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(generated from captions) and the laws need to reflect broader social values. And make sure they're not based on prejudice and misinformation.Rob, what do you think we should do?I think it's a really bad idea to leave the future of human nature and our genes up to the free market or even to individual choice. When the reality is there's an enormous amounts of money to be made here, businesses are offering these services aggressively, marketing them, we know where that goes. Thank you very much too for all your stories tonight. It's been fascinating discussion. You can keep talking on our Facebook page, on Twitter or on our website. While you're there, you can find information about some of the technologies that we've heard about tonight. Next week on Insight, online abuse. The trolls tell us why they think it's an art form. We'll be back next week.Supertext captions by Red Bee Media -

This program is captioned live. Hello and welcome to Dateline. Tonight, the crucial swing states - we go on the campaign trail in North Carolina where the Democrats have deployed their best as set. Are you fired up?But will this pledge by the President ruin his chances.It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.It's unnatural. It's unscriptual for a woman to have a woman, for a man to have a man.If I'm honest I had a moment saying my God I think he just lost the presidency.

presidency.The controversy over gay marriage in just a moment. But also tonight we meet the new Noah and his backyard ark.Exotic creatures great and small, either discarded as domestic pets or traded illegaly have found a home with this good Samaritan.

Plus, Rags to Riches - a heart warming story from the Philippines where women from the slums use scrap cloth to make luxury items for sale in upmarket boutiques.Do you sew the bags?Est.The project is managed by this dynamic young woman, determined to make a difference.I believe that everyone should have the chance for a better life and better opportunities. There are just four weeks to go now before America decides whether to return Barack Obama to the White House or put Mitt Romney there. In these final weeks of campaigning it's the economy, the Middle East and health the Middle East and health care that are shaping the Obama Romney battle. But there is one highly emotive issue at play in the key swing state of North Carolina. President Obama's recent declaration of support for gay marriage. It's said that widespread opposition to gay marriage helped George W Bush into office. So how is this divisive issue likely to affect Obama's black support base? Aaron Thomas support base? Aaron Thomas went to find out.

Four more years!Say it again. For more years.The campus of North Carolina's central university is humming with anticipation.I got here at 6.30 this morning.You're excited?Very excitedmentFor the students of this historicically black university, America's first public Liberal arts college for African Americans, there is one policy they want to hear about most from any visiting politician. Anything that keeps me in all I'm all for it.But for the most part people are just after a glimpse of the Obama magic.First lady Obama to speak to us and get us pumped up for the t us pumped up for the election.This state has one of the largest African American populations in the country. More than one in five are black, making them a key constituency see.Let's welcome back to North Carolina the first lady h Carolina the first lady of the US. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) The people of North Carolina aren't used to receiving this much political attention during campaign season. But at the last election the state went Democrat for the first time in 32 years and it's now a clear battle ground for the Romney camp if it's going to win the White House and roll back President Obama's agenda.All off progress, all that is all on the line this s all on the line this November. It's all at stake. As t's all at stake. As my husband has said, this election will nd has said, this election will be even closer than the last one. Think back to what happened in this state in 2008. Back then we won North Carolina by 14,000 votes. h Carolina by 14,000 votes. Alright. That is just 5 votes per precinct. Do you hear me? Five!The first lady has been called the lady has been called the President's seegt weapon and she expertly arms the crowd with arguments to convince undecided voters.Tell them about the millions of jobs Barack has created, about Barack has created, about the health reform he passed and ealth reform he passed and about all of the kids who can finally attend college, tell them how Barack ended the war in Iraq. Are you fired up? Are you ready to go? Alright, let's get to work. Thank you. God bless. Afterwards the rock star welcome continues. There is no doubting the Obama's popularity with this crowd. But in the 30 minute speech there was one policy position the President took a few months ago that didn't months ago that didn't get a mention.This is an ABC News special report.There is big breaking news from the White House. This is an historic political and cultural moment in this country. ral moment in this country.At a certain point I have just concluded that for me personaly it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think sex sex couples should be able to get married.Actually if I'm honest I had ly if I'm honest I had a moment saying oh my God, think he just lost the presidency. This congregation in suburban Charlotte is mostly lesbian, gay and transsexual. Some par rixers drive a couple of - parishionerers drive a couple of hours to be here in a church where they feel accepted. But no not all of them are ute to their communities and their identity needs to be protected. Bishop Rawls says the mainstream church's stance has caused enormous damage.Wreckage of not embracing the gay and lesbian child of God within the black church has the black church has done something that has never happened in our history as black people ur history as black people in America. That was to dare erica. That was to dare present something tied to personage that says God cannot accept you and does not love you as you are. Because evens if a black slave, their skin colour, yes, was black, but their soul was free in God. And we stood on that. It was our faith that got us through slavery, that got us through Jim Crow, got us through the oppression of the civil rights era, right? We marched on our faith. We sang faith songs. But th. We sang faith songs. But what happens if someone suggests to me that I no longer have a right to those songs?The President's support for gay marriage came the day after a controversial referendum here.It came right on the heels of a landslide win with the state saying we don't want anything that even resembles gay marriage in the state of North Carolina. To have a sitting President say, "Well, actually, I support it" was huge. Bishop Rawls believes the President's announcement has created a space for people of faith to talk about homosexuality.In one on one conversations what I find is that in those discussions many of my black colleagues are much less hard line. I am finding an increasing number of clergy, black and white, of clergy, black and white, who are willing to do the journey and to say, "I don't get it all, but this is worth exploration" and it is also worth exploration with those whose views differ from mine.I want to thank all of you for coming out for this news conference today. My name is William Owens, I'm the founder of the coalition of black American pastors.Not all black clergy are interested in exploring. CAAP created headlines for accusing Barack Obama of selling out.They have catered to the homosexual community and Hollywood and the big money people, they have chosen that course and ignored the people who put the President where he is. The President is in the White House because of the civil rights movement. And I was a leader in that movement. I didn't march one inch, one foot, one yard for a man to marry a man and a woman to marry a woman.He has not done a smart thing and it might cost him the election. Frbgts had you heard of them before?I had never heard of them before and I thought it was weird that no-one had ever heard of this organisation before. For them to be getting so much press and it was in the newspaper. It was on the internet. It was on TV. I'm like wait a minute, who are these people?Tuan N'Gai is a gay rights activist. In the wake of CAAP's press conference he tried to set up a meeting with Reverend Owens to discuss the issues. He says when Owen failed to respond to his calls he started a petition and made plans to fly to member system to deliver it to his church. The week of the delivery date I found out that metropolitan institutional church does not exist. The address that they had listed was a residence. I also found that the 3800 pastors in churches he said was part of his coalition was actually about 20 people.That wasn't the only part of Reverend Owens' story Tuan N'Gai had trouble with.There is no record of him participating in any type of civil rights demonstrations which he said he did in Nashville from 1958 to 1961. There is no record of him anywhere. No pictures. The organisers don't know who he is. Finally CAAP's claim to be a non- political organisation was also called into question when it was discovered thank Right Wing lobby group, the National Organisation for Marriage had channelled $20,000 to CAAP via Owens' wife.It makes me wonder how many other black pastors have been paid to do this. It makes me wonder, if money wasn't part of the deal would you be doing this. We're standing for holyness and blah blah blah. No, they are being paid to do this. It makes me question their integrity.What is your opinion of CAAP now?Fraud.Is CAAP a fraud?CAAP is not a fraud. CAAP is not a fraud. CAAP is a struggling institution, a struggling organisation. CAAP is small but CAAP has a big and wide constituency. It's called those who read and believe the Bible.Bishop haul is a friend of Reverend Owens. If you can buy someone for $20,000 he is in pityful shape. I think that's laughable. I would say this. That if he has some political leanings towards the right, they are his and he can express them. I have my political failings - feelings. I voted for President Obama. I am probably gonna vote for him again.Bishop Hall insists Owens did have a church in member system before he moved away and that he was at least a footed soer in the civil rights movement. But the number of pastors CAAP represents is less certain.That's hard to say. Officialy we have talked about getting together and starting membership drives. Everywhere we go we have good crowds. We have not really formalised a well defined and structured membership.

On a rainy Saturday, Memphis's gay pride rally has drawn a small but enthusiastic crowd. Ironically enough it's being held in Church Park. During segregation, this was the only park coloured people were allowed to use. But Bishop Hall sees no equivalents between the civil rights movement and gay rights.Rights for what? The right to be married? The right for a woman to marry a man, yeah. But a right for a man to marry a man? I can't even phantom that. It doesn't make sense. There is nothing conceivable that a man and a man can do to create a family.Maurpbs McKinnon likes to think of his barbers shop as an African American country club. A place for people to talk and relax. Here at Goodfellas Obama's gay marriage support doesn't seem to have created much of a fuss.I can't knock him for trying to get the votes but I don't really believe in it.Will he stop you for turning out? Turning out? Not gonna stop me from voting.Do you know who you will vote for?Of course. I'm gonna vote for Obama. For maurpbs, the biggest issue effecting his - maurpbs the biggest thing affecting his vote is something far more mundane than gay rights.For me being a private business owner, being self-employed and having employees that I think insurance - that's one of the main reasons I am kind of trying to stand behind the health care reform because I think everyone needs some kind of health care.I think it's more nuanced than many many people -Mary Curtis is a political journal yits who has lived in North Carolina for 17 years. She says the idea that blacks are single issue voters is insulting.But that's the mistake many people make about African American voters, when they try to lump them as one monolith. They voted for Obama and they won't vote for same-sex marriage. That's a mistake. African Americans are individuals who think thoughtfully about every issue and make decisions based on the issues. I can't see that many voting for Romney because they disagree with him on so many other issues.The President of the United States of America, Mitt Romney.Mitt Romney is a few points ahead of President Obama in the polling in North Carolina. Despite high profile black figures like Condoleezza Rice the Republicans are still struggling to connect with black Americans as - at a grassroots level.Whenever I go to Republican conventions or meetings or some of the events with Mitt Romney I always am asked to give a comment about the candidate. I have to say, well, I'm not here for the rally, I'm a journalist. The journalist was like darn, I wanted to get a black person. You can literally count the black people. Polling among African Americans has Obama leading 94% to zero over Mitt Romney. But the issue for the Democrats is turnout.Sign everything in the yellow. Are you excited about Obama being put back in the White House?Yes.You are Get yourself on the camera, girl.I came from work.Getting African Americans to cast a ballot has long been a problem. But now an army of volunteers like Sarah Chambers are out helping register new voters. The Obama campaign - black women in particular are out there for him. You see them coming out more and more as it gets closer to the campaign. When you see any of the voter registration tables you will see a lot of African American women. Ultimately Obama's gay marriage support won't alter the outcome of the election on its own. But it's one of a raft of progressive stances that have at times divided his base.When everybody has got a chance to get ahead - that's what we do well.Inspiring his base to support him once again is now Obama's biggest battle.

Aaron Thomas filming and reporting there. Well, if last week's presidential debate is anything to go by, Barack Obama still has a major fight on his hands to win a second term in the White House. The President was widely cored - considered to have lost that debate. Registered voters who actually - we asked them who won. 67% say it was Mitt Romney. 25% say it was President Obama. A very decisive verdict.Today's 'New York Times' is reporting that a new survey shows Mitt Romney is still ahead, backed by 49 % of likely% of likely voted to the President's 45%. So just one month from the election what are the chances of obeeb regaining the lead he - Barack Obama regaining the lead he held just last week? I spoke with political analyst and author Professor Allan Likman. You have been saying for a year now there was no way President Barack Obama to lose. Do you still hold to that view after last week's debate?I stand by that prediction because my forecasts are based to the keys of the White House, which turn not on the events of campaigns but on the big picture of governmenting, foreign policy successs and failures. Scandal, social unrest, long and short-term economy and by the fundamentals Obama is still ahead. However I have got to say, one of my add ver sairrys must have paid him off - adversarys must have paid him off because he did everything possible he did everything possible in that debate to prove me wrong. That was certainly the worst debate performance in the history of televised debates in the US. And if campaigns produced election winners Obama would be a sure loser. But I'm sticking by my prediction. Something certainly went wrong. Do you think he simply underestimated the potential of Mitt Romney?I think he has lost the magic for two reasons. Once he became President he got into the Washington bubble. He is running around on Air Force 1 everywhere. Everyone is bowing down to him and saying yes, Mr President. You lose touch with reality. Secondly, he is listening too much to the consultants and pollsters and ad men and Huxters and not being himself. If I were to make one reform it would to be take them all at the beginning of the election year and send them off to some nice far away Pacific island. They kill candidates because they bring them down to the lowest common denominater.It seems to have completely reinvigorated Mitt Romney and his supporters. Surely that's a major problem for the Democrats now?I do think it has reinvigorated Mitt Romney and made his campaign better. I still stand by my predictions that the fundamentals will produce an Obama victory. But it could be a pirrikvik tree. If he doesn't win a mandate and stand for something in this campaign he will have a very difficult four years. He has to be specific and give us a vision and he has to get his base motivated so they will support him in a second term. Obama is an extraordinary communicater. He is a great politician. He just has to be himself. And that means being inspirational, being specific and, yes, absolutely taking on Mitt Romney whenever Obama thinks he is miss representing the truth.US job figures have just come out. It's been a real boost for the Obama camp. Is that enough to get him over the line now after last week's performance?I think he has enough to get him over the line. Look, if this debate was going to decide the election, Romney should be 20 points ahead. But in fact the polls are pretty even. Even the Gallup tracking poll that showed a bounce for Romney is back now approximately where it was before the debate. Let's not forget there are two more debates to come. There is a Vice-Presidential debate. There is a lot to happen. We shouldn't get too caught up in events of the moment. That's the biggest fallacy we have in analysing elections. We should look at the big picture.Some commentators have said the job figures were so good they have speculated that the race could have been orchestrated by the White House?That is not some commentators. The media has reallyflubbed this. That is some of the most irresponsible attacks not coming from responsible economists or commentators but coming from the far Right Wing supporters of Mitt Romney. It's outrage ous, those figures are pull out by civil servants who have no part san asan align line President has no involvement with them. Every time something favourabhem. Every time something favourable comes out to the right they accuse it of being bias. If there are good job figures it's got to be because someone has manipulated them. You in the media should be ashamed of yourself for giving any credence whatsoever to those charges. If someone charges that the moon is made of green cheese would you report that?What if the President bombs out in his second debate?I would be shocked if he does. Ronald Reagan in his second debate in 1984 looked like a tired, confused old man and substantialy lost that debate. He came on strong as expected in the second debate, although he didn't win it by as big a margin as he lost the first, and won the presidential election by 20 points. John Kerry won all three debates in 2004. George Bush lost all of them but still won the election of 2004. We can't be too beguiled or be dazzled by individual campaign events. I would be shocked to see a similar lacklustreshocked to see a similar lacklustre performance by the President.Thank you for your time.My great pleasure. Take care. Allan successfully predicted the winner of every US election since Reagan in 1984. Read more about how he does it on our website. Plus there are details of SBS's full election coverage. Plus there will be our November 6 polling day special. Up next, France cracks down on the illegal trade in exotic animals.This circus doesn't have a permit for its big cats.

Plus, fillo fashion handbags made by these women from the slums using scrap materials. This rapidly expanding business has changed the lives of all those who work here. This is the kind of work that makes me want to wake up every Monday morning and feel

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Welcome back. The global tra edin xot yek animals is worth billions of dollars. For the right price you can legally right price you can legally buy everything from tigers, baboons and even zebras. But what happens when your babbon gets too big for the apartment or the baby crocodile grows too big for the fish tank. Thousands of animals, many rare and endangered are put down. France one man has made it his life mission to give these unwanted and ill treated animals a future.

Samantha the Barbary monkey is arriving at her new home.

This is the zoo of St Martin la Plaine, started by Pierre Thivillon, it's a sanctuary for exotic animals like Samantha, who have nowhere else to e nowhere else to go.

Pierre Thivillon has dedicated his life to animal conservation. And today his private zoo is home to over 1,000 animals, rescued from wildlife traffickers, circuss and people's homes.

In this building Pierre Thivillon keeps 12 re Thivillon keeps 12 big cats. Most of them came here in very bad condition, from circuss where they were being kept illegaly. hey were being kept illegaly.

Without Pierre Thivillon and his refuge these lions and tigers would have been d tigers would have been euthenased.

Pierre is passionate about all of his animals but it's the apes that fascinate him the most.

Pierre and his wife Elain consider these gorillas as their own children. Every night Digit and Ginko walk t Digit and Ginko walk the bridge that connect the connect the Pierre and Elain's house. The couple shares their meals with the apes and they are free to come and go as they please.

Caring for an ape is a full time job that requires specialised knowledge and job. Yet each year in France hundreds of primates are rescued from collectors who don't know how to look after them. In this enclosure ter them. In this enclosure Pierre keeps 20 monkeys from north Africa. All are confiscated from animal smugglers on their way to exotic pet markets.

But France's wildlife authorities are fighting back. Police receive information that a visiting circus is keeping animals without authority. The police move in. They seize two lions and an alligator. They can't produce documents of ownership. Then things get out of control. The lion tamer tries to open the big cat's cage and police are forced to intervene. The keepers are desperate. Their livelyhood depends on these animals.

Vets are brought in to take care of the lions, but the animals are too on edge and have to be abeneath tiesed. - anaethetised. These lions are lucky. In a few hours they will be taken to Pierre Thivillon's refuge. But across France, countless other exotic animals face an uncertain future. This centre is host to thousands of homeless reptiles. From American snakes to abino geckos from Malaysia.

Known as Mr Reptile to his colleagues, the centre's director, Karim Daoues, says he is a self- taught expert.

Karim Daoues is passionate about passing on his knowledge of reptiles and runs training programs for authorities responsible for animal rescue. Today these firefighters are learning how to handle dangerous an nationals like the Little Niall Crocodile.

Although they may not need rescue a b porbgs a constricta this size every day, with the growing popularity of exotic pets in France these firefighters need to be prepared to handle all kinds of animals. At St Martin la Plaine zoo Pierre Thivillon is expecting a new addition. Leo is a circus lion beginning his retirement.

It's a special day for Pierre and his big cats. The team is letting the lions into a null opened play area.

But the happiest of all is probably Pierre. He has never felt so close to his lions.

Amazing to see those big gorillas being hand fed. Up next, a remarkable company called Rags to Riches changes the life of Filipino women from the slums.Women from here earning a living from the scrap materials they make into bags sold here - thanks to this dynamic group

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It's not ooft we hear stories of hope emerging out of despair. But tonight we bring you a tale of one young woman determined to change lives for the better N manla's dirt poor slums Reese Fernandez is helping women weave their way out of poverty, literally turning rags to riches. The women now earn an income comparable to that of a nurse in the Philippines. We sent David bril to meet the inspiring social entrepreneur behind the project.

Manla is a city of con - Manilla is a a city of contrasts from I'm above rirbed slums to - impoverished slums to tkphritering malls, but in upmarket stores like theses like these the have been literally woven together.How much do they sell for?This one is $1,599.Do s one is $1,599.Do people buy the bags?Est. Do women come in and buy them?Est. These handbags are more than just a fashion accessory. re than just a fashion accessory. They are the result of a pioneering project that's transforming the lives of some of the poorest people in the city.It's a relocation area. So you can see that there could be several familys in one compound. This is where they make them here? In their homes.Reese Fernandez is a 27-year-old with a big heart and big ideas. The founder of raingraing. - Rags to Riches. They are made from what?These scrap cloths, which came straight from the garment factory. They come in different shapes and sizes. We kind of have to cut them into strips. These are scraps that would have been thrown away?Yes.Many of these women used to live on the country's biggest garbage dump. Thur survived by scavenging scraps of fabric and weaving them into rugs. As the cottage industry grew the women began using off cuts of material from the garment factories provided by middle men who were reaping all the profits.Without access to the supplies and the market the women who will make it will earn 2c US per day for one rug. So you have stopped the middle men? Yes.Reese was determined to make a difference.She helped to develop a range of new products and linked the women directly to both their raw materials and customers.So that was the first thing that Rags to Riches did. The community members were introduced to the market and cut out the middle men. Today we go straight to the garment factories and to the garment factories and straight to the market.What makes you want to do this work?I think it's been my upbringing that I believe everyone should have the chance for a better life. For better opportunities. My mother has been a missionary worker. I have been exposed to this. But at the same time this is the kind of would, that makes me wake up every Monday morning and feel like there is a chance and hope for the world for the future.Rags to Riches offers more than just a job. The women learn valuable life skills such as managing their finances and looking after their health.How has it helped the local people in this community?Aside from the obvious increase in income we believe it's about bringing back the dignity of people when it comes to their own creation and being proud of what they make and that they can believe there is a way out of poverty.For people who once lived on a rubbish dump, life that the apartment complex is a big step up.It's a nice improvement ep up.It's a nice improvement from the usual homes you will see in these communities. A lot of our community members like the one who owns this, using her money for home improvements so her kids are more inspired to go to school or just live here and study here.Shall we go in and have a look?Yes.A bathroom. Upstairs there.Yes.Here is the living room here.Yes, it is. This is - she owns the house. How many are you in this house?Nine. Nine?Me and my husband.Tina is one of raingrainging a - Rags to Riches's success stories. She makes money out of rags?ASpecially the customised orders that we have. It helps the family.Tina takes me back to the Tondo dump site to show me how much of a difference Rags to Riches has made.

Tondo is one of the poorest districts in the country. Home to more than half a million people, it's one of the most dense ly populately populateed land in the world.

But Reese's revolution has only just begun.How many sizes and what price?She has brought together a team of young talent to expand Rags to Riches and lift many more women out of poverty.We have achieved even more.I joined them as they prepared for the launch of their new product line.This is about the company and how it's made. This is the name of the art san who made the bag. This is our new collection for the designer for the season.He is a fill know designer?Yes, one of the best in the Philippines. With the country's top designers on board, Rags to Riches handbags have entered the realm of high fashion, drastically increasing the incomes of the women who make them.Welcome to the official ceremony of the 14th Rolex award force enterprise. Reese's hard work and commitment has been recognised around the world, winning numerous accolades. When I found out that I was selected as one of the Rolex Young Laureates I was in a crowded coffee shop trying not make a scene. Happiness was an understatement. When you started Rags to Riches did you think it would grow like it has done?Yeah, we have always had big dreams for Rags to Riches. The key to our iches. The key to our success and the key to these young people making a difference is that we're just open collaboration and just trying to look at the good things in other people and how we can harness that to make our mission and our vision even bigger and more effective.Reese says the project has empowered more than 450 women. But with demand increasing from overseas, she hopes to help many more. hopes to help many more.Are you making a difference?I g a difference?I think so, yeah. But more than me making a difference, I think they're making a difference in their communities. And in my life they are making a difference. People say that people from Rags to Riches inspire these community members. But for me, I'm inspired by them.David Brill in Mani will are l. David tells us that Rags to Riches has gone international, selling to overseas buyers. For more on Reese Fernandez go to our website. Next week, a perilous journey we have heard so much about but never actually seen. Mark Davis has secured gripping footage of a voyage from Indonesia to Australia by asylum seekers - a crossing that went horribley wrong. As the rikkety vessel ploughs through rough seas an already dangerous situation turns much worse as the boat begins to take waterment People crying and shouting. It was a scene from doomsday.Plus the party is over in Laos. After years of full on hedonism and many deaths, including two Australians earlier this year, the government has decided to ernment has decided to shut down the wild times. But can the party-goers be stopped? Give it another two months and it will be back to 80% what it was last year.That's it for this week. Don't forget you can see all tonight's stories and our extensive archives at our website. Stay tuned for the Late News with full coverage of the resignation of Peter Slipper, Speaker of the House. From the Dateline team, good night. Supertext captions by Red Bee Media -