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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Boxer Mike Tyson's Daughter Dies; California Gay Marriage Ban Upheld
Aired May 26, 2009 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the California Supreme Court has upheld the gay marriage ban, sparking demonstrations and celebrations.
Is this the end or is the fight just beginning?
Plus, President Obama makes an historic Supreme Court pick.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What do her opponents have against her?
Then, Mike Tyson's personal tragedy that could happen to anyone -- his 4-year-old daughter has died after accidentally strangling at home.
And Jon and Kate -- do they hate each other?
The parents that had it all spill it out on national TV last night and ratings go through the roof.
It's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Lionel Richie and Nicole Richie were scheduled to be here tonight. Due to breaking news developments in many areas, they graciously agreed to be here Thursday night and for the whole hour.
Late today, we learned that the 4-year-old daughter of boxer Mike Tyson died. Police said little Exodus either slipped or put her head in the loop of a cord hanging under the console of a treadmill. Her 7-year-old brother found her and told their mother. She took Exodus off the cord, called 911 and tried to revive her.
Responding officers and firefighters performed CPR as they took the girl to the hospital.
Joining us, Sergeant Andy Hill, with the Phoenix Police Department.
And then on the phone, Dr. Charles Rosen, clinical professor of spinal surgery, U.C. Irvine Medical Center and Larry Stone, founder and president of Safety Matters.
OK, Sergeant, what happened?
SGT. ANDY HILL, PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT PUBLIC AFFAIRS BUREAU:
A terrible tragedy, Larry. The mother was at home with a 7- and 4-year-old. Unbeknownst to her, the young Exodus got on that treadmill, somehow worked that cord out of the underneath of the console, got caught it, strangled. The mom was looking for the daughter and actually sent the 7-year-old to see what the sister was doing, found her and called mom.
And she began CPR, called us. And at this point, after a thorough investigation, it appears that it's nothing except a horrible tragedy.
KING: Do you ever get one like this?
HILL: In 25 years, Larry, I haven't exactly this. But child safety issues and strangling on cords, whether they're blinds or harnesses, is something that does occur. You know when you look around, seeing things from the perspective of a child, from the ground up, makes things a lot different in terms of safety.
KING: We have a family statement about the death of young Exodus Tyson. It says: "There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Exodus. We ask you now to please respect our need at this very difficult time for privacy to grieve and try to help each other heal. Amen."
That's a very smart idea, in this day of tabloidism, to leave this family alone a while.
Is the first suspicion when you come to this, Sergeant, that -- do you look at a possible crime?
HILL: Well, you have to, Larry. That's our job, is to make sure we determine the facts. So you take all the -- the things that occur.
First off, when an officer is responding to a child in distress, it's one of the toughest things to do. You don't know whether that child is going to make it or not. You have to deal with the situation. We all have families. And it's unnatural to lose a child when you're a parent. So it's a tough situation to be in.
But as investigators, once you come to that scene, you have to begin from the outside in and look at everything to determine what the facts are.
In this case, we have consistent statements. We analyze the evidence at the scene. We're able to take a look at things through the child's perspective and to see how this could happen. And the only thing we don't have at this point, which we will, is a medical examiner's report sometime in the near future.
KING: She was put on life support, right, at the hospital? HILL: That's correct. She was pretty much needing life support from the get go, from the time we got there -- actually, from the time mom found her. So it was a -- it was a hall where she was pretty much unconscious and on life support the whole time since yesterday.
KING: Would you pretty much guess there -- she was in no pain?
HILL: Well, we don't know. Initially, you know, there's a struggle. A strangulation is a tough thing. I'm sure she was scared and suffering. And these are terrible things for any parent to think about their child going through.
KING: Do you know where Mike Tyson is?
HILL: Well, he's with the family. Mike was out of town yesterday in Las Vegas. He came in right away. We have had nothing but cooperation from the family. It's a -- it's a terrible thing and our hearts go out to all of them.
KING: Stay with us, Sergeant.
On the phone, Dr. Charles Rosen, clinical professor, spinal surgery at U.C. Irvine Medical Center.
What do you make of this from afar, Dr. Rosen?
DR. CHARLES ROSEN, CLINICAL PROFESSOR SPECIAL SURGERY, UCI MEDICAL CENTER: Well, the sergeant said about this terrible tragedy, it -- it sounds like it's from one of two things. People will, when they're strangled, they will either lose the oxygen supply to their brain, by either cutting off the blood circulation or the air directly. Or, being on a treadmill with her and if she was running, I am also suspicious that maybe when she got her head caught in that, that the weight of her body caused her neck to flex or extend very rapidly, which would have led to a spinal fracture. And that would have occurred instantaneously and severed the spinal cord, resulting in the same thing of her not breathing, basically.
So it's hard to know from what I've read which of the two occurred. It's a tragedy either way.
KING: Sergeant, do we know if the child was actually on the treadmill running?
HILL: Yes, Larry, I can help the doctor out with that one. Apparently, the treadmill was not plugged in. It was unplugged at the time, according to statements from the mom and from the forensic interview with the child.
So what happened was -- we believe the child was on the treadmill, but it was not running at the time. She might have been playing like it was and at some point got underneath that console, which, if you get on your knees underneath a treadmill and look up, you can see what I'm talking about, how that might occur -- and easy to reach up and get.
KING: We'll have more on the Tyson tragedy and how to ensure this doesn't happen to you and your child.
Larry Stone, the founder and president of the Safety Matters, will join the panel, right after this.
KING: Joining us by phone is Larry Stone, the founder and president of Safety Matters.
We have already given you the response of the family.
What can you tell us, Larry?
Was this preventable?
LARRY STONE, FOUNDER/PRESIDENT, SAFETY MATTERS: Well, all injuries are preventable. There are ways to baby-proof your home and do things around your home to help prevent injuries. But over 50,000 children a year do die from unintentional injuries in the home. And with strangulation, about a thousand children under 14 a year die from unintentional strangulation -- not always electrical cords. There's also the window cords and other ways. And 88 percent of those are under four years of age.
KING: Have you heard of any with regard to a treadmill?
STONE: Lots of injuries with treadmills, but not that type of a strangulation, no.
KING: What is Safety Matters?
STONE: Safety Matters is my company, that baby-proofs homes and also makes pools safe for children with sensors and nets and covers. And I've been in this for almost 20 years now and have done over 15,000 homes in the Chicago and area.
KING: Dr. Rosen, do you believe these are preventable?
ROSEN: Yes, I do. I think largely it's a matter of taking care of the more straightforward things. You mentioned about making sure there are no cords from the windows that are hanging and certainly always keeping the child in view.
A lot of the actual injuries from the window shades, from getting caught, end up being spinal fractures because of the quick flexion and extension that occurs.
So it's -- a lot of times, it's hard to know, because there's no postmortem that's done. But it's either often strangulation or a fracture of the neck.
KING: Joining us late in Phoenix is Marissa Wingate, a reporter with KTVK. Anything up to date, Marissa?
MARISSA WINGATE, REPORTER, KTVK-TV, PHOENIX: Well, Larry, this is the house where the family lived with her mother, who is Mike Tyson's ex-girlfriend, along with her brother -- her 7-year-old brother, who is also Mike Tyson's son. And he is the one who actually found his sister hanging there from the treadmill.
And we have seen family members come in and out of the house. They have not wanted to talk, though. And Tyson actually sent out a press release asking for his privacy at this time.
We have video of him, though, arriving to the airport -- to the hospital -- from the airport to the hospital yesterday. He flew in from Vegas around 3:00 in the afternoon. At that time, his daughter was on life support. Of course, now he is mourning her death.
Now, what we know happened -- what investigators are saying happened, a quick recap, is that his -- her mother, the 34-year-old mother was cleaning inside her house, in the kitchen. She sent her 7- year-old son to check on the 4-year-old daughter. That's when he found the 4-year-old hanging from a cord there on the treadmill.
Now, we've learned about two hours ago, of course, that the child was pronounced dead. The mother, of course, tried CPR. Investigators who arrived said the child was not breathing when they arrived, was not conscious, went to the hospital brain dead. She was on life support throughout the night, Larry.
But now we have learned that she has, indeed, passed away.
KING: This is -- Sergeant, this is one of those rough days to be a police officer, isn't it?
HILL: Oh, it certainly is, Larry. It's the worst thing you can have, really, is a child die. And when you're a police officer, you're also mourning with the family.
You know, it's tough on the family, but it's also a lot of other consequences, second and third order, when you have firefighters and police officers there. And, of course, the public, too, sees that.
And I really appreciate that you're bringing up the safety issues because I am sure that tonight you're probably going to save one child's life by bringing these folks on to talk about the safety.
KING: We sure hope so.
And they can contact Safety Matters where, Larry?
STONE: 1-800-9-SAFE-06 or SafetyMatters.com.
KING: Thank you all very much.
We'll be back in 60 seconds with the gay marriage decision in California and the debate that's raging right now.
KING: Just a reminder, my new book, "My Remarkable Journey," is now available everywhere. It's my autobiography. It's available on tape, as well. Half the proceeds go to the Larry Kind Cardiac Foundation. I hope you find it an enjoyable read.
The decision today from California's Supreme Court upholding the ban on same-sex marriage has generated protests and sparked a lot of debate.
Joining us now is San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
And here in Los Angeles, Dr. Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church.
The mayor supports gay unions.
Reverend Garlow opposes them.
Mayor, were you surprised at the high court's ruling?
MAYOR GAVIN NEWSOM, SAN FRANCISCO: I think most pundits expected the ruling. The most important thing for me, candidly, was the preservation of those 18,000 marriage licenses. So that was good news.
Now, we obviously recognize the job ahead is to go back in front of the voters here in California.
KING: Doctor Garlow, are you annoyed that those 18,000 can stay married?
DR. JIM GARLOW, SENIOR PASTOR, SKYLINE WESLEYAN CHURCH: Well, we wish they would have not done that. However, we're very grateful for what was the overriding issue. The overriding issue is was Prop 8 legal. And it is. And now it's part of the California constitution.
KING: From the way the voting has gone over the years, doctor, does it look like the tide is turning against your position, with other states now -- six states, I believe -- allow it?
GARLOW: Well, 30 states have voted on this. And all 30 states where people have been allowed to vote, they have all voted for traditional marriage every single time. We have three states that have brought it about because the Supreme Court required it and a couple of states by legislative action -- the legislature itself.
But where the people get to express themselves, the average pass rate has been 68 percent. That means seven out of 10 Americans support traditional, natural marriage.
KING: Gavin, do you think you're on the losing end for this for quite a while?
NEWSOM: All I can say is thank God -- maybe literally, not just figuratively here -- that in 1967, we didn't let the people decide on interracial marriage because 70 percent of Americans opposed that.
The history of the rights movement, Larry, has been a difficult one, because it's not because of the majority that we're protecting the rights of minorities. In many cases, it's been the courts that have been there, with the Constitution in hand, protecting the rights of minorities against the whims of the majority.
But, look, we recognize that the court stood on the principle of the question of whether or not this Constitutional amendment that was supported by your guest -- the Proposition 8 -- was, indeed, valid. It looks like it was valid. And on that basis, we became the first state in U.S. history, save Prohibition, to change our constitution to strip people's rights away that had already been legally afforded.
That's not something I thought I'd experience as a Californian.
KING: All right, Governor...
NEWSOM: We've always been on the cutting edge.
KING: Governor Schwarzenegger issued a statement after the Supreme Court ruling. And while -- he said: "While I believe that one day, either the people or the courts will recognize gay marriage, as governor of California, I have to uphold the decision of the California Supreme Court."
But he believes that one day it is coming, Dr. Garlow.
Do you believe that it's coming?
GARLOW: No. I actually do not, because the PPIC poll, which is a key poll here in the State of California, shows that the same-sex marriage cause has lost ground since the election. It slipped to 43 percent. Right now, Californians support traditional, natural marriage 49 percent compared to 43 percent for same-sex marriage.
That's a reversal. It has just switched in recent months. As people get more familiar with the reality, the sanctity of marriage, how special marriage is, why a child should have a mom and dad, they shift to the traditional marriage view.
KING: Gavin, to you, what's the big difference?
All right, so if gays can have complete relationships, support each other, insure each other and like so -- is marriage just a word?
NEWSOM: Yes, look, I understand. Good people -- I have members, Larry, of my own family that are fixated on the word, that say, look, extend the same legal protections, just call it something else -- civil union, something else.
But at the end of the day, remember, we're celebrating the 55th anniversary of "Brown v. The Board of Education," separate is not equal.
A word does matter. And that's why Mr. Garlow and others have spent upwards -- or raised upwards of $40 million to protect the word. And so I think they recognize that, as well.
But at the end of the day, it's about equality and it's about a pursuit of equality. It's about the notion that we're all in this together and should be treated equally and fairly under the law. And I think the Constitution, ultimately, will stand firm here -- maybe ultimately, though, at the U.S. Supreme Court, not the California Supreme Court.
KING: Do you favor civil unions, Dr. Garlow?
GARLOW: I don't have very strong feelings one way or the other. My preference is, of course, to not have any kind of legalization of something that forces people to validate a particular lifestyle. That's my particular concern...
KING: But should a gay couple have the right to insurance, too; hospital and the like; to maybe pull a plug if the partner is dying; etc.?
GARLOW: They had it before Prop 8, they have it now and they're going to continue to have it. He's in error. He said we're just fighting over a word. Behind a word is a concept. And it's a concept -- there's a reason why every culture for the last 5,000 years has stood behind the definition of marriage being one man and one woman. It's not by accident.
KING: I know, Gavin, you have to leave us. So we thank you very much for being here. We'll be calling on you again. This is not going away.
KING: Dr. Garlow will remain.
We'll be joined by a panel on this important topic right after this.
KING: Welcome back.
Our full panel remains to discuss this important topic.
Dr. Jim Garlow, senior pastor of the Skyline Wesleyan Church, stays with us.
Joining us, as well, here in Los Angeles, Dennis Prager, the nationally syndicated radio talk show host of his own program, founder of Prager University and a supporter of Prop 8.
In Manchester, New Hampshire is Reverend Gene Robinson, Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, the first openly gay priest to be ordained a bishop of a major Christian denomination. He actually supports same- sex marriage.
As does James van Praagh. He is in Cincinnati. James is the author of "Unfinished Business
What the Dead Can Teach Us About Life." He is in a gay marriage and has been with his spouse for 15 years. Before we get into the panel, let's get an update what's happening around town. At a West Hollywood, California location is our CNN correspondent, Ted Rowlands.
Have there been protests?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Larry, across the state all day. We've seen video, probably you have -- your viewers have -- from San Francisco, where thousands of people were out in the streets halting traffic for a while.
Here in West Hollywood, there's a full protest starting at 7:00, with already a few hundred people here. They're expecting between 3,000 and 10,000.
It's really an extension of what we've seen periodically since November, when Prop 8 was passed by the California voters. It's sort of a resurgence of that sort of movement.
And organizers are vowing to do it continually until they can reverse the opinion of the State of California. Of course, of the people spoke loud and clear in November, 52-48. And what this court did today was basically not judge the opinion of the people, but just say that the people of California have the right to amend the constitution.
People here say this is just a battle in the ongoing war and they're vowing to keep it up. And we'll see what happens tonight.
KING: Thank you, Ted.
Ted Rowlands on the scene.
He'll be there probably all night.
Dennis Prager, what's -- what's the rub?
Why isn't marriage only in religious institutions and the state have its own system?
DENNIS PRAGER, TALK RADIO HOST: Well, if it's...
KING: Why is the state into marriage?
PRAGER: Oh, very simply, because, first of all, somebody who is not a member of a church or a synagogue or a mosque would have no chance to marry, then. You just can't have it in churches, because then secular people couldn't get married.
And the state -- all states, essentially, in history, have understood how important it is to bond men and women legally and formally -- and, hopefully, for a long time.
KING: But you will agree, states had slavery. You couldn't intermarriage. Blacks could marry whites. The public would have voted for that. PRAGER: I don't know if the public would have voted for that. I think there's a certain mythology about it...
KING: Oh, trust me, in the South -- trust me.
PRAGER: All right. Well, the South is not the same thing.
But the key point is race and sex are not the same thing. A black man and a white man are the same human being. But a man and a woman are not the same. Sex is utterly different. That's why we have Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. We don't have Black Scouts and White Scouts.
KING: We did.
PRAGER: And it was wrong...
KING: And it was wrong.
PRAGER: ...because there's no difference...
KING: But a lot of people defended it (INAUDIBLE)...
PRAGER: Larry, a lot of people defend a lot of junk.
PRAGER: But this is not junk.
KING: Reverend Robinson, how are you reacting to this decision?
REV. GENE ROBINSON, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: I'm certainly disappointed in the decision as it came down. But I'm also hopeful about this movement that we're in.
You know, as a Christian and as a bishop of the church, I know from 1st John Chapter 4 that where love is, God is. It says that if we know love, we know God. And I know in my own relationship with my partner of over 20 years, I have learned so much about the self-giving love of God, because that's how my partner treats me.
And it's why the church values marriage. We believe it's a place where God can show up and where we can learn about that kind of self- giving love and why...
KING: All right...
ROBINSON: ...anyone who loves deserves it.
KING: Dr. Garlow, what's wrong with that argument?
GARLOW: Well, it's interesting he picks on one part of the scripture and ignores all the rest. The bible starts with a marriage. It ends with a wedding of a bride and groom. And all the way in between, it lifts up one model -- that is, marriage is one man, one woman. Even when Jesus spoke on this... KING: Yes, but we don't live -- we live in a state -- we live in a country, not in a -- it's not a Christian country.
GARLOW: I recognize that. But he introduced the bible and extracted one particular passage. If we're going to use the bible, let's use all of it. And if we're going to use the bible, let's use it appropriately. It speaks very specifically on the act of homosexuality and Jesus' affirmation for marriage of a man and a woman.
KING: James van Praagh, are you hurt by this ruling?
JAMES VAN PRAAGH, IN A GAY MARRIAGE: Well, I think, Larry, I'm very ashamed. I'm ashamed and I think it's very disturbing that this can happen. And I think that there -- it's a bigger picture, which is the separation of church and state. Because I know, living in Orange County, California, Prop 8 was a big deal.
I was in the line where I had 73-year-old ladies fighting against Proposition 8. And it's really disturbing that human rights are being taken away like this. That's the biggest problem here. And that is the problem. It's human rights.
VAN PRAAGH: You know, 30 years ago, Harvey Milk was -- was trying to tell people, we're all the same people. We're all the same. You can't limit God. You can't limit love. Love is limitless. You can't label love to traditional marriage.
VAN PRAAGH: You can't label it.
PRAGER: Nobody is for limiting love. It's not fair to say that. Nobody -- at least I'm not. I know that a gay man and another gay man can love each other deeply. There's no denial of that. That's a fact.
KING: So what's the big deal then?
PRAGER: We're not legislating (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: So what?
PRAGER: What is the big deal?
KING: So get married. Yes.
PRAGER: What is -- well, one of the big deals is what does the next generation aspire to?
If we make marriage independent of gender, it doesn't matter, then little kids will be asked -- this is not a scare tactic. It's called a scare tactic. It's the truth. Kids will be asked, well, do you want to marry a boy or girl when you grow up?
KING: Yes. When they're four years old they don't know now.
PRAGER: I'm sorry?
KING: But when I'm turning (INAUDIBLE)...
PRAGER: No, no, no. A little girl -- "Oprah" magazine just had an article about how many women are leaving marriages and leaving boyfriends of 10, 15 years for a woman. Human sexuality is fluid. If society does not...
KING: You think it's a choice?
PRAGER: Do I think what is a choice?
KING: Sexual preference is a choice.
PRAGER: With many women, yes. Not with all.
PRAGER: And not with gay men.
KING: (INAUDIBLE) sexuality?
PRAGER: No, I didn't, but I'm a male.
KING: I didn't. I didn't.
PRAGER: But, no, no, no. But the latest research is that female sexuality, in particular, is quite fluid; that a woman wants, more than anything else, to be hugged and comforted...
KING: So, again, the same question...
PRAGER: ...and loved.
KING: So what?
All right. So what?
PRAGER: So what?
I think it's ideal for society to say it's best to be raised by a mom and a dad. That's the ideal to which we should aspire.
KING: We'll pick right up on this with our panel right after this.
KING: Dr. Garlow, Leviticus says that lying with men is an abomination, but it condemns the act of eating shrimp and lobster together, as well as wearing material woven of two kinds of material.
Do you ever do any of those?
GARLOW: And have you ever found any of those kind of concepts that are expressed there to be consistent through the rest of the bible?
People extract that to it's...
KING: So what happened?
What -- well...
GARLOW: It was there for a particular purpose and for illustrative functions. And then when you go on into the rest of the bible, whether you start with Genesis 19 or you can go to Romans I or first Timothy --
KING: Isn't the Bible contradictory a lot?
GARLOW: No, it isn't contradictory at all. It is consistent all way through that marriage consists of one man and one woman. What's interesting to this, Larry, is where the government has a vested right to redefine marriage, it also has a perceived right to try to silence those who disagree with it. There's a loss of rights that comes when same-sex marriage is validated by the government.
KING: Do you believe that Reverend Robinson is therefore against his faith?
GARLOW: He actually is. That's why the Episcopal Church has plummeted in numbers. That's why it is splitting. And that's why they are having congregations split all over America. There is an enormous exodus from the Episcopal Church, because people know the Bible and know that action is wrong.
KING: Reverend Robinson, how do you respond?
ROBINSON: One of the things I love about being an Episcopalian is that we are not asked to check our brains at the door. We are asked to use our brains even in interpreting scripture. All of us do interpret scripture. If we want to look at the Bible as a whole piece, that message is that God is love. And in the end, I believe that God's love will win out.
The inclusive love of God will win out in our churches and equal rights for all of Americans will win out in society.
KING: James, here is what the Mormon Church said today: "today's decision is welcomed. The church strongly affirms its belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The bedrock institution of marriage between a man and a woman has profound implications for our society. These implications range from what our children are taught in schools to individual and collective freedom of religious expression and practice."
How do you respond to that? PRAAGH: Larry, I think that there are all different types of religions. You have people on your panel who are religious people. From a spiritual perspective, there are people in other countries who have never heard of the Bible, who are also into homosexuality. It doesn't matter.
One of your panelists said, God is love. Love is God. There should be no limitations to love. Everyone has a right to love the way they want to.
My biggest problem is the separation of church and state. Our founding fathers wanted everybody to have equal rights. That's everyone. We should not get religion involved in this, because it is not a religious factor. It is separation of church and state.
Anyone can do what they want to. That's why we live in this country. And I think we should be progressing, not digressing.
KING: Fair question.
GARLOW: What he clearly wants is for us to not only check our brains, as they said a moment ago, but check our brains and our convictions, so when we go into the voting booth we cannot vote the way we feel convictionally. He can go in the voting booth and he can vote based on what his value is. I should be able to as American to go into the voting booth and vote with the Biblical framework if I choose to.
KING: Is it a contradiction, Dennis, that they let the marriages stand already? We are saying yes, you can't have the marriage, but OK over here.
PRAGER: It is not a contradiction because that was the law that they passed. Unfortunately, the whole problem was -- starts from the California supreme court deciding for the people of California what is right and what is wrong, instead of allowing the people of California to do it. That was the whole --
KING: Determined constitutionality.
PRAGER: Yes, but this was not a constitutional --
KING: Brown versus Board of Education.
PRAGER: In their own decision today, they acknowledged it is not a constitutional issue.
I read the decision. It's 135 pages. I read 70 of them. Maybe something comes up later that I missed. What they are saying is that marriage is, in fact, a word. That given the fact that California gives all the rights of marriage to gays, there is no reason for us to redefine marriage constitutionally.
KING: You want to say something?
ROBINSON: I want to say that I don't think religious groups of any kind, Christians, Jews, Muslims, have anything to fear from gay marriage. Let's remember, this has gotten very confused in this country, where clergy are acting as agents of the state. We know that it is the state that affects the marriage, because when the marriage comes apart, if it does, you don't go back to the church or synagogue to get a divorce. You go to the courts.
So none of these laws are demanding that churches or any religious group do anything against their convictions. We are just asking for civil rights, equal rights, for all American citizens.
KING: Thank you all for coming. We will do a lot more on this. Dennis, always good to see you. Reverend.
Before we head to break and meet the presidential press secretary, who is discussing the selection today, let's check in again with Melissa Wingate in Phoenix on the Mike Tyson story. What's the latest?
WINGATE: Yes. We are live here at the family's home. We have seen family members coming and going. No one has wanted to talk though.
This is the house where four-year-old Exodus Tyson lived with her mother, who is Mike Tyson's ex-girlfriend, and with her seven-year-old brother, who is also Mike Tyson's son.
We have video of Tyson. He flew out here yesterday afternoon from Las Vegas. Of course, he has two children involved in this tragedy, the seven-year-old and the four-year-old. That seven-year- old brother actually found his sister hanging from the treadmill. His mother was cleaning the house. She sent the seven-year-old to go look for the four-year-old. He found her in the play room on the treadmill. She was attached to a cord, attached to the treadmill. It strangled her.
Now, the mom gave her CPR, but she arrived to the hospital brain dead. She struggled throughout the night on life support. But we learned a couple of hours ago they have pronounced her dead, and Mike Tyson has sent out a press release asking for his privacy. Larry?
KING: Thanks. Here is the press release. We gave it to you before. We'll repeat it. "There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Exodus. We ask you now to please respect our need at this time, a difficult time, for privacy to grieve and try to help each other heel."
Robert Gibbs is here discussing the presidential Obama Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. The White House press secretary is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I have decided to nominated an aspiring woman who I believe will make a great justice, Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the great state of New York.
SONIA SOTOMAYOR, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: Thank you, Mr. President for the most humbling honor of my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary. An eventful day at the White House. Most of them are. The president has nominated federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill the upcoming vacancy on the court. If confirmed, she will be the first Hispanic. There are many his Catholics on the court. What led to this?
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, look, I think the president met with Judge Sotomayor and was impressed with several things. First, the diversity of her experience. she was a prosecutor, a professional litigator. and a judge both at the district and the circuit court level.
She will actually bring more judicial -- federal judicial experience than any nominee in more than 100 years if she is confirmed.
Secondly, he was impressed by her application of the law and her approach to judging.
And lastly, I think he was very impressed by her life story. It is a pull yourself up by the boot straps. She worked hard to get into college. She obviously graduated with honors. And she's been a record setter ever since.
KING: I know this will shock you, Robert, but Rush Limbaugh is apparently among those criticizing the Supreme Court pick. Here's some of what he said on his radio show.
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RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: She is a horrible pick. She is the antithesis of a judge, by her own admission and in her own words. She has been overturned 80 percent by the Supreme Court. She may as well be on the ninth circus court of appeals, given all the time she is overturned.
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KING: He is sounding a bit frantic. What do you make of that, Robert?
GIBBS: Well, both frantic and inaccurate, Larry. Look, judge Sotomayor has authored more than 380 opinions, and had exactly three overturned. I'm not sure what that is for a batting average, but my guess is that it is a better accuracy rate than Rush Limbaugh on his afternoon radio show.
KING: Do you expect a lot of opposition? GIBBS: Look, I think that the Senate will play its traditional role of advise and consent. And I think that, honestly, this is somebody who has gotten Senate -- confirmed by the Senate twice, including in 1998. She was appointed first by Republican President George H.W. Bush and next by President Bill Clinton, both a Republican and Democrat.
She has been through this process before. Look, I don't doubt that there are going to be professional interest groups that are not very interested, as you heard Mr. Limbaugh -- very interested in her actual record as a judge, and more interested in what would -- what they would say about anybody that's picked. But I think when America gets to know Judge Sotomayor, they are going to see somebody that the president saw, with a richness of experience, impressive application of the rule of law, and a very compelling life story.
KING: Are you surprised to learn there are six Catholics on the court, Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, Alito and now Sotomayor, if approved? Two Jews, Ginsburg and Breyer, only one Protestant.
GIBBS: Yes, I previously did not know there were six Catholics. That is certainly an impressive number. Again, I think she brings a rich and vast experience to this nomination.
KING: Seven of the Senate's current Republican senators voted for her as a federal appeal court back in 1998. Do you expect them to do that -- if they do that again, it is over?
GIBBS: I think so. Look, as I said earlier, I think -- I don't want to prejudge where those senators would be. Obviously, they have been supportive of Judge Sotomayor in the past. I think they're, as I said, uniquely positioned to support her right now. I think that -- we look forward, I think, to somebody being confirmed with broad bipartisan support.
KING: Who is in charge, Robert, of guiding her through?
GIBBS: Well, look, there's a series of people. Senator Schumer from New York will obviously play a very key role. He's very experienced on the Judiciary Committee, as well as Judge Sotomayor's senior senator. I think he will play a key role. Obviously, their staff, here at the White House, that will be watching this each and every day.
KING: Are you -- what do you make of the fact that some of the critics say they don't like that she apparently is empathetic?
GIBBS: Look, what the president wanted was somebody that understood the applicability and the rule of law, but also somebody that could understand how the role of the -- what role the Supreme Court plays in each person's every day life. I think most people in America want to see somebody like that on the Supreme Court. And I think if you look at her very compelling life story, somebody that literally worked her way up from a housing project through school and law school to graduate with honors, and now is on -- after serving 17 years on the federal bench, is on the cusp of a real almost unattainable, by most standards, honor of being on the Supreme Court. I think that having somebody with that background will give the American people reason to be proud.
KING: One other quick thing. Will she be approved before the August recess?
GIBBS: Larry, we certainly think that's a doable scenario. The average is about 72 days for a nominee. There are 74 days before the Senate is scheduled to go out for their August recess. So we think it is certainly imminently doable. We think that would give Judge Sotomayor -- we hope Justice Sotomayor the ability to get to know her colleagues, help build that consensus, as they pick cases and head into the court's new year.
KING: Robert, always good having you with us.
GIBBS: Thank you, Larry.
KING: Millions tuned in to see the return of a popular reality show last night. We are going to talk about it in 60 seconds.
KING: We asked viewers to submit remarkable questions for me via email, iReport and voicemail. Today's question was phoned in by Dorothy. Take a listen and then I will answer it.
CALLER: My name is Dorothy Davis. My question is, who of the people you interviewed had the most profound effect on your life? Thank you very much. Congratulations.
KING: Thank you. Excellent question, Dorothy. Lot of people had -- I would say probably Dr. Martin Luther King. He was so impacting, so forceful. His total belief in his cause ensued him and it transmitted to people around him. There's a ton of others, but I guess I would single him out.
Dorothy is going to receive an autographed copy of my new memoir, "My Remarkable Journey." And you can win one, too. Go to CNN.com/larryking and send me a question. If I answer it on the air, you are going to get the book and have a chance to win a trip to L.A. to meet me and watch the show live.
Last night, millions of people tuned in to a reality show, and the growing divide between Jon and Kate Gosselin was tough to watch. But viewers of "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" ate it up. Watch.
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JON GOSSELIN, "JON & KATE PLUS EIGHT": Kate and I obviously are going through a lot of stuff.
KATE GOSSELIN, "JON & KATE PLUS EIGHT": I have to be able to go to sleep at night and know that I have done my best.
J. GOSSELIN: I don't care who believes in me. I know what I know.
K. GOSSELIN: I will be darned if they are going to take me down with that.
J. GOSSELIN: One day my kids are going to --
K. GOSSELIN: Very swiftly, we turned into two different people and it is just hard.
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KING: We'll have more to say after this.
KING: Let's get into it. The reality series is "Jon & Kate Plus 8." It premiered on the TLC network five years ago. Now there's trouble. And to discuss that, in New York is Kate Coyne, senior editor of "People Magazine." The publication has interviewed TV reality stars Jon and Kate Gosselin about their marital troubles. Here in Los Angeles, Dr. Michelle Golland, clinical psychologist, provides therapy for couples and individuals, and is a contributor to MomLogic -- one word -- dot com.
Kate, where do we stand now?
KATE COYNE, "PEOPLE MAGAZINE": Well, I think anybody who watched the show last night can tell you this is a marriage in serious trouble. It was really hard to watch. It was heartbreaking, really. They can't talk to each other. They can't really look at each other. They can hardly stand to be around each other. I mean, they are in a free-fall right now.
KING: All right. Michelle, I want you to watch this and comment.
DR. MICHELLE GOLLAND, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: OK.
KING: In past years, one of the hallmarks of the show have been Jon and Kate sitting about side by side talking about their family. Last night it was separate. Watch.
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J. GOSSELIN: People might say I brought it upon them. Fine. Let them say I brought it upon myself. That was just me and my personality and me doing nothing but being innocent and hanging out. I know I didn't cheat on Kate. You know, that's the way it is. I don't care who believes me.
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KING: Why are they doing this? GOLLAND: You know, I think they have found themselves in a position they didn't realize was going to happen. And I have to say watching them, I feel like it's so many couples that sit on my sofa that we just happened to be witnessing. It's like I got to go home with my clients instead.
KING: Do you think it helps to watch this? Couples?
GOLLAND: You know what? That's what I hope. As someone who is an expert in relationships -- and I always say to my couples, I love love. I love marriage. I believe that it's the most important thing. I think it's the way we heal ourselves, understand ourselves, and grow with an intimate partner.
And they just, like, drove off into the ditch. And they're in this spiral of criticism and negativity. And they need professional help, clearly, clearly.
KING: Kate, Ms. Gosselin got her individual say last night, too. Let's watch.
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K. GOSSELIN: So he's angry with me. I think that he's home and I'm not. Yet he doesn't really feel great about me, so he wants me to travel. It's such -- it is so involved, I almost can't even put it into words. And I don't know what the solution is.
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KING: Will this being public help them, Kate, do you think?
COYNE: You know, I'm not sure if it will help or hurt them. I think at this stage, she is so confused about what she's supposed to do next. You know, she has said repeatedly that she doesn't know how to help Jon, that she doesn't fully understand what he wants her to do. I'm not sure he knows what he wants. They're really stuck.
KING: Michelle, what's the problem?
GOLLAND: You know, what I see as the biggest problem is that Kate has found her dream job. She's great at it. She's an author. She goes and speaks. She's a mentor and a mother. She found this career and didn't realize that it was going to be this fulfilling and this wonderful.
But Jon doesn't have one. And Kate wants his -- her dream to be his. And it's not. And I think Jon -- you know, they got married. He was 22. She was 24. And he even said that he's never found a career. And I think he -- he really doesn't realize --
GOLLAND: Yes, he just doesn't even realize what he wants to do with himself.
KING: More moments with Kate Coyne and Dr. Michelle Golland after this.
KING: Kate, how big a story has this been for "People?"
COYNE: Oh, it's been huge. I mean, I think the ratings from last night's episode alone, you know, over nine million people tuning into a basic cable show, indicates that this has struck a massive chord with people. Because whether you have eight kids or not, and most people don't, anybody in a marriage can relate to the bickering, the squabbling, you know, the tension that happens in day-to-day life, when you're trying to run a family. To see it dissolve like this, though, is really shocking.
KING: Is this hopeless, this marriage?
GOLLAND: Absolutely not. I don't think any marriage is hopeless. I really believe that any marriage can survive, even if there was infidelity, which I know Jon is saying there wasn't. Even if there was --
KING: Isn't it hampered by the fact that the whole country knows them?
GOLLAND: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. But actually, see, this is where I think if they go into this to actually want to heal their marriage, to understand themselves, to change themselves -- that's part of the problem, they both have to change. Kate has to change. He has to change. And it's going to take a lot of them facing themselves.
KING: What's the effect on all those kids?
GOLLAND: It's huge. I just keep thinking of these kids watching when they're older, and seeing their mother, who's very controlling, very critical of their father. Their father really sort of -- I think Jon's depressed, personally. I mean, I really do. I think he is really depressed from the situation, and doesn't know how to get himself out of this being lost.
KING: Obviously, they need therapy.
GOLLAND: They do. They need -- they need couples therapy intensely. But they do not have to divorce, by any means.
KING: Kate Coyne, senior editor of "People Magazine," and Dr. Michelle Golland, clinical psychologist, thank you both very much. Illuminating and interesting information.
We now turn things over to my namesake, my main man, my king of Sunday, John King, the host of "AC 360." John?