House passes historic LGBTQ rights bill

The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act Friday, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender.
19:31 | 05/17/19

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Transcript for House passes historic LGBTQ rights bill
All right now on this fifteen. Your anniversary today that Massachusetts became. The first state in the nation to legalize same sex marriage the House of Representatives making. That mile senator thanks again to Chris Pappas of New Hampshire he is the first openly gay member of congress elected from the state of New Hampshire. But now turning to their continuing humanitarian crisis on the southern border of the United States officials in Florida say that the trump administration has begun. In their words don't be an undocumented migrants who showed up on the border in Texas in their state they say. And this is caught them by surprise and our immigration reporter a quick no and is here to tell us. I just what's going on Quinn great to see you this really had a lot of of the Florida aren't congressional delegation really upset over. It sent local officials in Florida scrambling I talked to a couple of them down there who had no idea this was good coming down the pike. They heard from DHS officials and Customs and Border Protection officials that they would start sending as many as a thousand migrants split between two different counties. In Florida and it it's something where they will now have to start contacting nonprofits. Local businesses shelters to to try and prepare. And we've been hearing from senator Marco Rubio a Florida was tweeting. This overnight he's Ari fired off a letter a letter to the Department of Homeland Security take a look here he says. In a letter read the acting secretary he's demanding to know why the airplane in transport 500 unlawful migrants to Palm Beach and Broward counties in Florida. What he says is an unprecedented flow of asylum seekers sort of toeing the line there. And Quinn because as a Republican he's of course trying to support the president and his efforts to stem the tide of immigrants be doesn't want them if Florida. Well that's right and the letter that he sent to the DHS acting secretary had some pretty basic questions like. Why are you doing this and how are you doing this so it seems clear that there might be some communication breakdown between elected officials and Florida and the department of Atlantic. And I think there was a little bit of a communication breakdown we heard that repeatedly not just from the congressional delegation here in Washington DC but also from the local sheriff. Down in Florida and the governor were both Republicans Nicholas. We spent a lot of time to make sure that people don't come in to South Florida illegally. Well guess what the federal government now is bring in of people that have come into the country illegally to us. That it came across over an El Paso and then I just I don't think it's right in the. We cannot accommodate in Florida. Just dumping the unlawful migrants I'm into our state I think you know pacts are our resources. The schools the health care law enforcement state agencies. So what's Homeland Security saying about all this you've been asking how. We have administration officials close their plant and we've been asking for days and with the Washington Post has reported that they are using planes to transport migrants between border stations in Texas but that's the so far plans to transport people outside of the states that's not something they've commented on it of course the president had tweeted. A few weeks back that he. What's gonna try to do this to punish us political enemies he certainly has quite a few down in southern Florida so we'll have to see if the answer that question meanwhile Quinn. This afternoon in California a federal court is hearing arguments for the first time in that case brought by the ACLU challenging the president's emergency declaration for the border toss about that. Oh that's right so lawyers for the ACLU they're representing a commission of a border a coalition of border community groups that say any kind of wall on the southern border. Is going to be really impact full not only for it for their work but to the environment along the southern border. The Department of Homeland Security has issued a whole variety of waivers. Four laws like the Clean Air Act. The Clean Water Act and that's all to make way for border wall that's going to eventually be built there. All right we will stamp how but I case we understand the federal judge out there in California could decide today and at least the first stage in that case which could be down for the Supreme Court Quinn oh and aren't immigration reporter thank you so much thank you. By shifting gears now two this month of mental awareness. And mental health this shot we're shining the spotlight today and the issue of veteran suicides which of reached. Staggering. Level in this country think about this the number of veterans in the United States. Who have lost their lives to suicide in the past year around 6000. Now surpasses the total number Americans killed in the line of duty. In Afghanistan Iraq and Syria. It's a staggering number ABC's chief medical correspondent doctor John Ashton has been covering this issue she recently spoke with a Vietnam veteran. Whose grandson died of suits. You suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. When you hear about other veterans suffering. What goes through your mind. Well it Hirsch. High hat I have posttraumatic stress. And Mike Kelley explained it to him one time match likened to me it's like a piece of psychics shrapnel. Stuck in your brain and its not it's never coming out. And it it's fair that it makes me very sad. To hear that these people look struggle. What EU wish. Our country. Knew about veterans. And mental illness in particular. You know that's a good question but. I wish everybody would have to walk and a veteran shoes. I don't think you have a lot of people walking the act but could you get less than 1% that do. And doctor Jane Ashton joins us now from New York doctor Jan great to see you hang you have had firsthand experience with suicide as well we'll talk about that coming up a want to ask you about this issue veteran suicide that you've been looking into it is simply. Stunning than these number 6000 how bad is it right now. It's an epidemic it's part of the suicide epidemic that we're facing in this country. And the numbers that are affecting veterans are particularly high risk group. You know they're in in the last year alone there were 260. Suicide attempts on VA properties in this country alone. And a large part of it has to do with untreated mental illness. Like post traumatic stress disorder the highest risk facing these veterans for suicide is in the first year after they'd seen active duty. And in raiding my book life after suicide I spoke. To Kimbrough go whose husband and a marine died of suicide and she now runs the taps organization the tragedy assistance. Program for survivors. In the military they edged provided. Post traumatic care for over 101000. Military families and they really are focusing on the healing. That affects the families of someone who loses a loved one to suicide and their premise which I think is amazing. Is post traumatic growth. So we've all heard of PT SD this is the other arm of and that and through this taps program in the military. That you can actually experienced post traumatic growth so they're doing some really incredible. Things. Yeah it's neat it's so badly especially for survivors families the whole community really needs to be talking about gas issue were also joined here. By Terry two kneeling and she's with the Rand Corp. a mental health expert and and it is studied specialized. In a veteran suicide testified a couple which suitable for congress in this Terry great to have you come in. You really could have called this a national security problem as well tolls about why you see is that. As you heard since I. International public health crisis of potentially contacting. Its right now and far batter and it's a really serious challenge and a complex issue that needs to be addressed. He's the same men and women who we sought to protect but better body armor and print technology. And policies that really helped improve injury survivability. Now that they take the uniform off we ready to make sure that we have the systems in place to address the risks and needs that they may face so that we can prevent suicide. And doctors and what what is than even the most urgent need that the government and health care service providers can give to these veterans what. And what needs to be done right now. You know they're entitled to the best medical care it in in the country the best we have to kid and that includes mental health. You know in general in Madison today we tends not to take things as seriously if we can't see them. So things that go on above the neck are given less priority then things like heart disease or cancer unfortunately and we need to change that. And by the way and as a woman's health specialists we need to provide better medical care for our female veterans. As well which includes more gynecologists in VA hospitals which is is a severe problem right now so. In this month mental health awareness month. We need to really remember. That it's a check up from the neck up and we need to take care of people's spirits and their brains and their minds as well as the rest of their body. The health care community also scrambling to hire and train more mental health experts as well to meet that need. You know Terry it we were talking earlier about some of the ways we can combat this and address a problem sounds like from your research access to firearms. Particularly among veterans is a key area that. That the government policy makers can zero in on. We know that reducing access to lethal means a works and preventing suicides and for veterans that means we need to seriously address the risk that guns pose. And so we need to create enact and study new policies that will read to use act fast. To firearms for those their arrest. Among the suicide deaths 78%. And the past year of where the through the results of a firearm. And so we must draft. That's the policies act worked to promote firearm safety health care professionals must be able to talk. About firearms safety went there patients including batter and. In gent chop talk a little bit about what survivors family members you're among them. What you've learned your your new book is out life after suicide we should we show the current rate spent. The past week pretty much traveling the country talking to people about this issue that doesn't get a lot of attention yeah what can all of us learn in in in bringing to the table in trying to help combat this ourselves well. You know a first of all some numbers we know 47000. Americans died by suicide in 2017. And it's estimated that for every death by suicide. They're a 135. People who are directly affected by that death. That's over six million people a year and to put just the deaths into context. That is more people than die of breast cancer every year and it's up about the same number. Of people who died at the peak of the aids epidemic so this is something that we need to. Two you know fill the boat all hands on deck and we need to provide some major care for those survivors of which IA and my children. Are among them and that means the potential for post traumatic growth. And and healing after this really tragic type of trauma and loss. And Terry when you were on Capitol Hill last week what was the reception from members of congress did you get the sense that there's actually going to be some momentum around veteran suicides do they see. The problem then Jen just laid out. I do think they see it's out we had three adhering to dates and as soon as that military veteran suicide we have another one scheduled for next week and even more I think coming this summer. So I think they understand that there's a problem and they're looking toward solutions. My testimony where they tried to outline what else we can you be on the efforts that are are you being undertaken by DOD and VA and as well as and I Amy Chen stance who are on the front lines of trying to really create system level change. But we really need to create healthier environments. We need to ensure as doctor ash and sad that everyone has access to high quality mental health services and America. That's necessary concerning the numbers are going up they've been aware of it for years have been talking about it for years maybe not to the degree that we bit we have men and in recent months but. But this is this is really troubling. We've been talking about it for ten years we've had multiple task force as many reports new SaaS strategies released. Yet the numbers still climb and say we need to be more crescent. And we should say I doctor Jens new book like after suicide is a great resource for anybody. A dealing with this issue in their lives or their families Fisher checked that out just as a podcasts and should. A remind everybody that is concerned about suicide there is a national suicide prevention hotline. Our resources available 24/7. For anybody that your concerned about your having issues contemplating it's 180273. Talk. 1802738255. And Anderson the even have some specially trained staff for military families and veterans as well. Our thanks to doctors and ashen her thinks you Terry thank you so much for coming in. Moving on now finally today here in a briefing and we're gonna marked the 65 anniversary. Of the landmark Supreme Court decision in brown vs board of education that was the Supreme Court K 65 years ago. That desegregated America's schools there's a groundbreaking new study out now about how we're doing in all of this process and our education reporter. I Sophie Tatum is here something great to see you so tell us about this for search that researchers at UCLA have done. Looking at all of America's school systems how segregate or are we right now. Yeah I mean it's really fascinating thing you know essentially what the study Ted was it showed that although a diversity among the student population is increasing. Segregation across the country is. Gotten worse over the past thirty years in fact and so. You know one of the interesting gotten worse it got them weren't exactly in you know. One of the points or want to make sure I get my numbers ray but. And by 201640%. Of black students were in a school with 90% or more students of color now just like one of the points that. The study looked as an example. Of kind of what this picture looks like. So even 65 years later we're still strewn this interest in finding in the states and is that New York. Actually has the highest levels of segregation for black students in schools according to stay 65%. An African American students are in what they called intensely. Segregated minority schools joining us now from new Yorker to advocates looking to change that address that on this anniversary were joined by. Fancy losing court she's the chief of staff of the organization. Integrate New York city and Ayman Abdul director of education and engagement. At integrate great to see you both thanks so much you for coming in so he. Paint a picture for folks are outside of New York who are familiar with the school system that urine. How bad is it what do you see what does it mean that New York City is according to this study the most segregated school system in the conflict. I mean I think it shows that news he has a lot of work to do when it comes to the public education system. As a student that went to a public high school. I saw firsthand the effects of school segregation. In terms of the lack of diversity in the teachers the disparity of resources the schools in the same city. I'd if we believe that a somethings who just because a lot of our students are piecing this issue firsthand. And it really does have a detrimental effect on educational experience. And France he what is your organization. Doing on this anniversary to try to affect change what do you want New York City. In New York State. Schools schools to do. That's a very question what it's a written YC a youth led organization finds and to reduce the public schools. To date to celebrate the 65 anniversary. Yes we have fought scenes across all Five Boroughs of New York. Handing out a you've created new most paper. Where our campaign is retired segregation. Because of the 65 years and essentially the newspaper compile those testimonies statistics. And policy proposals on what we can do it three new city schools and the fop are platform. And that we believe is the best way to do that. And bring it back here to Sophie who's looked at the study Sophie. From I was struck also the high you know it's not just New York for the high point for the country and integration. Students is back in 1988 yeah that's stray cat out of the peak I think the pathetic and were thinking maybe which you know outside New York City regionally where we've seen the most segregation which parts of the. Country you know I think that the taste of the there was New York for blacks in with most are gonna but meanwhile on the other part of the country California had not been the most segregated for Latino students. You know it's just a different picture. For or wherever you are really but. Interesting a looked at interestingly enough. The ink it's gotten worse I believe everywhere except for the midwest so without just kind of and to some point the pathetic. And indeed in midwest actually it was. Surprisingly didn't of the midwest has I'm an advocate coming back to you how much of this do you think. Is natural segregation families of course you know live together move into cultural communities. Some of our followers and social media. We're pointing out that were pretty far cry from Jim Crow. In many parts of the country. And there's a curiosity about how much of this is systemic is orchestrated by our policy makers and how much of it might be natural do you have a sense of that. I'm for definitely infants that make it is definitely I can stated by policymakers and this is all intentional segregation is intentional. Until like yes we do you have neighborhood and that predominantly of those people and it's. Natural aggregation and that different ways that were segregated and it's not only by race. And let integrate and my feelings about the five our platform and where we say these five iris. Working simultaneously. Is what can integrate a school and it's not just one if not just to it's literally off five and Philippine Grayson and homemade. Resource is relationships across the bike and eightieth historian Jack stands. And relationships across. But representational. Nineteenth isn't that happens is five eyes and thought and if those made that Wear off segregated and let's not just by a race. But it's by off five things and that we have to make sell off five r.'s act equitable and I are working simultaneously in. According to achieve real integration. That's an important issue for sure we know they had to are raising your voices in the applies you. For participating in the debating thank you so much for coming here and ABC news live today. Ayman Abdul and front seat losing court with integrate MYC on the 65 anniversary and you're welcome on the sixtieth anniversary now the brown vs board of education decision the Supreme Court protests have Sophie Tate and making her briefing room debuted you. On a Friday in great to have you with us here in the briefing room all this week a lot to cover today. You can find the latest on all these stores including the big abortion battle that's far falling out right now across the country and abcnews.com. Download BBC news app. For the latest on all those stories hope you have a great weekend we'll be back here Monday 3:30 eastern. And Devin Dwyer Washington. Xena.

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