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Voices from the Southern closet
A couple holds hands during a protest in Raleigh N.C.
March 22nd, 2013
06:25 PM ET

Voices from the Southern closet

Editor's Note: All month long  CNN Radio has been bringing you stories related to the issue of same sex marriage because next week the U.S. supreme court will hear  two key cases regarding same-sex marriage.  For part of that series we're focusing here on the South.

By Tommy Andres, CNN and Jenny Ament, CNN

(CNN) – Conservative values and religion are two key dividers on gay marriage, and recent Pew studies have found that opposition to same-sex unions is significantly higher in the Bible Belt than any other region of the country. While support for gay marriage has been rising everywhere nationwide, the uptick in the South has been markedly slower. We reached out to our listeners and asked what it's like to be gay in the South. We set up a 1-800 number and they called in to tell us their stories.  Here are three of those stories.

Brandon is 25 and lives in Denver, but he grew up in Boone, North Carolina. He's planning on taking a job as a truck driver and many of his routes will canvass the South. Brandon says he plans on going back into the closet to avoid ruffling feathers. This is his story:

John didn't come out of the closet until after college. He couldn't. He had become president of his fraternity at an SEC school and feared that if he revealed his sexuality he would lose everything. This is his story:

Narissa is planning her wedding, but she's facing a tough decision. Should she have the ceremony in her home state where an amendment was passed just last year banning gay marriage, or in the Northeast where her bond would be legally recognized? This is her story:

CNN Radio News Day: March 22, 2013
US President Barack Obama reviews the honour guard during a welcome ceremony at Al-Hummar Palace in Amman, Jordan.
March 22nd, 2013
04:39 PM ET

CNN Radio News Day: March 22, 2013

CNN Radio News Day is an evening news program providing an informative, thoughtful and creative look at the day's events. It's posted Monday through Friday at 4:30 pm ET.

You don’t have to be at this blog to listen, we want you to take us with you! Click the download button in the SoundCloud player and put us on your smart phone or tablet and bring us with you in the car, on the train or while you’re working out.

(CNN) – Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.

  • Jordan has a close relationship to the crisis in Syria. Due to the ongoing civil war there, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have taken refuge in Jordan – an estimated 460,000. It's put a massive strain on Jordan's already ailing economy, and was a key topic of discussion between King Abdullah and U.S. President Barack Obama, who met in Amman Friday. King Abdullah welcomed another $200 million in aid from the U.S.:

"We are so grateful to the U.S. assistance in shouldering this enormous responsibility." FULL POST

March 22nd, 2013
04:04 PM ET

Tearing up over Passover's bitter herbs

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

Riverhead, New York (CNN) – A bitter, hot, gnarly looking root plays a key role in the upcoming seder meal at the center of the Jewish holiday Passover. Horseradish symbolizes the bitter existence the Israelites experienced in slavery under the Pharaoh in Egypt. Most people get it from a jar but it’s actually quite easy to make.

[3:21] “It’s predominantly sold for Passover and for Easter also people use it but yeah, this is the season,” said Phillip Schmitt, owner of the Schmitt family farm in Riverhead, New York. “It’s a pretty ugly root when it first comes out of the ground. I mean all these little ones are all attached. It’s pretty wild looking.”

FULL POST

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Filed under: Culture • Faith • Food • Soundwaves • Stories
War veterans left hanging
Sgt. Tyrone Carelock wears the Purple Heart medal for wounds suffered while serving in Iraq during a ceremony November 1, 2006 in Washington, DC.
March 22nd, 2013
09:59 AM ET

War veterans left hanging

By Libby Lewis, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

Follow on Twitter: @libbylewiscnn

(CNN) - "One thousand four hundred sixty days is the number of days I've been waiting for the VA to process my appeal."

That's the sentiment of veteran Jacob Worrell who spent 16 months in Iraq as a sergeant and team leader for the 172nd Striker Brigade.

When he left the Army, he filed a disability claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs for help with the medical problems and the post-traumatic stress disorder he brought back. That was 6 years ago.

Worrell's in Washington this week with dozens of vets who are lobbying lawmakers and the White House - asking them to fix the government agency charged with taking care of the nation's veterans.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Politics • Soundwaves • Stories
CNN Profiles: His 'damn channel'
My Damn Channel co-founder, Rob Barnett.
March 22nd, 2013
07:00 AM ET

CNN Profiles: His 'damn channel'

Hosted by Michael Schulder

Follow Michael at: www.wavemaker.me

Editor's Note: Listen to the full interview in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - How many executives does it take to make an executive decision?

As many as possible.

I just made that joke up as I thought about what I learned from our guest this week on CNN Profiles – which you can hear by clicking the play icon on the podcast.

His name is Rob Barnett.

The comedian Jackie Mason, a family friend, once said to me when I raved about an undiscovered performer I knew: "If she's so great, how come I've never heard of her?"

"If Rob Barnett is so great," I asked the CNN Profiles guest booking team...

They urged me to check out Barnett's comedy web site, My Damn Channel.

My Damn Channel?

I wish I had thought of that name.

Every time I get an idea that excites me I convince myself it's a potential brand - I think up a domain name - fall in love with the name - look it up - and if it's available, I buy it. I've been doing this for years - running up big bills. No brands.

I recognized I have a problem - an addiction that others probably have too. That's when I came up with Domain Names Anonymous. Incredibly, the name was available. Yes I did.

I know success on the internet is not quite as simple as figuring out the right URL.

Quietly, over the past 6 years, at www.MyDamnChannel.com, Rob Barnett has assembled what amounts to a repertory company - actually multiple repertory companies - cranking out what has struck me as consistently funny original comedic episodes.

How has Barnett accomplished this?

How many executives does it really take to make an executive decision?

FULL POST

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Filed under: CNN Profiles • Culture • Entertainment • Voices