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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  March 27, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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03/27/13 03/27/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" proposition 8 is a discriminatory law that hurts people. it hurts case and lesbians in california and the children we are raising, and for no good freezing. it is our hope that we can afford and remove this harm from society so gays and lesbians in california can go back to their lives living equally alongside their neighbors with the same rights and protections as everyone else. >> historic that the supreme
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court, the justices hear the first of two cases involving same-sex marriage. they appeared divided on whether to overturn california's proposition 8. >> traditional marriage has been around for thousands of years. same-sex marriages very new. i think was first adopted in the netherlands in 2000. so there is not a lot of data about it. it may turn out to be a good thing, and may turn out not to be a good thing as the supporters of proposition 8 apparently believe. horrocks we will play recordings of some of the justice questions in speak to a married same-sex couple from california leading the fight for equality and look at today's case or the constitutionality of doma, the defense of marriage act. we will also speak to the wood or of the late gerry studds, the nation's first openly gay congressman. to this day he is unable to receive the pension provided to
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surviving spouses of members of congress. then we will go to north dakota, which has enacted a series of anti-choice measures that could affect -- effectively end abortion in the state. all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the supreme court is confronting the issue of same-sex marriage for a second day in a row today. if justices will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the defense of marriage act that denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. on tuesday, the justices considered the legality of california's proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. remarks from the justices suggested they are wary of endorsing a broad right for same-sex couples to marry despite what many marriage equality advocates had hoped. we will have more on the two historic cases after headlines. protests continuing in cyprus as
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the country's economic crisis has appeared to deepen following the negotiation of a massive european bailout. officials are expected to unveil new controls before banks reopen to stave off a rush by people concerned about their savings. large depositors in cyprus are reportedly facing losses of roughly 40%. on tuesday, employees of the country's largest bank occupied their workplace amid fears they could lose their jobs. it is a big demonstration. the workers of the bank of cyprus has shown once more there demanding their rights. we're carrying out a dignified and peaceful protest to secure the rights of the employes of the bank of cyprus. >> in egypt, a leading blogger and activist has been released after turning himself in for questioning amid a feared crackdown on opposition protesters. alaa abdel-fattah was one of five activists whose arrests were ordered after violent
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clashes lasted between supporters and opponents of president mohammed morsi. he was accused of inciting violence on social media. he wore a prison jumpsuit as he turned himself into the prosecutor general's office in order to show willingness to go to jail, but he was released following hours of questioning. alaa was a leading voice in the revolution that ousted president mubarak and was imprisoned for two months in a high-profile case while egypt was under military control. after his release without charge in december 2011, alaa appeared on "democracy now!" and describe the conditions in the prison. >> i was in complete darkness for five days. it was very filthy. cell,in may 2 by 3 meters having no access to water and toilets except for 10 minutes a day. basically, they knew they could not torture me because of the
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solidarity and the media attention, so they just nature to try to use every other measure to put me at discomfort. >> to see our full interview with alaa abdel-fattah, go to today protest is expected in chicago against the city's decision to close 54 public schools, mostly in african- american neighborhoods. some 30,000 students will be impacted. chicago mayor rahm emanuel, president obama's former chief of staff, has defended the closings saying he does not want students trapped in failing schools. chicago teachers union president karen lewis has announced that today "some of us are going to put our bodies on the line." north dakota has enacted a series of historic antitrust measures that could effectively end abortion in the state. on tuesday, republican governor jack dalrymple signed a measure banning abortion once an
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embryonic heartbeat is detectable, which can happen at six weeks of pregnancy or even earlier. a second law signed by the governor aimed at shutting down the state's only abortion clinic, requires hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers. a third maxtor to cover the first day to ban abortions sought to to genetic abnormalities. we will have more on the broadcast on north dakota with the head of the state's only clinic and a republican lawmaker opposed to the new laws. former cia director david petraeus has apologized publicly for the extramarital affair that forced him to resign last november. his speech tuesday to military veterans and rotc students at the university of southern california is seen as a possible step by petraeus toward a new career in the private sector. before leaving the cia, petraeus directed troops in iraq and afghanistan. he apologized for the affair he had with his biographer paula broadwell.
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>> i join you keenly aware that i am regarded in a different light now than i was a year ago. i'm also keenly aware the reason for my recent journey was my own doing. so please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply i regret and apologize for the circumstances that led to my resignation from the cia and caused such pain for my family, friends, and supporters. >> president obama has appointed julia pierson as the first woman ever to lead the secret service, an agency charged with protecting the president, his family, and other officials. she's a longtime secret service agent who previously served as a police officer in orlando, florida. she takes over from mark sullivan whose tenure was marked by scandal after was revealed agents had hired sex workers during a presidential trip to colombia. a group of five countries say they have reached a deal to
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challenge the u.s. dominated world bank and international monetary fund by creating their own development bank. leaders from the so-called brics countries -- brazil, russia, india, china and south africa -- are gathered in durban, south africa for a summit. to gather the countries account for 25% of global gdp and 40% of the world's population. the environmental protection agency says more than half of rivers and streams in the u.s. are in such unhealthy shape they cannot adequately support aquatic life. epa sampling found more than 55% of waterways tested were in poor condition, compared to just 21% in good health. the most widespread cause was pollution fueled by human activity, with high levels of phosphorous -- a component of fertilizers, pesticides and detergents -- found in 40% of rivers and streams. the research says will draw the was like the hon a major earthquake that struck oklahoma
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in 2011. a study published tuesday says the 5.6-92 quake was caused by oil waste being pumped deep underground. the quake injured two people, damaged homes and was felt across 14 states. it was the largest earthquake to hit the central united states in decades and the largest ever recorded in oklahoma. two ithaca new york residents have been released on bond after refusing to answer questions about their immigration status as they attempted to board a domestic flight in texas. o'mara to garrido and nancy morales were stopped twice by border patrol agents before the procedure security checkpoint at an airport in brownsville. both times the refused to disclose their citizen status. the first time they missed their flight. after returning a second time and refusing again, there were arrested by police and held for roughly seven hours. they documented both incidents
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on video. "democracy now!" spoke with omar figueredo after he was released on tuesday. >> what i was trying to accomplish was to put into question the authority the border patrol has to harass and force people to answer questions they don't have to answer when they're traveling with in the 60 to 100 mile border zone in the u.s. >> both o'mara and nancy are u.s. citizens. o'mara said his action was part of a larger trend of people refusing to answer what they say are unwarranted and racially targeted questions at border patrol checkpoints, and then uploading video footage online. and activist in new york city staged a flash mob inside a pharmacy tuesday to demand unfettered access to emergency contraception. the morning after pill is available over-the-counter to those 17 and older, but in 2011, obama's health and human services head overruled fda drug
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regulators for the first time in history and rejected making it available without a prescription for everyone. the group national women's liberation has been fighting for access through a federal lawsuit with a decision expected in the next week. at tuesday's action, dozens of people stocked boxes of plan b on the shelves. said she joined a lawsuit in part because of her own experience. >> as a teenager, i needed the morning after pill and i could not get it. because of the age requirement, i could not buy it on my own. i risked pregnancy rather than being able to buy a safe and effective form of birth control. no girl or woman should have to do that. >> what do we want? >> morning after pill. >> where do we want it? >> over the counter. and those are some of the
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headlines. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. row, theecond day in a supreme court is confronting issue of same-sex marriage, hearing arguments today on the constitutionality of doma, the defense of marriage at that denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. on tuesday, the justices considered the legality of california's proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. the historic cases are being heard as polls show growing support among americans for gay marriage, but the nation remains divided. nine states recognize same sex marriage while 30 states have constitutional amendments banning it. on tuesday, the supreme court justices appeared wary of endorsing a broad right for gay and lesbian couples to marry. we will play excerpts from the hearing in a moment, but i first want to turn to the plaintiffs who spoke outside the supreme court. plaintiveis perry, a in the case just heard in the
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supreme court. as children in this country we learn that there is a founding principle that all men and women are created equal. and we want this equal the because this is a founding principle. unfortunately, with the passage of proposition 8, we have learned there are a group of people in california not being treated equally and that was recognized by a federal court and the ninth circuit court. we look forward to a day when proposition 8 is finally and officially eliminated and equality is restored to the state of california. i, like all americans, i believe in equality and our judicial system and have great faith in in. the more than anything, i believe in love. proposition 8 is a discriminatory law that hurts people. it hurts gays and lesbians in
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california, hurts the children we are raising, and does so for no good reason. it is our hope that we can move forward and remove this harm from society so that gays and lesbians in california can go back to their lives, living equally alongside their neighbors with the same rights and protections as everyone else. thank you. >> we would like to introduce you to our sons, spencer and,perry. andy name is spencer perry is is my twin brother elliott. we are two of their very proud sons. on behalf of my son and my twin brother, i just want to say how incredibly proud we are of our parents. we love them. we love our family, look for to the day when we will be treated equally just like our neighbors families. thank you some much. >> inside the supreme court,
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attorney theodore olson, the nation's former solicitor general under george w. bush, opened his argument explaining why proposition 8 should be struck down. >> it walls of gays and lesbians from marriage, the most and or relation in life according to this court, thus stigmatizing a class of californians based upon their status and labeling their most cherished relationships as second-rate, different, unequal, and not okay. >> the supreme court's potential swing vote, justice anthony kennedy, warned same-sex marriage case was bringing the court into "and chartered waters." he questioned whether the court should have even taken the case. >> my problem with the case is you are really asking, particularly because of the sociological evidence you cite, for us to go into uncharted waters. you can play with that metaphor.
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so in a caseing where the opinion is very narrow, basically, once the state goes halfway it has to go all the way or 70% of the way. you are doing so in a case where there is substantial question on standing. i just wonder if the case was properly granted geico justice samuel alito also expressed reservations about overturning proposition 8. >> traditional marriage has been around for thousands of years. same-sex marriage is new. i think was first adopted in the netherlands in 2000 rid so there is not a lot of data about its effect. it may turn out to be a good thing. it may turn out to not be a good thing as the supporters of proposition 8 apparently believe. >> justice sonia sotomayor questioned attorney charles cooper, the lawyer defending california's voter passed ban on same-sex marriage.
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she asked him to name other contexts beyond marriage in which was ok to discriminate against gay men and lesbians. >> outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in orying homosexuals benefits imposing burdens on them? is there any other rational decision making that the government could make? denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision? >> your honor, i cannot. i do not have anything to offer you in that regard.
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>> for more we go to washington, d.c., where we're joined by .tuart gaffney and john lewis
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they have been together for 26 years and married in 2008 before proposition 8 passed. both rick had a marriage -- both for that marriage equality usa. we welcome you both to "democracy now!" first, as you sad and the supreme court yesterday, can you talk about how you felt as a married couple, also as to people deeply involved in the effort to overturn this position the justices were considering yesterday? john, let's begin with you. >> these cases are extremely emotional and extremely personal to us because in the courtroom, you hear abstract, somewhat appearing abstract legal theories being discussed. but these cases are truly about the lives of loving, committed same-sex couples and their
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children and families. it was a very, very emotional day. so much is at stake for our lives. your response back to to think you'd be sitting there when you met 26 years ago? >> the sense of the historic moment hanging over these cases is incredible and the atmosphere is really electric. we were plaintiffs in the california state pays for equal marriage rights to society in 2008 by the california supreme court, so we were proud to be at the supreme court standing with the plaintiffs in these historic cases and with the legal teams. really with the community. like our case in california, these are the community's lawsuit. as my husband said, it feels like our very lives are before the court, but there is no mistaking this historic moment, the momentum leading up to these hearings is incredible.
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every day when we turn to the headlines, there is some new poll showing increased majority support nationwide for equal marriage rights. we have come to washington at several other historic juncture is to protest the hours vs. hardwick decision upholding sodomy laws to celebrate the lawrence versus texas decision in 2003, which overturned sodomy laws. and we came back in 2004 after we exchanged vows in san francisco city hall. we came here on a bus tour across the country with other same-sex couples, married in city hall and our friends and loved ones and supporters to rally in washington. at that point we really thought, is this going to let happen in our lifetime? but now we are here and we know it is happening in our lifetime. in fact, it is happening as we
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speak. these justices really need to decide what side of history they want to be on. >> attorney charles cooper cooper sparred over the welfare of children of same- sex couples with justice kennedy. >> i think there is substance to the points that the sociological information is new. we have five years of information to weigh against two dozen years of history or more. on the other hand, there is an whatiate legal injury or could be a legal injury, and that is the voice of these children. there are some 40,000 children in california that live with same-sex parents, according to the brief. they want their parents to have full recognition. the voice of those children is
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important in this case, don't you think? >> your honor, i certainly would not dispute the imports of that consideration. that consideration especially in the political process where this issue is being debated and will continue to be debated certainly in california is being debated elsewhere, but on that specific question, your honor, there simply is no data. in fact, their expert agreed there is no data, no steady even, that would expand and whether or not there is any overmental beneficial -- and above the domestic partnership laws that were enacted by the state of california to recognize, support, and honor same-sex relationships and their families. there's simply no data at all that would permit one to draw that conclusion. >> that was attorney charles
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cooper. before that, supreme court justice anthony kennedy who was raising the issue of the 40,000 children of same-sex couples in california. rather,affney -- or john lewis, as a legal director of marriage equality, can you talk about the legal argument and what is suggested by what justice kennedy says about where he might vote, the key swing voter here? >> i was impressed and encouraged by the way he talked about the real lives of those 40,000 children of same-sex couples. i think the evidence is quite clear that lesbian and gay people are doing wonderful jobs raising children. there's a tremendous amount of study on the issue. decades of experience. last week at the american academy of pediatricians came out in favor of marriage equality. that is a very, very strong
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endorsement of how having the freedom to marry for a family is very beneficial to those children. i think in looking at the broadest context of the case, when we heard questions from the justices over all sorts of issues from the procedural standing issues to questions about the particular circumstances in california, proposition 8, to some of the broader questions about freedom to marry as a right of every american -- is very difficult to predict or any of the justices are actually going to come out in the end. i am very hopeful that when it is all said and done that through one round or another proposition 8 will no longer be enforceable after this case. >> justice scalia asked the plaintiff's attorney, theodore olson, when it became unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from
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>> you have been listening to justice antonin scalia questioning theater olson, he may remember was the solicitor general under george h.w. bush, lost his wife on the airplane that flew into washington, d.c. on september 11. john lewis, your response? >> justice scalia represents the
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minority view on the court. in fact, justice kennedy wrote the majority view, which is the law of the land with respect to this issue, and quite eloquently a conclusion of lawrence versus taxes, justice kennedy reticulated how the basic guarantees of freedom and equality contained in our constitution are stated as general propositions by the founders, by those who wrote the amendments to the bill of rights atause they recognize that -- as our nation evolves, later generations that come out of the 14th, and fifth amendment or drafted, the later generations will see the loss once thought necessary and appropriate only served to oppress. and that later generations will evoke these basic time-honored principles of the constitution and the liberty and equality for
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their generation and what is an ever-increasing notion of liberty and equality. i think that is exactly what is at issue with the freedom to marry. lesbian and gay people have been having a loving, committed relationships for centuries. it is the truth. but we have had the have the relationships in hiding because of the real threat to our lives, our vagary safety. only the last 50 years that great men and women started coming out and we started living our lives openly and proudly and now to the marriage equality movement, we are coming out fully about the truth of our loving, committed relationships and families. those basic guarantees of liberty and equality have always been there. what we're seeing now are those laws that maybe were once thought appropriate, after just serve to oppress people.
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>> john, i want to ask your husband stuart gaffney a question about history. we were just listening to justice scalia asking ted olson, by the way, was solicitor general under george w. bush, when it became unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage, i want ask breyer on interesting family history. your family history when it comes to issues of marriage and the law. >> i was moved by the rosen's response in talking about the rights of interracial couples because thinking of another married couple, my own mom and dad, who were an interracial couple facing barriers like john and i are today. there were only able to marry legally in california because our state supreme court led the way in overturning a law banning
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interracial marriages as unconstitutional. but after they married, they moved around the country and our family had different legal status in every state they lived in. they moved to missouri and were told they had an illegal marriage. that is something i never wanted have in common with them. but unfortunately, same-sex couples now face the same patchwork -- legal in some states, illegal and others -- and unrecognized beverly, my parents were only legal in all 50 states when the u.s. supreme court ruled in 1967 and loving vs. virginia that all remaining state bans for interracial couples were unconstitutional. and they fulfill the promise written on the front of the u.s. supreme court, equal justice under law. our family is waiting for that promise to be fulfilled for the next generation.
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for my mom and dad, they want nothing more than for me and john to be able to be the glee married in all 50 states, just as they were. >> thank you both for being with us. we will continue on this issue in the next break. john lewis and stuart gaffney together for 26 years, married in 2008 before prop. 8 passed. both work at marriage equality usa. when we come back, we will be joined by the widow or of the late congress member gerry studds, openly gay congress member, his widower is not able to get the normal pensions and other widows or widowers of congress members get. we will talk to him about today supreme court argument. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. for the second and a row, the supreme court confronting the issue of same-sex marriage. today, doma. it was signed into law by president clinton in 1996 and denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. the law prevents same-sex married couples from filing joint federal tax returns, same- sex spouse from collecting
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social security survivor benefits, and prevents federal employees from sharing health- insurance and other benefits with a same-sex spouse. we go to boston, massachusetts where we're joined by dean hara, a plaintiff in the doma lawsuit. he is the widow of u.s. rep gerry studds, the first openly gay member of congress. welcome to "democracy now!" what you think your husband would have thought if he were alive today about this day? >> i think that he would be surprised that we it made such progress and that this issue is at the supreme court 17 years after it was signed into law. >> talk about the significance of what we are about to witness today, the supreme court wayne doma. by the way, president clinton did sign it into law and says he
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steers the regrets it today. in fact, he says he had serious concerns about signing a at the time he did. in 1996g been there during the debates, a number of the defense oft marriage act was blatant discrimination back in 1996. unfortunately, it was really just abstract. no same-sex couples were able to get married anywhere in the entire country. it was not until 2004 when gerry and i were able to get married in massachusetts one week after became legal that what was abstract became concrete. as you said earlier, the defense of marriage act bans any kind of benefit that would come from taxation, social security, any
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other kind of benefit so it that point, when we got married, it became actual discrimination where i was or would not be treated the same as any of your other colleagues -- the other colleagues that gerry had worked with. >> talk about the opm case that you're involved with today, dean, this lawsuit. >> i am one of 16 plaintiffs in the case that was brought back in march 2009 to challenge the discriminatory effect of the defense of marriage act. the other plaintiffs represent a broad range of people who were hurt. families where there are unable to get tax benefits or the health insurance benefits from a spouse, obviously, it is a pocketbook issue for all families trying to save money. on the other spectrum, it just
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-- just as the plaintiff in the case before the supreme court today, a plaintiffs' that have been in long-term relationships a friend was in relationship for 60 years, cared for his partner when he was dying of parkinson's, the yet when he passed away, he was denied any of the kind of social security safety net that he would have been entitled to have his marriage been recognized by the federal government. >> what about your own case? what have you been denied? >> as you had said, the congressional pension. i look at it more than when i first applied for the benefits, i did not go in my mind as a congressional spouse but as someone who was a surviving spouse of someone who had worked for our country for 25 years. the benefits i am seeking are
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the same as any other surviving spouse of a federal employe you which would include pension, health insurance, and as i get older, other kinds of social security benefits. >> dean hara, i want to turn to relate has been, congressman gerry studds in his own words. in 1987 he spoke with a gay cable network during a trip to cincinnati. >> i arrived in congress in 1973 at the age of 37 without to my knowledge having ever met another gay person. there's a long, long, long distance between 1973 and my standing here today in 1987. i think we all -- i don't just mean individual situations, but we all need to keep that in mind. and in respect to aids, and the immensity, notwithstanding the immensity of the tragedy of this epidemic, insofar as one can
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even remotely looked at a silver lining, and i say this with great hesitation, but if there is one, i think it is the existence of gay men and women is no longer subject to question. many of us grew up in a world where many of us did not know there such a thing or chose to ignore. that is absolutely unthinkable from this point on. never saw a newspaper into recently or heard a television or read a report about gay people that was not totally and early negative. now every day, every morning, every citizen of this nation reads and hears about the existence of gay people. it is a fact and you can never go back to that. that is an extraordinary step. >> that was more than 25 years ago. that was congress member gerry studds in 1987. your thoughts, dean hara, as you
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listen to your longtime partner, in your analysis of what this doma case meets today in the supreme court and what you can expect based on what you heard yesterday in the supreme court and the challenge to prop 8 in california? >> i think gerry, he was talking about the progress made at this point, but i think that is even more evident today when we look at national polls, how the percentages are over 50% now of people that say no gay or lesbian person either a family member, co-worker, neighbor. and the number of people that support same-sex marriage. it is a great tide that has changed and even the last 10 years. i think as gerry used to say, the more people that stand up and self identify -- if you
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remember, really being gay or lesbian you have to self identify. there is no way to pick someone out on the street. it makes all of our straight friends and allies also our supporters, because they see how the defense of marriage act hurts people they know. it is not an abstract issue for them, either. >> how did gerry studds, out in congress? we're talking about this is before barney frank, fellow congressmember from massachusetts, came out. >> gerry was the first openly member of congress but he came out of this controversy in 1983. i think the most important thing of his coming out was in the midst of his controversy -- this controversy, rather than saying his actions were based on alcohol or any other excuses and never people of other members of
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congress have used over the years, he proudly stood up on the floor of the house and said he was a game man, something that had never been done before. inhink as he demonstrated that act, it gave a lot of other people the confidence and courage to also stand up. and i think that act has brought us where we are today. less than 50 years after stonewall, 30 years after gerry spoke out on the floor of the house, it is a different world we live in. >> thank you, dean hara, for being with us. our to end with the comments of legislature, a former legislator in minnesota. during this month's hearings in minnesota on legalizing same-sex marriage, and this one former republican lawmaker expressed regret for her prior support of doma. in a tearful speech, lynne osterman implored minnesota lawmakers to legalize same-sex
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marriage. >> i cast a politically expedient vote in favor of doma, and i have regretted that ever since. it was not my conscience or dad is acompass my retired presbyterian minister. in fact, he served the congregation reverend chavis now serves. i heard lots of bible based service over the years and never once did i hear that someone else is love was somehow lesser than the love between my parents and now 55 years. my husband of almost 26 years and i have established and demonstrated our decision making parties with our two children, stressing people are more important. nothing in my life says it is ok to treat people differently than how i would want to be treated
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-- fairly, respectivelrespectfu, equally. whether you believe in big government or small, and you believe in fair < respectful, eco? is it ever occur to say, well, except for those people? i feel like i'm at the oscars. i see the red sign. [laughter] allakers before us, you, over this nation in fact have had conversations about fairness and equality. the baltic in our history classes. we could come up with their own lists of instances. what were the polls light for those issues? was everyone ready when our elected officials took the reins and that our communities, state, and nation? voting this session might seem ilitically expedient, but
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contend from experience that you will have to live knowing that a no vote is not fair, not respectful, and not equal. , and i amvote imploring you, please, get this right. minnesota citizens just want you to lead. >> former republican minnesota lawmaker lynne osterman speaking before her former colleagues. i also want to thank dean hara for having joined us, plaintiff in the doma lawsuit, widower of the first openly gay member of congress gerry studds. when we come back, we go to bismarck and fargo, north dakota. of north dakota has just enacted the strictest abortion ban in the country. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn to a major development in women's access to abortion in this country -- this time, ground zero is north dakota. on tuesday, governor jack dalrymple signed into law three bills that could effectively ban abortion in the state and set up a major legal challenge to roe v wade, which legalized abortion 40 years ago, at least in the first three months of pregnancy. one measure blocks abortions after fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can happen at six bags of pregnancy or even earlier. another bill would make north
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dakota the first day to ban abortions based on genetic defects such as down's syndrome. a third bill will require all physicians to perform abortions in the state to have admitting and staff privileges at a nearby hospital. meanwhile a fourth bill has passed in both the north dakota house and senate that would amend the state's constitution to grant fertilized eggs the same rights as u.s. citizens. voters are expected to decide on that amendment in november, while the other measures are set to go into effect august 1. we're joined by two guests. and fargo, tammi kromenaker is director of the red river women's center, the state's only abortion provider. in the capital bismarck, we're joined by one of the republicans who voted against the anti torras bills, kathy hawken, has been a state representative group presenting district 46. we welcome you both. we will go to fargo first. kathy hawken, explain the significance of this bill that sets store to cut apart from the
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rest of the nation, the strictest abortion ban in the country. how did it happen, and your response to your friend, governor dalrymple, signing it? >> we are a very conservative state and i think that as part of the reason north dakota was targeted. although, the local sponsors say it did not come from outside. if you compare the bills from around the country, they are certainly similar. we are conservative. they knew they could probably get this through, and they did. despite the fact i think there are a number of north dakotans -- i was listening earlier in her the representative from minnesota saying she had made a politically expedient vote. i feel there are a number of my colleagues to make politically expedient votes on this issue. >> talk about your relationship with governor dalrymple. you have been a longtime friend
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of his bridge where you stand, what his attitude is toward this, why he signed these, did it surprise? >> i have not talked to jack, but we have a 40-year friendship. hopeful. was very i knew this was a tough decision for him because of the political climate in the state, but i was hopeful he would in fact veto them reached my disappointment is huge. he will still in my friend, but i am extremely disappointed. >> i want to turn to tammi kromenaker, director of the red river women's center, north dakota's only abortion clinic. what do these laws mean for you? go through them one by one. sec'sse bill 1305, the selection and genetic abnormality, we're looking into the impact of that one. i've never had a woman present at our clinic who says, i'm
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having this abortion because the sex of the pregnancy. most from our past the point where we can see them at our clinic when they discover a genetic abnormality. the heart beat bill, i'm glad you said six weeks or sooner but six weeks into pregnancy is four weeks from conception, so even earlier than some people realize. they did not come right out and say it has to be detected by trans vaginal ultrasound, but we can assume that is what they mean. that is the most blatantly unconstitutional where so thankful that it will be challenged. the admitting bill, we can look to mississippi where the same type of bill has been passed. the very qualified physicians have been unable to gain and many privileges partly because the hospitals don't want to jump and contentiousotentia battle.
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one hospital has required the have to have a least 10 admissions a year. there's no way we will be able to meet that standard. we've had one woman in 10 years who has been committed to the hospital. any physician who admitted 10 patients a year would not be welcome at red river women's clinic, meaning they were not a competent physician. >> how will you continue with your clinic, the only one in north dakota? how will this change for daily operations? >> first of all, none of the bills go into effect until august 1, so we definitely have time to attend to see if there's any way the hospitals will give privileges to our physicians. house bill 1456, the center for reproductive rights, will surely file a temporary injunction to stop that bill from going into a back. we go to court with the state next month in april on a bill they passed in 2011.
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we are already engaged in litigation with the state. a judge in that case came as a temporary injunction, and they do so because they feel it planted will prevail. and that was not on this blatantly unconstitutional house 1456,1450 sex, the the 1- the heartbeat bill. we want our patients to know we're open, still offering abortion services. i believe we will prevail. unfortunately, this will be a giant waste of time, energy, and taxpayer dollars they go on tuesday, the governor called on the state's legislative assembly to appropriate funds for the attorney general to defend the newly passed anti-abortion measures. meanwhile, a conservative non- profit group, liberty counsel, has offered to defend the laws pro bono sank "cost should not be a part of the governor's decision."
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a comment of north dakota s state senator northitte is supported the bills. >> there are many organizations to of lined up and say they will defend the state in these live bills. ,here is the liberty counsel many organizations standing ready with our attorney general and have sent us e-mail saying they will bear the entire cost to defend these bills. >> let's go to her colleague, north dakota state representative kathy hawken in bismarck. talk about the forces outside the state involved in this legislation. >> i was not aware of that last little bit about -- i am in the house and senator city, lived in the senate, and do not visit all that often. that leads to the point of this is outside forces.
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there is no doubt these are people who are moving or trying to move our state in a direction that i don't believe the majority the people here do. i am hopeful the constitutional amendment will be defeated. that is part of the reason i was dalrymple wouldernor veto the bills. not cost the state to put it to vote. we could put it to good use during education funding or child care funding grant there are so many needs and do it in court seems like not a valuable use of money. >> the personhood amendment, explain. >> it is terrifying. there are medical and advances that have enabled us to do in- vetro fertilization. i have many friends that have
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grandchildren because of this wonderful medical advancement. my husband gave his brother a kidney. as a result, brother-in-law is alive. this kind of legislation could prevent that and of life decisions could be excluded so that you would be kept alive whether you chose to or not. you would have no control over your life. so the embryo gets citizenship bill is terrifying. >> i want to go to a clip of the so-called personhood amendment that would endow fertilized eggs with all the rights of u.s. citizens. this is the first time both the state house and senate have approved such a measure that would effectively outlaw abortion rid of legal analysts for personhood usa which backed the measure said the amendment --
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we will tammi kromenaker end, your response to this, in the role of groups like person had usa. we have 30 seconds. >> these groups come in two states they think are vulnerable and push their own agenda on the states. as representative hawken said, i don't believe this is what north dakota ns want. thesedisgusting legislators have allowed this to happen in our state. >> thank you, tammi kromenaker, speaking to us from prairie public broadcasting in fargo, north dakota. thank you to longtime representative kathy hawken, speaking to us from the dakota media access, community tv station that also broadcasts "democracy now!" [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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