Law and Disorder Radio – Medea Benjamin and Trevor Timm on Drones: Killing and Spying by Remote Control – Centennial of Woody Guthrie’s Birth – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

ACLU Files Lawsuit for Second Parent Adoption

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of six same-sex couples and their children seeking the right to obtain second parent adoptions for their children. What is a second parent adoption? That’s when one partner in an unmarried couple adopts the other partner’s biological or adoptive child. This can occur in both gay and straight relationships. In December 2010, the North Carolina Supreme Court banned second parent adoptions for same-sex couples.



Attorney Chris Brook:

  • We brought it on behalf of six families here in North Carolina where one parent has parental rights and a legal relationship with their child or children that they’re raising and the other parent, who is playing an equivalent role in raising the child, does not have a legal relationship, and is treated as a stranger by the law.
  • The lawsuit seeks to make uniform adoption laws in North Carolina such that they focus exclusively on what’s the best interest for the child.
  • Each of the families in the lawsuit have a compelling story to tell.
  • It just makes a lot more sense for the parents to provide care than for the child to be a ward of the state.
  • The state law does apply to unmarried couples whether they are gay or straight.
  • The reason why all six of the parents involved are gay couples is because in North Carolina there is at least a remedy to unmarried straight couples. They could always get married and rectify the problems.
  • This litigation is being brought on behalf of same sex couples here.
  • My understanding is that 20 states including the District of Columbia permit second parent adoption.
  • If there’s not a legal relationship with the second parent and the child, they may not be able to get health insurance through that parent. Similarly for workers compensation benefits.

Guest – Attorney Chris Brook, Legal Director with the ACLU of North Carolina.

 Drone Summit: Killing and Spying by Remote Control

Earlier this year, human rights advocates, robotics technology experts, lawyers, journalists and activists gathered to share detailed, up-to-date information about the widespread and rapidly expanding deployment of both lethal and surveillance drones, including drone use in the United States. We hear excerpts of two presentations delivered at the drone conference in Washington, DC.

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange and the peace group CODEPINK. She’s also the author of the new book Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. It’s a comprehensive look at the growing menace of drone warfare, with analysis of who is producing the drones, where they are being used, and who pilots the unmanned planes.

Trevor Timm, activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who specializes in free speech issues and government transparency.

Woody Guthrie – Centennial Celebration

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie was born on July 14, 1912, in Okemah, Oklahoma. Music festivals around the country mark his centennial. Many know Woody Guthrie by the song “This Land Is Your Land,” but he recorded much more and the bulk of those songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Woody was very productive: he was a writer, a cartoonist, and a biographer.

Eli Smith:

He was born on July 14, Bastille Day. He moved to Brooklyn in 1940. He was a radical guy, a socialist. His father was a successful businessman in Oklahoma during the boom times.

He had grown up in a stable middle class family. His mother suffered from Huntington’s disease, which killed Woody Guthrie in 1967 at the age of 55.

Woody Guthrie did travel with migrant workers, of course there were hundreds of thousands of migrants riding the rails.

In California, Woody started his career also as a radio personality. He was already writing and painting, he was a multi-faceted artist.

Woody loved Will Rogers, another Oklahoman; he was a Native American and stand up comic.

Not only was Woody a writer and performer of songs, he also wrote poetry and prose and newspaper opinion pieces.

He was also a talented painter and visual artist.

His autobiographical novel, Bound for Glory, was published in 1943.

Woody Guthrie had 8 children over the course of his life. He did several albums of children’s songs for Folkways Records.

He composed “This Land Is Your Land” to a response to “God Bless America.”

Since that time it’s been sanitized because they took out the more communistic verses; it’s kind of a second national anthem.

Guest – Eli Smith, host and producer of Down Home Radio Show, is a banjo player, writer, researcher and promoter of folk music living in New York City. Eli is a Smithsonian Folkways recording artist. Eli organizes two folk festivals annually, the Brooklyn Folk Festival in the spring and the Washington Square Park Folk Festival in the fall.