This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases concerning same-sex marriage. One case hinges on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which bans such marriages in the state. The other case challenges the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. The 1996 federal law denies federal benefits to legally married gay and lesbian couples. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce a ruling in both cases in late June. Here’s the AC360° 411 on the battle over same-sex marriage:
There are no openly gay players in the NFL. Minn. Vikings punter Chris Kluwe talks about why that is and when it might change. Kluwe says he believes some players are not open about their sexuality because, “the window of opportunity to play is so short that you don’t want to risk any sort of distraction that can keep you from keeping that job.”
Anderson Cooper spoke with Senator John McCain about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria two years after civilian protests began, leading to a brutal crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad and a violent conflict between government forces and the opposition.
They also discussed the issue of same-sex marriage in light of Republican Senator Rob Portman's announcement that he now supports gay marriage because his 21-year-old son is gay. McCain says he respect's Portman's decision, but disagrees because of his religious beliefs.
In an exclusive interview with CNN's Dana Bash, Ohio Senator Rob Portman announced he has changed his stance on same-sex marriage because his 21-year-old son is gay. CNN asked his conservative colleagues at CPAC to react to his reversal on the issue.
For more on Portman's decision, read One conservative's dramatic reversal on gay marriage
A new study considers what makes people gay. Anderson Cooper asks Dr. Drew about the controversial theory related to epigenetics and epi-marks that can be passed from father to daughter or mother to son.
California’s ban on a so-called therapy that claims to turn gay children and teens straight is under attack. It’s being challenged on first amendment grounds. But is this a case of free speech or bad medicine? A lawyer who’s challenging the ban faces off with Senior Analyst Jeffrey Toobin
Dr. Drew makes the distinction between kids subjected to reparative therapy and adults who choose the treatment that's meant to change a patient's sexual orientation.
Anderson Cooper tells Drew what he's found when interviewing people who say they're formerly gay; they acknowledge still feeling attracted to others of the same sex while forcing themselves not to act on those feelings. Drew agrees with that assessment and says the biggest issue is the right to practice the therapy on kids, and whether the state should protect them from an untested treatment.
"Adolescents are exquisitely sensitive to these kinds of feelings and to undermine professionals' attempts to help them come to terms with this...that is what people are gravely concerned about," says Drew. "There are many people who have been through this who will tell you it didn't work for them. It's been quite miserable."
Michael Ferguson tells AC360° that he participated in "very strange" interventions as part of a controversial therapy that was intended to change patients' sexuality from gay to straight.
Now he's suing the New Jersey counseling center Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) with three other men based on consumer-fraud and because of the traumatic experience.
"I was part of a group that formed a human barricade and on the other side of that barricade were a pair of oranges meant to represent another man's testicles. And there was a participant in the exercise who was supposed to break through that barricade and...squeeze them and drink the juice from them, and shove them down his pants. And all this was to symbolize that his homosexuality was related to his lack of masculinity," says Ferguson about one of the activities.
After Andrew Shirvell was fired from the Michigan Attorney General's office for misconduct, he sued and won unemployment benefits. Jeffrey Toobin and Deborah Gordon, the lawyer for a former University of Michigan student who won a lawsuit against Shirvell, talk about the legal precedent and what could happen next in the case.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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