order to empathize with someone who may be -- who you may consider as other (ph)?

DAVID SIROTA, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST & RADIO HOST: Well, I think what's revealing about what Rob Portman did was essentially expressed the fact that when Republicans have to deal with reality, when they come out of the political bubble and they're actually connected to things that regular people face, then sometimes their policies will change.

And I want to go back to what Saxby Chambliss said. I don't think that what Saxby Chambliss said is something that's irrelevant. I think it's actually quite revealing. Here's what the Republican Party is essentially saying through Saxby Chambliss. That essentially that if an issue doesn't affect them personally, then they don't care. Saxby Chambliss is essentially saying --

FERGUSON: Can I ask you a question?

SIROTA: Because he's not gay, he doesn't have to care. He doesn't have to care. And I think this is exactly what's at the root of the problem is for the Republican Party, that they continue to project an idea --

FERGUSON: Let me ask -- let me ask you this --

SIROTA: That if something doesn't touch them personally, then that's the way they're going to be.

LEMON: OK, Ben, quickly, go ahead.

FERGUSON: What I think is absurd about this conversation is the fact that you guys are sitting there trying to imply that I, or any other conservative, automatically takes a Saxby Chambliss pill at 8:00 a.m. and we agree with everything he said, which is absolutely absurd.

SIROTA: Well, but the Republican march (ph) is against the Americans (ph).


WILTZ: How do we agree with what he said then (ph)? FERGUSON: Let me finish. Let me finish. Let me finish. Let me finish. Let me finish.

What -- you're showing -- you're assuming there is absolutely no tolerance by others. Do you know how many congressmen and senators came out in support of Portman and said that we support him in his decision?

LEMON: Hang on, Ben. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Let me -- I'll let you finish. I'll let you finish. I'll let you finish, Ben. Let me get in here and tell you that is not true. No one is implying that. As a matter of fact, Anna Navarro (ph), who is a Republican, who is a Republican consultant and a contributor here on CNN, and a number of other Republicans have come out and said that they support same-sex marriage. I don't think anyone's assuming that.

FERGUSON: But that --

LEMON: But you are here. You can defend yourself. Go ahead.

FERGUSON: But this panel -- but the panel just -- several people on the panel just implied that this is the whole Republican Party, and the Republican Party, and I'm quoting, (INAUDIBLE).

SIROTA: Well, (INAUDIBLE) the Republican Party opposes gay marriage.

LEMON: Let him finish. Let him finish.

SIROTA: The Republican Party opposes gay marriage --

FERGUSON: Yes, but it doesn't mean --

SIROTA: It's been in their platform.

FERGUSON: But it doesn't mean --

SIROTA: John Boehner opposes gay marriage.

FERGUSON: OK, but let me say this --

SIROTA: The point here is that they're not willing to be tolerant.


LEMON: Let him finish. Go ahead.

FERGUSON: I personally -- I personally think that marriage should be defined between a man and a woman and I'm also in favor of civil unions. That does not mean that I am intolerant toward gays and lesbians, which you're trying to paint a picture --

SIROTA: Yes, it does.

FERGUSON: That every Republican --

SIROTA: It means that you don't think -- WILTZ: No one's trying to (INAUDIBLE) your intolerant though.

SIROTA: You don't think it means (INAUDIBLE) and you don't think that --

FERGUSON: (INAUDIBLE) see, you have -- you have no tolerance for my viewpoint.

LEMON: David, David --

SIROTA: (INAUDIBLE) the same protection. It does -- no, Ben, you've made -- you've essentially (INAUDIBLE).

FERGUSON: You have no tolerance for my personal viewpoint at all.

LEMON: David, let him --

SIROTA: I'm saying -- no -- hold on a minute. What you're saying is, is that gay people should not have the same protections under the law as everybody else. That is by definition of intolerant. You said you oppose gay marriage. You oppose --

FERGUSON: I just -- listen to the words -- listen to the words coming out of my mouth.

SIROTA: No, you just said, you oppose gay marriage.

FERGUSON: Sir, civil unions --

SIROTA: You oppose extending the same rights to marriage as everybody else.

FERGUSON: Sir, sir --

SIROTA: You are -- that is intolerance.

FERGUSON: Sir, civil unions.

SIROTA: That's the definition of intolerance.

FERGUSON: Sir, sir, sir, civil unions would give you the same protections under the law legally --

SIROTA: It's different.

FERGUSON: As marriage would.

WILTZ: But if it's going to be a civil union, then should --


LEMON: OK, we -- (INAUDIBLE). All of you, stop it, stop it, stop it.

Ben, what he is saying is, in America, we don't do separate but equal. That's what the civil rights movement was about.

SIROTA: Exactly.

LEMON: Go ahead, Ben.

WALSH: Right. Right.

FERGUSON: And this is what I would say in response to that.

WALSH: Don --

FERGUSON: When you try -- when you turn gay marriage into anyone that's against it, as now you're somehow the equivalent of the civil rights movement and/or being like a racist, I think that's incredibly intolerant for you to respect my viewpoint.

LEMON: Because people were -- because people felt the same way about interracial marriage. People didn't agree with interracial marriage. People didn't think black people should vote. People didn't think women should vote. Does that make it right? Should you respect that viewpoint?

FERGUSON: But, again, we're trying -- but again, Don, Don, Don, do you honestly believe --

WILTZ: But, Ben, can you be against --

FERGUSON: Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on. Let me answer his question. Don, do you honestly believe that I don't like you as a person because you happen to have a different lifestyle than I do? Seriously.

LEMON: I never even -- it never even crossed my mind. It's not something I think about --

SIROTA: You don't want him to have --

FERGUSON: OK, That's my point, though.

SIROTA: The same protections under the law.

FERGUSON: But that's my point.

SIROTA: You don't want him to have the same protections under the law. That's the point. Ben, you don't want him to have the same protections under the law.

FERGUSON: Sir -- no, I don't. I want him to have civil unions, which give the same exact protections.

SIROTA: Equal under the law. You -- you want there to be a separate (INAUDIBLE) of law.

WILTZ: Ben, can't you be personally against --

LEMON: OK. Hang on. Hold on. Go ahead, Teresa.

WALSH: Don, I have one thing -- go ahead, Teresa. WILTZ: Ben, can't you personally be against gay marriage and just personally, but not, you know, be against having other people having the right to do that? I mean that's your own personal viewpoint.

LEMON: That's a great point.

FERGUSON: I think --

WILTZ: But why impose that upon other people?