tv Secretary of State Holds News Conference at UN in New York CSPAN August 1, 2022 6:53pm-7:33pm EDT
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behalf of the u.s., to kick off a critical 30 days. the conference for the treaty. this has been enforced for 50 years. it has made a powerful difference to the world in making the world a safer place, making it less dangerous, making sure that countries with nuclear weapons including the united states pursue disarmament, making sure that countries who do not have nuclear weapons do not acquire them by upholding and strengthening nonproliferation and making sure countries can engage in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, something that is more vital as we deal with the challenges posed by climate change. this is a critical moment for the ntt. it is a challenging one, too. different parts of the regime are under challenge. we see that in the area of
nonproliferation. challenges are imposed by iran, north korea, and by russia. so, the next 30 days, the work that is being done here, by countries around the world to reaffirm the nonproliferation treaty, to strengthen each one of its pillars, peaceful use is more vital than it has ever been. the united states will be here over the next month. we have 60 people on our team. we will be here every single day working with any and every country around the world, to strengthen this very vital regime. a treaty that has made a huge difference over the last 50 years and will continue to make a difference over the next 50 years. thank you. >> thank you mr. secretary. we hard to pretty dire forecast -- heard dire forecast this morning, from the secretary-general about nuclear annihilation. how worried are you about russia
occupying nuclear plants in ukraine? it doesn't have supervision, or chernobyl? what is your worst fear about speaker pelosi's trip to china? sec. blinken: first, on russia and ukraine. step back for one second. recall that when the soviet union dissolved, nuclear weapons were left on the territory of three new countries. ukraine had the confidence to give up the weapons that it inherited when the soviet union dissolved because of commitments that russia made to respect and protect its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. the fact that russia has done the opposite, that it has attacked ukraine, unprovoked in an effort to erase that sovereignty and independence, sends a terrible message to countries around the world that are making decisions about
whether or not to pursue nuclear weapons. so, stepping back, it is important to recognize that. more practically speaking, we are concerned about the fact that russia has taken over nuclear facilities in ukraine, particularly in one of the largest nuclear facilities in europe. there are reports, including in the media today that russia is using this plan as the equivalent of a nuclear shield and the sense that it is firing upon ukrainians from the plant. ukrainians cannot and will not fire back, lest there be a terrible accident involving the nuclear plant. this is the height of irresponsibility. it is vitally important that iea gets access to understand what is happening in these facilities and to make sure that they continue to be used to uphold all of the necessary commitments.
with regard to taiwan, first, the speaker will make her own decisions about whether or not to visit taiwan. congress is an independent coequal branch of government. the decision is entirely the speakers. what i can say is this, this is very much a precedent in the sense that the previous speaker has visited taiwan. many members of congress go to taiwan, including this year. so, if the speaker does decide to visit, and china tries to create some kind of crisis or otherwise escalate tension, that will be entirely on beijing. we are looking for them in the event that she decides to visit, to act responsibly and not engage in any escalation. caller: on the topic of grain,
we know the ship was able to get to the port of odessa today, carrying 26,000 tons of grain across the sea. can you give us an update on how that is going? do you expect more to get out to help food shortage? is that a sign of tension easing? sec. blinken: this is a good and important first step. we were pleased to see the first ship moved. it does have 27,000 tons of grain. keep in mind, there are 20 million tons that are in silos and storage in ukraine that has been held back by the russian blockade of odessa until now. they needs to get out, to places where people are in desperate need of food, so that prices continue to go down. not up. the test will be in the days and weeks ahead. it is a start. it is important. the leadership of the secretary general and the united nations has been absolutely instrumental
in getting us to this day, when we see the first ship moving. the test is really in the days and weeks ahead. more ships need to move, more grain needs to get to market. that is what will make a difference. caller: -- reporter: thank you mr. secretary. , you mentioned this morning that a return to the iran nuclear deal would be the best outcome for the world. are there any officials who signal the willingness to return to talks? it is the u.s. ready to return to talks? house speaker pelosi is stopping in taiwan tomorrow? sec. blinken: second part first read we don't know what speaker pelosi intends to do. but that is entirely her decision. and one we respect one way or the other. second, with regard to the jcpoa, we continue to believe, that that would be the best path forward, a return to compliance on both sides to the jcpoa to
make sure that we are putting the nuclear program back in the box and averting any kind of prices. -- crisis. the eu has put forward a desk -- forward the best proposal based on many months of discussions, negotiations, conversations. it is very consistent with something that they put forward in march that we agreed it to. but, it remains to be seen whether iran is willing and able to move forward. so, we remain prepared to move forward on the basis of what has been agreed. it is still unclear whether iran is prepared to do that. reporter: did you talk to prime minister kishida about nancy pelosi's visit to taiwan? did you share any concern about it? sec. blinken: i did not speak to the prime minister about that. i did have the opportunity to
speak to him this morning to say how powerful it is that he is here on on day one of the review conference. it sends a strong message around the world and commitment to this disarmament to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. it is both, as a matter of history and japan's leadership in the world, vitally important, i think the prime minister sends a strong message by being here on day one of the conference. i thank you very much for doing that. thank you. >> tonight president biden will give an update on a counterterrorism operation conducted in afghanistan. watches remarks from the white house live at 730 -- 7:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. c-span has unfiltered coverage of the house january 6 committee
hearings, investigating the attack on the capital. go to c-span.org/january 6 our rabbit resource page to watch the latest videos -- web resource page watch the latest videos on the subsequent investigations since january 6. we will have reaction from members of congress and the white house as well as a journalist and authors. go to c-span.org/january 6 for a fast and easy way to watch, when you cannot see it live. >> this week on the c-span networks, wednesday morning with the upcoming midterm elections, the senate judiciary commitee hears from the department of justice and cybersecurity officials on threats to election workers, the main republican senators suzanne collins and joe manchin testify before the senate rules committee about their ill on presidential --
bill presidential reform. fbi director christopher wray goes before the senate judiciary committee, while the senate remains in session one more week to debate a bill addressing energy needs, climate change, health care costs and taxes. watch this week, live on the c-span networks. headed to c-span.org for scheduling information or to stream video live or on-demand anytime. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. >> kevin jennings joins us next, he is the chief executive officer joining us from new york to talk about marriage equality and the future of lgbtq plus rights. lgbtq+ rights. tell us again about the work you do at lando legal. >> it is america's oldest legal
rights group for the lgbtq community. what we do is we impact litigation. we bring lawsuits in instances of discrimination, where we hope to win new rights for the lgbtq community. such as the supreme court decision in 2015 which made marriage equality the law of the land. host: -- guest: we have two priorities. our second priority is to defend the community from attacks. we are starting to see around the country where over 300 lgbt bills have been introduced in state legislatures in 2022. the top decision, which overturned roe v. wade, is very -- dobbs decision, which overturned roe v. wade, is very
concerning because it violated the right to privacy. and also, the lawrence versus texas decision, which was the 2000 three decision which decriminalized same-sex relationships. host: i want to ask you, in that decision, justice clarence thomas wrote this. i'm sure you are familiar with this. he said part of what he wrote, anyway. for that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this force substantive due processes, including griswold, lawrence and over fell, because any due process decision is demonstrably erroneous. we have a duty to correct the error established in these precedents. after overruling these erroneous decisions, the question would remain whether other constitutional provisions guarantee the myriad of rights that our substantive due process cases have generated.
what is the justice talking about in terms of this application of due process? guest: he lays out completely clearly. he feels that the doctrines that underlay marriage equality, access to contraception, which is the griswold decision, which dates back to 1965, and even decriminalization of same-sex relationships, he wants to throw them all out. this is a radical court. i think we need to recognize that, with very little respect for precedent. these are decisions that were decided by clear majorities where it is obvious, in the case of griswold, for almost 60 years, has been upheld numerous times. and the justice is basically saying i don't care about that. i don't care about precedent, i don't care about history. i don't like these things. i'd -- i want to throw them out. this is a political agenda, not
a legal agenda. let's be clear. host: were you surprised? guest: absolutely. the deponent -- opponents of equality have had these decisions in their site for years. -- one of his goals is to overturn lawrence versus texas. host: in response, but to assuage or relieve some fears, justice alito had these comments in his decision in that case. he said we have stated unequivocally that nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion. we have explained why that is so. rights regarding contraception and same-sex relationship are inherently different from the right to abortion.
because the latter, as we have stressed, uniquely -- therefore a right to an abortion cannot be justified by appeals to a broader right to autonomy. it is hard to see how we could be clearer. does that assuage your fears? guest: we will hold alito to his word. forgive me if my trust is not that high. virtually all the justices who voted for overturning dobbs said that roe v. wade was a precedent that would stand. and yet when they got the first opportunity to throw it out the window, they did. there is a little bit of a disconnect between the words and the actions of some of these justices. we certainly are going to take the words you just read and we are going to argue them forcefully across america.
we have to go back to what i said earlier, where we have a court where some justices are not intent on interpreting and following the law. there is fact about forcing a political agenda. it is hostile to voting rights and reproductive rights. it is fundamentally hospital -- hostile to lgbtq+ rights. i'm afraid legal doctrine may not be enough reduction. host: we are talking to kevin jennings about the future of lgbtq+ rights and recent supreme court decisions. and we are talking about what is being done in congress. here are the phone lines for republicans. it is (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. and for independents and others, (202) 748-8002. if you are a member of the lgbtq+ community, the line is
(202) 748-8003. were you surprised at all that after the abortion decision in particular came down, there was a delayed response from the white house? guest: i really was. i had hoped there would have been an immediate and forceful response, especially given that justice's opinion was leaked several weeks before it was -- justice alito's opinion was leaked several weeks before it was published. they are making up for lost time and doing things more aggressively now. they are talking about a fundamental human right, which is the right of people who get pregnant to control their own bodies. that to me calls for every use of legislative trick in the book to protect people. host: remind us again, same-sex was legal, correct. >> yes. it was a consolidation of several cases around the issue
of marriage equality. it made marriage equality, which was, up until then, if you look at one state, new york, you could be mary. in my home state of north carolina, you cannot. it made it the law of the land in all states. host: the u.s. house quickly moved to take up a measure that would codify that. that is the respect for marriage act, which has passed in the house. it would repeal the current defense of marriage act, which was passed in 1996. that 1996 act defined marriage as between one man and one woman. the defense of marriage why is it so important to get it codified into law? guest: litigation is responsible for the vast majority of lbgtq+ rights and if occurred, it was founded in 1973.
the bad thing is litigation can be overturned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] as we just learned so painfully the dobbs decision. so it is critical that the right to marry be written into the law. so that future courts cannot overturn it. and i'm delighted to say that the congress, at least the house seems to be listening to america. after all, over 70% of americans support marriage equality including 51% of republicans and in honor of that, it seems 47% republicans voted for the respect for marriage act and it passed by an overwhelming margin. we are very hopeful that there will be action in the senate where it pins right now and if you care about this issue, i urge you to contact your senator right away. because they have a agenda in the senate. we want to make sure this doesn't get lost. but it's absolutely critical that we codify the right to marry into the law so it cannot
be overturned by legal law. host: what is your group doing? guest: we are begging for people to get in touch with our senators. this is going to be the voice of people to make the difference. the vast majority of americans do want this legislation, which polling indicates they do, they are going to do the right thing. but if we sit at our hands and hope for the best, nothing is going to advance. host: do you happen to know how many states have codified same-sex marriage into law? guest: we're talking about the teens. in 2004, 11 banned same-sex marriage and what we're really facing is a patchwork situation where we still have some states that have constitutional bans on the books while we have other states that have marriage equality on the books.
and the court could throw us back to a period of incredible confusion because you could be married in new york and drive across the border to pennsylvania and lose your legal status. and we want to avoid that at all cost. host: there was a headline a couple of weeks ago in the "new york times" after the court had finished its session. the headline from the "times" said "afro, republicans sharpened attacks on gay and transgender rights." what's been the reaction of the people that you worked with, the community, the gay and lbgtq+ community where you are on those sorts of attacks? guest: well, we knew this was coming. the justices are people that used to like lay's potato chips. they can't stop with just one. they reversed voting rights and holder versus shelby county in 2013, they reversed, reproductive rights in the dobbs decision in 2022 and they're
coming for our rights next. we know our opponents have cases tee'd up if they want to take it to the supreme court. that would reverse all the gains we've made in the last 49 years. so we're not stupid. we knew this was coming and we are prepared. i think in the community at large, there's a tremendous amount of fear. the lbgtq community was ill legal be gay in 49 states. it was illegal to open a lbgtq person -- employ a lbgtq person in the government and it was mental illness and this was recent history for our community and people are very aware that the progress we have made is fragile and it can be reversed. so we could be going back in the battle days when we were de facto and criminals in our own country. host: kevin jennings, our guest.
we will go to jack from georgia on the independent line. good morning. caller: yes, sir, good morning. i would like to ask mr. jennings on -- i mean, i'm originally from salina, georgia, i'm not gay but i know very fine gay couples that are very highly educated people and very productive people and since he was talking about this abortion issue, the right to life. what about the gay couples who want to adopt children and i haven't heard any saying on since they've gotten into the abortion issue, how do they stand on even heterosexual couples and gay couples who might want to raise children, instead of a person going in and having an abortion. have they ever thought about maybe, you know, carrying out
the pregnancy and then put the child up for adoption for gay couples and heterosexual couples want a family unit and to be able to show them right from wrong from their perspective? host: ok, jeff. kevin jennings. guest: jeff, thank you for your question. this was an area that we've been litigating for many years. unfortunately the right to foster children has been bridged in the rights of same-sex couples more many, many years in the country. we're litigating a case right now what lesbian couple was denied the right to adopt a child by an adoption agency which was a religious agency and said because a lesbian couple did not mirror the holy family, they were not eligible to have an adoption.
i find that offensive. i find that bizarre. in a world in which we do have many, many, many children who do not have a home, we need to make sure that every loving couple can adopt those children if they want to provide them with a loving home. the fact is if you are a teenage foster care child, you have a 3% chance of ever being adopted. why would we prevent people who want to adopt these children, who want to provide them with loving homes, who want to provide them with the home they've never had the right to adopt? lambda legal believes they should have the right on whether or not they could provide those children with a good home and we are litigating to make sure same-sex couples have an equal opportunity to adopt. host: those are generally state laws that govern how adoption is held is carried out in those states, correct? guest: it's more complicated
than that because often the federal government contracts out the adoption services to private providers. for example, in the u.s. conference of catholic bishop received the only contract to foster refugee children in the united states. and we sued in nashville on behalf of kelly easter who was a lesbian and who want todd foster a refugee child because of her sexual orientation. and we are determined that regardless of who is providing the adoption services, if they're funded with your tax dollars, discrimination should not be used. host: let's hear from morgan next from reading, pennsylvania. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. mr. jennings, i was just wondering are you concerned
about how the republican party seem to be embracing nazis and klan. two groups who have historically murdered gay people and how they seem to be embracing them and showing them love and support which started when trump called them good people in charlottesville when they murdered a young woman? is there like any concern and the governor of florida who wanted to stop black lives matter from protesting was silent when the neo-nazis were protesting which just says he accepted them and had no problem with them. and what they believe in, which is murdering gay people. do you have any concerns about their seemingly growing support of these two groups? guest: absolutely, morgan. great question.
in idaho in june, the police had to arrest over 30 members of a far right group who had arrived in town who had been incited to attack a pride celebration. so it is getting very, very dangerous to be a lbgtq+ person. it has always been dangerous and it is getting more so. the same thing is true for people to have color the same thing is true for religious groups such as jews and muslims. so i think that we have to have political leaders who regardless of their ideology conservative, liberal, progressive, whatever you want to say who make it absolutely clear that hate groups and hate violence simply will not be tolerated. and it is very disturbing to me when i see hate groups being called very fine people by our former president and when i see disparate treatment when extreme right groups are allowed to protest and people on the left hand side of the spectrum are shut down by the authorities.
so i think that we have to be very concerned about the rise of extremism on the right and the threat it poses to many different groups in our society and the fact that some political leaders seem to think that that's just fine and embracing it including frankly, our former president. host: your calls for kevin jennings are welcomed. the republican line, 202-748-8001. 202-748-8000 for democrats. independents and others, 202-748-8002. and the lbgtq+ community can call on 202-748-8003. kevin jennings, did your group, lambda legal have a role in florida in the parents' right bill? the so-called don't say gay bill. do you have a role on that? guest: yes, we filed a legal challenge to the law and we plan to take it down in court.
i started my career as a high school teacher for 10 years. and whose parental rights are we defend something it is not the rights of lbgtq+ parents who are now being told whose children are now being told they can't even talk about who their family is in class. it is not the rights of parent who is have lbgtq+ children who are seeing their own children being silenced and discriminated against. so if we're going to talk about parental right, let's talk about all parents. lbgtq+ parents, there are parents who have lbgtq+ children. there are parent who is have lbgtq+ siblings. and i don't think any of those people want to see children told that they conditional even talk about who's in their family, which is what this law would do. the law is blatant censorship to
erase and violence lbgtq+ people. i'm tired of hearing about parents rights when we don't talk about all parents. all parents are not bigots. many parents are lbgtq+ or have lbgtq+ children are family members and they want to see their children learn about the full diversity of america. and these laws are violating them and that's what we're defending. host: nelson from hollywood, florida, republican line. caller: good morning, mr. jennings. and you radical democrats always talk about something is wrong when it's convenient for you. i'd like to point out, sir, that it was settled that marriage is between one man and one woman. the united states of america has no such thing as settled law that has been proven over the years with things like roe v.
wade. i am delighted that roe v. wade has been overturned and i believe the law that protects young children from propaganda by people like yourself, i mean no disrespect, but like people like yourself is a good thing. it only goes up to the third grade. i also think that it is wrong to try to turn little boys into little girls. something that your organization is in favor of. there are now children who believe that they are of a gender that they are not. and in years to come, those very same children whom you have harmed by your legal processes will come back to haunt you because they will have all kinds of emotional and psychological
problems as well as physical problems for the kinds of things that's been going on. host: i'll give you a chance to respond, kevin jennings, to our caller's comments. guest: sure there's really two questions in there. one was talking about lbgtq+ issues in schools and the second was around issues of gender identity and genter affirming care for young people. first of all, i do not consider it
the government should interfere in a person's right to choose are also arguing that people should interview -- intervene in a decision that should be left to families. are we profamily or some families? it seems we are only pro for families whose ideology aligns with the conservative wing. host: next up is on the democrats line. >> good morning. i have a quick question and i'm not here to stereotype or make any type of commotion about what gender may be. my concern is that i think it should be were little girls, boys identities, not to know whether they're supposed to marry a woman, a man. it is just too much confusion. it should have almost day in the closet. maybe i am old-fashioned.
maybe it should be how what used to be and there would not be so much psychological pain and hurt among anyone. it has generated a whole mess. thank you. host: we will go to joe in austin, texas. caller: good morning. thank you, c-span. the comment i would like to make is that as a survivor of violent crime, a violent hate crime. i think people are being disingenuous when they say they are caring about anyone in society when they have these type of laws. they say they go to church but i find that hard to believe, that they ever listen to any of the church doctrine, to love and
care and respect. i am 63. i find it to be just disgusting behavior on their part. that is all i have to say, thank you. host: ok. kevin jennings, your thoughts. guest: limited the first callers comments first. what has caused the pain and confusion. pres. biden: my fellow americans, on saturday at my direction, the united states successfully concluded an airstrike in afghanistan that killed ayman al-zawahri. al-zawahri was bin laden's leader. he was with him the whole time. he was as number two man, the deputy at the time the terrorist attack 9/11. he was deeply involved in the planning of 9/11.