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Equality Matters Picks Of The Week, June 13-17, 2011

June 17, 2011 6:30 pm ET by Equality Matters staff

Equality Matters staff offers our picks for the most interesting, outrageous, or thought provoking stories of the week:

  • Obama Spokesperson Claims 1996 Questionnaire Was Filled Out By “Someone Else”: During an interview conducted at Netroots Nation on Friday, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer claimed that “someone else” signed Barack Obama’s signature on a 1996 questionnaire favoring marriage equality. Windy City Times, which first reported on the survey 2009, is standing by its original story.
  • UN Passes First Ever Resolution Supporting Equal Rights For All, Regardless Of Sexual Orientation: The United Nations voted 23-19 to pass the first ever resolution on the human rights of LGBT people, calling for an end to violence based on sexual orientation and gender.
  • Tim Pawlenty Gets Glittered Over Gay And Women’s Rights: Representatives from CODEPINK and Reproductive Rights showered GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty with pink confetti during a book signing event in San Francisco. The activists scolded Pawlenty for failing to have the courage to stand up for gay rights and women’s reproductive rights.
  • New York Senate One Vote Away From Approving Marriage Equality: The New York State Senate is one vote away from approving a same-sex marriage bill after three Democrats and two Republicans announced that they would be switching their votes to “yes” this year. Republican holdouts are concerned about the bill’s religious protections as well as with threats from several conservative groups.
  • Momentum Builds To Get Rid Of DOMA: A bankruptcy court in California ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. 19 other judges signed the decision, even though they weren’t required to. Meanwhile, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed an ethics complaint against House Speaker John Boehner for violating the Anti-Deficiency Act by pledging to pay for DOMA’s defense with funds that have not yet been appropriated for that purpose.
  • DADT Repeal Gets A Boost, But Work Remains To Be Done: The Senate defense panel approved its version of the 2012 defense authorization bill without any of the anti-gay amendments that had been included in the House’s version of the bill. The Senate version also seeks to repeal a military law classifying sodomy as a crime. Meanwhile, House GOP members asked Obama to hold off on certification of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) repeal until Congress has a chance to review Defense Department policy changes. Albert Pisani, the service member most recently discharged under DADT, revealed in an interview with The Advocate’s Andrew Harmon that he asked to be discharged after being subjected to anti-gay comments.
  • Judge Rejects Motion To Vacate Walker’s Prop 8 Decision: U.S. District Court Judge James Ware denied a motion to vacate Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision striking down Proposition 8. Ware rejected the claim that Walker should have recused himself from the case because he was in a long-term same-sex relationship. Prop 8’s proponents have vowed to appeal Ware’s decision.