NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli

New York's comptroller is trying to use the power of the pension fund to increase equal rights for same sex married couples. Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has written a letter to President Obama.

Sean Philpott: In Sickness and In Health

Jul 11, 2013

Just two weeks ago, the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred federal recognition of same-sex marriages even if they took place in one of the 13 states or in the federal district where such weddings are legal. In a 5–4 decision, the Court ruled that key sections of the Act were unconstitutional because they deprived same-sex couples of liberties protected by the Fifth Amendment.

6/27/13 - Panel

Jun 27, 2013

  Today, Ray Graf and Joe Donahue speak with Commentator and activist Libby Post about yesterday's SCOTUS decisions on DOMA and Prop 8 and then, in the second half of the hour, we speak with Times Union reporter, Jimmy Vielkind, about the NY Legislative session.

In a speech being lauded by environmental activists, yesterday President Barack Obama announced several proposals to limit pollution that is contributing to climate change. The policies include the establishment of carbon pollution standards for power plants and increased funding for clean energy technology over the coming decades.

For reaction to the speech WAMC spoke with Representative Paul Tonko of New York’s 20th District. Before discussing climate change we asked Tonko for his reaction to today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Today’s ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and overruled Prop 8 brought months of anticipation to a close.  Brad Hays is an assistant Professor of Political Science at Union College - he says the "interesting ruling" was expected by people who had been watching the oral arguments closely.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in a narrow 5-4 vote that said the law violated the Fifth Amendment. Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal says he was happy with the decision.

“I think that we’ve all come to the conclusion that gay marriage does not represent any threat to any institution in America and I, incidentally, must say that I think that this is instructive in terms of American history: the states began the revolution. The court accepted the precedent that had been established by that states,” Neal said.

We've seen two historic rulings today from the U.S. Supreme Court concerning gay marriage - the striking down of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and a ruling clearing the way for same sex marriages to resume in California.

WAMC's Ray Graf spoke with Lynn Faria, deputy executive director with Empire State Pride Agenda, for reaction to the decisions.

6/26/13 - Panel

Jun 26, 2013

Today's panelists are WAMC newsman, Ray Graf and Stephen Gottlieb, the Jay and Ruth Caplan Distinguished Professor at Albany Law School.

SCOTUS - Voting Rights Act Decision
DOMA/Prop 8

Eric Krupke

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in two cases dealing with same-sex marriage. People from around the country traveled to the nation’s capital to participate in opposing rallies.

The day started early on Tuesday in front of the Supreme Court for same-sex marriage advocates and opponents alike.

Several lower courts have ruled against it, saying it is un-constitutional, but the nation’s highest court will take up a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed by congress in 1996 that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. New York is among a handful of states that have legalized same sex marriage, and the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court will be watched very closely in New York. George Simpson, spokesman for Empire State Pride Agenda, spoke about the issues under review by the court with WAMC’s Brian Shields.