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Equality Matters Picks Of The Week, September 5-9, 2011

September 09, 2011 6:19 pm ET by Equality Matters staff

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

  • Tammy Baldwin Is Running For U.S. Senate. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has announced that she plans to run for U.S. Senate in 2012. Obtaining the seat would make her the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate. On Wednesday, Baldwin predicted that she would be facing “a very tough campaign.”
  • GOP Candidates Loud, Then Silent On LGBT Issues. On Monday night, a handful of GOP presidential candidates took to the stage during the Palmetto Freedom Forum in South Carolina. The forum touched on a number of LGBT issues, with both Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Herman Cain asserting that there was some constitutional basis for discriminating against same-sex couples looking to adopt children. During Wednesday night’s MSNBC debate, however, not a single question about LGBT issues was fielded.
  • NOM Calls Homosexuality “Darkness Parading Around As Light.” The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) continued its campaign to demonize LGBT people this week, calling homosexuality an “evil” “darkness” and promoting some classis anti-LGBT hate group smears. Not surprisingly, NOM’s Ruth Institute promoted an article declaring that “all laws” allowing same-sex couples to raise children are “wrong.”
  • California Supreme Court Weighs Proposition 8 Standing Issue. The California Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday concerning the legal standing of Proposition 8 supporters to defend their initiative in federal court. Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told Equality Matters that he was less than optimistic that Prop 8’s proponents would prevail.
  • HHS Issues New Guidance For LGBT Hospital Rights. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced new guidance supporting the “enforcement of rules that protect hospital patients’ right to choose their own visitors during a hospital stay, including a visitor who is a same-sex domestic partner.”
  • NOM Board Member Turns ‘Hamlet” Into Anti-Gay Propaganda. NOM board member Orson Scott Card rewrote Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ in order to incorporate his own rampant homophobia into the plot. IN Card’s version, King Hamlet is a gay pedophile who molests the other male characters in the play, turning them gay as a result. One review called the rewrite “a nightmare of vitriolic homophobia.” At NOM, it’s par for the course.
  • Is Keith Ablow’s Transphobia Finally Too Much For Fox News? Fox contributor and resident anti-LGBT pseudoscientist Dr. Keith Ablow hasn’t hesitated to attack Chaz Bono for appearing on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, but it appears that other members of the Fox News are backing away from his position. Considering that the president of the American Psychiatric Association specifically rejected the Ablow’s ridiculous assertions, they’re probably making a good decision.
  • FRC Supports Bill Creating “Conscience Protections” For Anti-Gay Service Members. The Family Research Council (FRC) – which has been labeled an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – announced its endorsement of Rep. Duncan Hunter’s (R-CA) ‘Don’t Pressure Me!' bill, which would “ensure that ‘members of the Armed Forces are not pressured to approve of another person’s sexual conduct if that sexual conduct is contrary to the personal principles of that member.’”
  • NOM Spends Big Bucks To Defeat Pro-Equality NY Democrat. NOM is forking over $75,000 to defeat New York State Assemblyman David Weprin – a vocal proponent of marriage equality – in the special election to replace former Representative Anthony Weiner. Good As You’s Jeremy Hooper uncovered a series of highly misleading attack mailers, which NOM has been distributing in the run-up to next Tuesday’s vote.
  • Federal Appeals Court Denies NOM A New Hearing In Maine. The First Circuit Court of Appeals this week decided to deny NOM’s request for a new hearing in a case dealing with its failure to disclose details about its finances during Maine’s 2009 campaign to prohibit same-sex marriage.

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