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Equality Matters Picks Of The Week, June 27-July 1, 2011

July 01, 2011 7:40 pm ET by Equality Matters staff

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

  • President Obama Still Not Evolving On Marriage Equality: During a press conference on Wednesday, President Obama refused to come out in support for marriage equality despite being asked to clarify his position twice by reports. His non-evolution has left many wondering when he’ll finally “evolve already.” Equality Matters’ Kerry Eleveld explores what might be holding Obama back in her newest piece: “Why Obama Keeps Winning Gay Battles But Losing The War.”
  • Michele Bachmann’s Husband Calls Gays And Lesbians “Barbarians”: Marcus Bachmann, husband of GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), called gay and lesbians “barbarians” that “need to be educated” in an audio recording from last summer. His comments make create some major problems for the already virulently anti-gay Bachmann’s presidential campaign.
  • Same-Sex Bi-National Couple Avoids DOMA Deportation: Federal officials cancelled deportation proceedings for Henry Velandia, a New Jersey man who to an American citizen but cannot be sponsored for a green card by his husband because the Defense of Marriage Act prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Lavi Soloway, the couple’s lawyer, said:

This action shows that the government has not only the power but the inclination to do the right thing when it comes to protecting certain vulnerable populations from deportation

  • State Equality Groups Riding New York’s Momentum: Victory in New York is spurring pro-LGBT action in a number of other states. In Maine, EqualityMaine announced that it is taking steps to place a citizen’s initiative on the 2012 ballot to approve marriage equality. In New Jersey, Lamba Legal has filed a lawsuit seeking marriage equality on behalf of seven same-sex couples and their children. In Rhode Island, the State Senate voted to pass a civil unions bill, though even pro-LGBT groups have asked for the bill to be vetoed due to its extreme religious exemptions. Meanwhile, Nate Silver has released updated predictions about possible state referendum results in 2012.
  • HHS Unveils Plans To Start LGBT Data Collection: The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released details about plans to collect health data on the LGBT population as a part of federal health surveys. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelies said:

Today we are taking critical steps toward ensuring the collection of useful national data on minority groups, including for the first time, LGBT populations. The data we will eventually collect in these efforts will serve as powerful tools and help us in our fight to end health disparities.

  • NOM Plots Its Revenge In New York: After its anti-equality campaign in New York turned out to be a miserable failure, the National Organization for Marriage announced a $2 million effort to oust pro-equality Republicans. In response to the announcement, pro-equality Republican Senator Mark Grisanti said “do what you’ve got to do.” NOM's chairwoman Maggie Gallagher recently joined Pat Robertson and Tony Perkinsin predicting that marriage equality might somehow destroy America.

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