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Being gay and Republican never felt like identities that were at odds to Jerri Ann Henry. She grew up in a conservative Christian family in Texas and was door-knocking for local politicians from the time she could walk. Later, she became a loud voice in the fight for marriage equality as the head of the group Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry and led the Log Cabin Republicans, a group representing gay conservatives.It seemed to her at the time that the party was moving toward acceptance of gay rights. But in recent years, with G.O.P. legislators backing anti-L.G.T.B.Q. laws in several states and the constitutional right to same-sex marriage potentially threatened after the reversal of Roe v. Wade, Henry has found herself wondering whether she still has a place in the Republican Party — or any party.(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)
Hours after this episode was released, the Supreme Court overturned New York State’s gun-permitting system — a decision with major implications for the regulation of guns outside the home. The case was, unsurprisingly, backed by the National Rifle Association. But it also found supporters in typically liberal public defenders, like Sharone Mitchell Jr.Mitchell is the public defender for Cook County, which includes Chicago, a city with some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Growing up on the South Side, Mitchell was raised to believe that guns are dangerous and harmful, a view that was reinforced by his experiences as a public defender and gun control advocate. But those experiences have also led him to believe that gun-permitting laws are harmful, as he explains to Lulu Garcia-Navarro in this episode.(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)
Parental rights. It’s a term that burst into the public consciousness in recent years. This year alone, 82 bills have been introduced in 26 states under the banner of parental rights. On issues such as masking, vaccine mandates, critical race theory and book bans, parents are showing up at school board meetings to demand a greater say in their children’s education and lives. And it has coalesced into a powerful political force on the right.Long before parents’ rights took center stage during the Covid pandemic, it was a cause championed overwhelmingly by the Christian home-schooling community. Will Estrada grew up in rural Pennsylvania in a family of eight home-schooled kids. Today he’s the president of the Parental Rights Foundation. In this episode, Estrada talks about the movement’s roots and why he believes the Democratic Party is missing an opportunity, and he answers Lulu Garcia-Navarro’s biggest question: Are parents’ rights truly rights for all parents, no matter their politics?(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)
If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks, tens of millions of women will find themselves living in states where abortion is outlawed in almost all cases. And for some women, that will mean having children — without actually wanting them — because they are left with no choice.That’s where Merritt Tierce, a writer, was 23 years ago. At 19, she was not planning to become a mother when she found herself pregnant. “I realized instantaneously when I saw the two pink lines appear telling me that I was pregnant, there was no way to go back to before that moment,” she said. “I was going to have to make a choice that was going to be impossible.” This is the story of the abortion Merritt Tierce didn’t have.Mentions and further reading:Merritt wrote about her experience for The New York Times Magazine.The collection of poems she mentions in the episode is called “Cries of the Spirit.”(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)
Introducing First Person

Introducing First Person


Every opinion starts with a story. Intimate conversations about the big ideas shaping our world, hosted by journalist Lulu Garcia-Navarro. Coming in June from New York Times Opinion.
Comments (2)

Emily Becker

Thank you, Sharone, for sharing your perspective on this complex issue and for pushing for real solutions that will make our communities safer.

Jun 24th

Douglas Van Aartsen

This was an excellent podcast. I loved the balance and I loved the erudite discussion. It helps us to see that among people on all sides of the issue there are those who are articulate and so far from being out of touch with reality that is laughable. thank you very much.

Jun 20th
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