WBEZ | civil liberties http://www.wbez.org/tags/civil-liberties Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Gay journalist battles Boy Scouts in court for 18 years http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/gay-journalist-battles-boy-scouts-court-18-years-110793 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/StoryCorps 140905 Noel Tim bh.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Growing up in Berkeley, California in the 1970s, Tim Curran loved camping. When his best friend joined the Boy Scouts, Curran signed up too. He rose up through the ranks, achieving scouting&rsquo;s highest honor, Eagle Scout, during high school.</p><p>Curran, who is gay, came out when he was a teenager. His troop was supportive of him. But after his senior year, he was featured in a newspaper story with his prom date, who was also male. And the newspaper found its way into the hands of some higher-ups within the Boy Scouts, who decided to take action against Curran.</p><p>These days Curran works as a journalist with CNN, but three decades ago, he found himself in a very different position, as the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America. Curran was in Chicago recently for a convention of the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association, when he stopped by the StoryCorps booth with his partner, Noel Parks.</p><p>Curran was a freshman at UCLA, when he got a letter at his dorm. &ldquo;I opened it up and it was from the council executive, the head guy of the local scout council, the Mt. Diablo Council. And it said, &lsquo;Your application to attend the national jamboree is rejected. And we need to have a conversation about your future participation with scouting.&rsquo;</p><p>So I called the council executive from my dorm room and I said does this have something to do with the article in the [Oakland] Tribune? Does this have something to do with the fact that I&rsquo;m gay?&rdquo;</p><p>And he sort of hemmed and hawed and said &ldquo;Well, yes, and we can talk about it at Thanksgiving.&rdquo;</p><p>So that&rsquo;s what happened. My mother and my stepfather [and my troop leader] and I met with this council executive guy over Thanksgiving vacation and we had this lengthy conversation the gist of which was, &ldquo;Do you still espouse homosexuality?&rdquo; And I said: &ldquo;If by that are you asking whether I&rsquo;m still gay, the answer is yes.&rdquo;</p><p>And he said, &ldquo;Scouting does not believe that you have the moral qualifications to be a leader. And so we are revoking your registration in scouting, we&rsquo;re revoking your registration in your troop.&rdquo; And he said knowing that my troop knew that I was gay and was perfectly happy to have me. So that was the end of that.</p><p>I just remember shaking with anger at the injustice of it, but also sort of impotent to do anything about it. But also knowing that you&rsquo;re talking with this guy, it&rsquo;s a civilized conversation and you just have to keep cool and act like a scout would act.</p><p>And so in April of 1981, we filed suit against the Boy Scouts of America. We meaning myself and the ACLU of Southern California.<br />It was a trial with testimony, and both sides, my friends in scouting getting on the stand and me getting on the stand, and the council executive, all testifying.</p><p>And the judge at the trial ruled against us, so we appealed. And 18 years almost to the day after we filed that suit, I lost.</p><p>But I have to say that I think it&rsquo;s very much made me a better journalist.</p><p>Because unlike nearly all of the people I&rsquo;ve ever worked with in journalism, I know what it&rsquo;s like to be on the other side of the mic.<br />I volunteered for that. But it has very much informed the way that I treat others and the way that I concern myself with accuracy. Because I heard my story misreported a million times, and knew how the little details could be gotten wrong. And so I really struggled &ndash; much to the annoyance of my editors - to get those details, the nuances right, even though sometimes it takes more time to tell a story that way.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/gay-journalist-battles-boy-scouts-court-18-years-110793 U.S. defense bill provision would indefinitely detain American citizens http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-08/us-defense-bill-provision-would-indefinitely-detain-american-citizens-94 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-07/defense1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Last week, the Senate passed a defense bill that would give the military the power to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans suspected of terrorism, including those on U.S. soil.</p><p>Months after Osama Bin Laden's assassination and shortly before a complete withdrawal from Iraq, the bill appears to put the U.S. on war footing.</p><p>Civil libertarians are up in arms about the National Defense Authorization Act, saying it would enable the government to treat U.S. citizens just as they treated foreign detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Meanwhile, President Obama is leaving open the possibility of a veto.</p><p><a href="http://law.nd.edu/people/faculty-and-administration/teaching-and-research-faculty/douglass-cassel/" target="_blank">Doug Cassel</a>, <em>Worldview's</em> human rights contributor and a professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, provides analysis.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 09 Dec 2011 05:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-08/us-defense-bill-provision-would-indefinitely-detain-american-citizens-94 Burma’s powerful censorship chief makes startling call for more press freedom http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-18/burma%E2%80%99s-powerful-censorship-chief-makes-startling-call-more-press-freedo <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-18/burma2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Recently, journalist Kyaw Kyaw Aung of <a href="http://www.rfa.org/english/" target="_blank"><em>Radio Free Asia</em></a> published an unprecedented <a href="http://www.rfa.org/english/news/burma/censorship10072011203136.html?searchterm=None" target="_blank">interview</a> with Tint Swe, the powerful head of Burma’s Press Scrutiny and Registration Department. In it, the official pledged to end press censorship. We talk to Kyaw Kyaw about this surprising revelation and what it holds for Burma’s political and civic future.</p></p> Tue, 18 Oct 2011 17:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-18/burma%E2%80%99s-powerful-censorship-chief-makes-startling-call-more-press-freedo New study surveys the line between civil liberties and security http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-09/new-study-surveys-line-between-civil-liberties-and-security-91751 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-09/AP NORC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Since 9/11, the effort to increase collective security while preserving civil liberties proved to be controversial. The country increased airport security and the volume of surveillance cameras in public places. And then were less benign changes--the secret monitoring of communication and individuals held without charge, for example.</p><p>Ten years after the attacks, a <a href="http://www.apnorc.org/Common/pdfs/AP-NORC-Civil-Liberties-Security-9-11-Report.pdf" target="_blank">new report</a> from the <a href="http://www.apnorc.org/" target="_blank">Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research </a>explored how Americans prioritize security and liberty. One of the authors, <a href="http://www.norc.org/Experts/Pages/dan-gaylin.aspx" target="_blank">Dan Gaylin</a>, joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> from Washington to discuss the findings.</p></p> Fri, 09 Sep 2011 14:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-09/new-study-surveys-line-between-civil-liberties-and-security-91751 Does the death of Osama bin Laden change the legal game? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-04/does-death-osama-bin-laden-change-legal-game-86052 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-04/Osama Getty Majid Saeedi.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The death of Osama bin Laden has raised a number of significant questions. In the near decade since 9/11, the U.S. re-wrote laws to aid in the investigation, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists. Those changes have resulted in major contests over the balance between civil liberties and national security. Does the death of public enemy number one change the legal game?<br> <br> To find out, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> was joined by University of Chicago law professor <a href="http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/huq" target="_blank">Aziz Huq</a>.</p></p> Wed, 04 May 2011 14:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-04/does-death-osama-bin-laden-change-legal-game-86052