February 7th: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the constitutionality of Proposition 8, and a cancer patient's experience with a clinical trial. In the second hour, how the United States welcomes veterans of the Iraq War, and air travel myths.
NPR logo February 7th: What's On Today's Show

February 7th: What's On Today's Show

Prop 8 supporters Nadia Chayka (2-L) and her fiance Luke Otterstad (3-L) stand in between Prop 8 opponents Billy Radford (R) and Ron Weaver (L) as they stand outside of the Philip Burton Federal building August 4, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Decision On Gay Marriage In California
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will issue its opinion today on whether Proposition 8, a ballot measure that outlawed same-sex marriage in California, is constitutional. The decision is the latest development in the debate surrounding same-sex marriage in America. Regardless of the court's ruling, the decision could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where a decision could have far-reaching implications for same-sex marriage around the country. Guest host Lynn Neary speaks with NPR's legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg about the decision, what it says, and what happens next. And Rob Dillard, a reporter with Iowa Public Radio, talks about how the politics of same-sex marriage have changed since the Iowa Supreme Court legalized it nearly three years ago.

One Patient's View Of A Clinical Trial
A year after recovering from malignant melanoma, Mary Elizabeth Williams found out it had resurfaced on her back, this time in the form of metastatic, Stage 4 cancer. The news was devastating. But one glimmer of good news was that the first new melanoma drug in decades was undergoing its earliest clinical trials. Williams is in the midst of a series for Salon.com about her experiences with the clinical trial, and she joins guest host Lynn Neary to talk about it.

Parades, Or Low-Key Welcome for Iraq Vets?
The city of St. Louis held a big parade in January for veterans of the Iraq War. The grassroots effort drew an estimated 100,000 spectators and 20,000 participants. Now, 15 other cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles, are considering similar parades. Host Lynn Neary talks to historian Douglas Brinkley about how the U.S. has dealt with soldiers' returns from past wars, and Craig Schneider, who organized the parade in St. Louis.

Myths Of Air Travel
The claims airline passengers make about the altitudes, speeds, and durations of their flights are often embellished. Some claim planes plummet hundreds of feet at a time. Others say pilots steered planes toward the skies at a 45-degree angle. And when talking about flight times, passengers are wont to complain a trip from New York to Syndey feels like it took 35 hours. In a column for Salon.com, airline pilot Patrick Smith argues that our perceptions are definitely wrong. Guest host Lynn Neary talks with Smith about some myths of air travel.