Here are the stories we discussed today on Byline (full audio below):
At the top – This week, federal judge ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, striking down part of the state ban. In 23-page a ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II concluded that Kentucky’s laws treat gay and lesbians differently in a “way that demeans them.” The constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in 2004. The out-of-state clause was part of it. WFPL Online Managing Editor Joseph Lord tells us what it all means and what’s next.
3:00 – Ten years ago, Kentucky’s lawmakers and residents approved the amendment to the state constitution that banned same-sex marriage. Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador has more on how the ban went from overwhelmingly popular to a political land mine in one decade.
7:00 – The same-sex marriage ruling is part of a larger effort for equality laws in Kentucky. Earlier this week, Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman told WFPL’s Joseph Lord that the decision will substantially speed efforts to allow same-sex marriage in the state.
11:50 – The unrelated deaths of three female inmates at Louisville Metro Corrections in 2012 prompted an investigation by the Louisville Metro Police Public Integrity Unit, which found no criminal conduct, but concluded that two of the deaths could have been prevented and the lack of care in the jail contributed to the third woman’s death. Jason Riley and his colleagues at WDRB have been looking into the deaths and the police probe, and Jason joins us to talk about the findings.
16:10 – Welcome to Gitmo is an article written by freelance journalist Adam Hudson for the online magazine Louisville Lip. Hudson visited the prison on the U.S. military base in Cuba, that was established to house detainees suspected of terrorism or related crimes in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. More than a decade later Gitmo, as it’s commonly called, remains a highly secretive place. It’s a political football in Washington. Early in his first term, President Obama vowed to shut down the prison, but it’s future is still in doubt. Adam Hudson joins us to sift through the story.
21:55 – The documentary Film, American Promise, spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend. Both boys attended Dalton, one of the most prestigious private schools in NYC, and the country. The film chronicles the boys’ divergent paths from kindergarten through high school
graduation, presenting complicated truths about race, class and opportunity. Michèle Stephenson speaks with WFPL’s Jonathan Bastian about their story.
26:40 – Whether they opt for a traditional ceremony, something a bit more offbeat, or even a short courthouse certificate signing, pretty much every bride-and groom-to-be has an ideal wedding. But one couple in eastern Kentucky never imagined their wedding would take place…in a grocery store. Brendan McCarthy from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting brings us this audio postcard of the Stacy’s, who, with winter weather closing roads and courts, couldn’t find a judge to sign their soon-to-expire marriage certificate — until a lucky encounter at the Hazard Food City.
31:30 – In American history, we hear a lot about the red scare, the infamous 1950s campaign to root out communists within the federal government led by Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy. But McCarthy also led a campaign against gays and lesbians. In this clip from Backstory, historian Brian Ballough looks into the Lavender Scare, which led to thousands of LGBT government employees losing their jobs, shocking many beltway insiders.
39:00 – In the arts segment today, Erin Keane speaks with Archie Borders, Mike Fitzer and David Henry, the writing/directing/producing team behind the new film Pleased to Meet Me, which is based on the This American Life episode “Everyone Speaks Elton John.” The film was made and filmed in Louisville with a cast that’s half indie rock god/ess and half local amateurs.