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The Errington Thompson Show 5-30-09

As usual, there’s so much to talk about.  I start off discussing the California Supreme Court and its upholding the ban on same-sex marriage.  I readily admit that I did not read Proposition Eight.  I also must say that I’m not criticizing the court, but it is clear that this is an untenable situation.  In the United States we are supposed to be equal.  What ever the state recognizes as a union between two adults (whether that is marriage, civil unions or Vulcan mind melding) should be the same for heterosexuals as it is for homosexuals.  The state should not discriminate.  The benefits two partners get should be available to gays and lesbians.  To me it is a simple case of civil rights.  General David Patreaus was on FOX News.  I play a rather long clip of him as he explains why Guantánamo needs to be closed.  He also states that we need to trust our justice system.  I was very surprised and pleased by his statements.  Finally, I give an update on the swine flu (Influenza A: H1N1).  There are now almost 9000 cases in the United States.  They’re have been over 15 deaths reported.  The swine flu is not going away.  We need to continue to be diligent.

I interviewed Dr. Jonathan Kotch from UNC Chapel Hill.  He is part of a group called Physicians for National Health Program.  We discuss the important aspects of health care refor, how we need to improve patient access and patient care.  Whatever system we come up with needs to be portable and cost-effective.  One of the big questions is whether the single-payer plan would be a viable alternative.  If the reason for health care reform is primarily cost, then what value does insurance add?  This is an excellent discussion.

Linda Monk is a constitutional scholar and author of the fabulous book, Words We Live By.  She is a graduate of Harvard Law School.  I invited her on the show to discuss what we should look for in a Supreme Court Justice.  A candidate for the Supreme Court should interpret the law narrowly.  There shouldn’t be an attempt for broad, over-arching interpretations.  We also discuss Barack Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor.  This is a great discussion and well worth a listen.

I wrap up the show with more discussion on healthcare.  In my opinion, healthcare needs to be more integrated.  Physicians have to find a way to work together better.  As patients become more and more complex, there’s a need for better communication.

Enjoy the show.

By |2012-05-07T16:40:11-04:00May 31st, 2009|Civil Rights, Healthcare, Podcasts, Senate, Supreme court|Comments Off on The Errington Thompson Show 5-30-09

A few words about Proposition 8

First, let me apologize for not covering this story much, much earlier. My attention was on the presidential race and on several races here in North Carolina. Proposition eight was a proposal to ban same-sex marriages. Remember, in California, same-sex marriage was legal. So, a right has been taken away.

When you listen to the rhetoric of those who oppose same-sex marriage, it sounds frighteningly similar to the rhetoric of those who opposed integration of the races.They talked about these classic institutions that would collapse if blacks were allowed to marry whites (and in some states blacks to marry blacks).

I’m not sure why we are so resistant to doing the right thing. Just think about our history and how at every step of the way there has always been significant resistance to doing the right thing. Consider when women were fighting for the right to vote. Why was there such resistance? All men and women should be treated equally under the law. It is mind-boggling that there was such contention. With gay marriage again we see the resistance. It is not hard for us to see what is the right thing to do.

For those who object on religious grounds, let me say this: civil rights, too, were strongly objected to on religious grounds. If you and your church do not want to include homosexual marriages as part of your congregation then that is your right. It is not your right to prevent others from getting married in a civil ceremony. I’m extremely disappointed in so many religious leaders who came out, as it were, in favor of this proposition.

Gay marriage will happen. It will happen within our lifetime because it has to happen. We can not, must not, formally discriminate against any group. We simply can’t.

Finally, I am not worried about the institution of marriage. I’m also not worried about my own marriage. My own marriage will fail or survive based on my actions and the actions of my wife. If a gay couple moves in across the street the strength of our relationship will not be changed. My wife and I love each other. Our love is not based on whether or not a gay couple lives across street. So, if a marriage does break up because a gay couple moves in the neighborhood, there was something else wrong with that relationship before the new neighbors arrived. America, it is time for us to stand up, once again, and do the right thing.

By |2008-11-11T15:01:42-04:00November 11th, 2008|Civil Liberty, Civil Rights|Comments Off on A few words about Proposition 8
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