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Equality Matters Picks Of The Week, September 12-16, 2011

September 16, 2011 5:51 pm ET by Equality Matters staff

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

  • North Carolina Sends Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment To Voters. On Tuesday, the North Carolina State Senate voted 30-16 to send a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to voters next May. Though a recent poll found that a majority of North Carolinians oppose the amendment, many are still concerned. Country singer Chely Wright called the amendment "bullying of the highest order," while North Carolina representative Brad Miller (D) worried that it would jeopardize the ability of private employers to provide benefits to same-sex couples.
  • The Cheney's Support Marriage Equality. During the September 13 edition of ABC's The View, former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne expressed their support for marriage equality. When asked if he believed marriage equality should be enshrined in federal law, Dick Cheney answered "I think freedom means freedom for everybody."
  • DOMA Defenders Don't Want Cameras In The Courtroom. The U.S. House's Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) turned down the opportunity to have the courtroom proceedings of an upcoming legal hearing concerning the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) videotaped. Though BLAG's general counsel declined to explain why he was opposed to taping the proceedings, it's hard to deny the similarities between the federal defense of DOMA and the recent (failed) defense of California's Proposition 8.
  • Anti-Equality Candidate Wins In NY-9 Special Election. Anti-equality Republican Bob Turner defeated Democrat David Weprin in Tuesday's special election to replace former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been all too excited to use Turner's upset victory as proof that supporting marriage equality is political suicide for politicians (after all, it did pump $75,000 and a healthy dose of misinformation into the race). As Politico's Ben Smith and Think Progress's Zack Ford have pointed out, however, same-sex marriage is likely to only have had a marginal impact on the race.
  • New Poll Finds Majority Support For Marriage Equality. A new poll conducted by the Associated Press and National Constitution Center found that 53 percent of Americans support the legal recognition of marriages between same-sex couples (only 44 percent oppose). Fifty-five percent of respondents believe that the issue of marriage equality should be dealt with at the state level.
  • Fox's Megyn Kelly Takes On Dr. Keith Ablow's Transphobia. On Wednesday, Fox News host Megyn Kelly confronted Dr. Keith Ablow, a member of Fox's "Medical A-Team," over his transphobic rants concerning Chaz Bono's participation in ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Kelly's continued her defense of Bono continued the next day on The O'Reilly Factor, suggesting that Ablow's comment might inspire others to persecute transgender people. Unfortunately, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer is already using Ablow's statements as evidence that his animosity towards transgender people is scientifically sound.
  • Pro-Equality New Hampshire Governor Won't Seek Reelection. New Hampshire Governor John Lynch announced this week that he won't be seeking reelection. Lynch signed New Hampshire's marriage equality bill into law in 2009, and since then he's been one of the biggest obstacles blocking efforts to repeal the law. Earlier this week, the New Hampshire House Judiciary panel voted 3-1 to advance a bill that would do just that.
  • Oregon GOP Moves Away From Anti-Gay Politics. In an attempt to appeal to moderate voters, the Oregon Republican Party has removed language condemning same-sex relationships and parenting from its 2012 party platform. As Greg Leo, spokesman for the party, explained: "We want the public to take another look at the Republican Party and our policies ... It's fair to say we're more centrist."