FROM Steve Sanders
The US Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage The US Supreme Court made history today in a 5-to-4 ruling that the Constitution grants all Americans equal rights to marry. Four dissenters, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, said the matter should have been left to the voters, but it applies to all 50 states. President Obama called it a victory for all Americans. We hear about the legal arguments, the social consequences and the political fallout.
Same-Sex Marriage: Who Should Decide? The first time same-sex marriage was officially recognized was in Holland in 2001. Now, it's permitted in 36 American states and the District of Columbia. Today, the US Supreme Court was asked to overturn bans on the practice in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee — essentially legalizing it for the entire country. History and the speed of change were on the minds of justices including Anthony Kennedy, who observed, "I don't even know how to count the decimals when we talk about millennia. This definition has been with us for millennia, and it's very difficult for the court to say, 'oh well, we know better'." Can nine justices rule that gays and lesbians should be able to marry — or is that a right granted to individuals by the Constitution? Should the US Supreme Court let the democratic process continue state by state? These were some of the questions raised today in a case asking the Court to overturn gay-marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. We hear about some arguments rooted in ancient history and others based on the recent sea-change in public opinion.
Gay Rights, Religion and Republican Politics Late last month, Indiana's Republican-dominated legislature passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It was much like a federal law signed by Bill Clinton 20 years ago—but there was such an outcry from supporters of gay rights that Republican Governor Mike Pence called for it to be changed . When Arkansas Republicans passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson refused to sign it . Disputes over RFRA laws have revealed a great divide in the Republican Party. Traditionalists want to protect religious teachings against homosexuality, but others see a path to discrimination in an increasingly tolerant nation. Next year's presidential contenders are caught in the middle -- with religious conservatives more powerful in early primary states than they are later on. Will appeals to younger Republicans help remove opposition to same-sex marriage from next year's GOP platform?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.