Equality Matters Picks Of The Week, October 3-7, 2011
October 07, 2011 6:29 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 “Still Working” On Supporting Marriage Equality. President Obama stopped short of endorsing marriage equality during a gala dinner put on by the Human Rights Campaign last weekend. In an interview with ABC News, he admitted that he is “still working” on his evolving views on same-sex marriage. It’s been a year since Obama first announced his views on marriage equality were “evolving.”
- Openly Gay Mayoral Candidate Runs Ad With Daughter. Bevan Dufty, who is running to be the first openly gay mayor of San Francisco, ran an ad this week featuring his daughter, Sidney. The ad marks the first time an openly LGBT candidate for office has featured his or her own child in a network or cable television spot. Check out the ad here. Dufty appeared on MSNBC to discuss the ad this week.
- Anti-Gay Values Voter Summit Begins. The annual Values Voter Summit begins today and will continue throughout the weekend. The summit, which is hosted by the Family Research Council, will feature every major GOP presidential candidate, along with some of the country’s most vocal anti-gay activists. Groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center have asked prominent GOP politicians to boycott the summit, pointing out the anti-gay history of many of the event’s sponsors. Think Progress has already revealed that proponents of “ex-gay” therapy are “out in full force” at the summit. On Saturday, the summit is scheduled to include a “Straight Talk On Gay ‘Marriage’” Panel, which will included Brian Brown, president of the National organization for Marriage (NOM).
- Boehner Triples Cost Ceiling For DOMA Defense. The U.S. House has raised the cost ceiling for the legal defense of the 1996 Defense of marriage Act (DOMA) to $1.5 million, according to a recently approved contract modification. That cap triples the original cap set in place earlier this year. On Friday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told the audience at the Values Voter Summit that he would be willing to withhold funding from the Justice Department in order to pay for the defense of the law.
- Are Government Crack Downs On White House Protests Legal? A new report from Equality Matters Kerry Eleveld reveals that the administration may be enforcing stricter codes in order to deter lawful White House protesters.
- New Study Claims To Prove Effectiveness Of “Ex-Gay” Therapy. A study recently published in The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy claims to demonstrate that some people actually can alter their sexual orientation through “ex-gay” therapy. The study, conducted by Mark Yarhouse and Stanton Jones has already come under criticism from prominent medical professionals, and a 2009 version of the study has already been thoroughly debunked. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to stop NOM president Brian Brown from touting the study as “good news.”
- Proposition 8 Legal Battle Continues. Equality California has announced that it will not seek to repeal Proposition 8 through the ballot in 2012. The current legal battle over Prop 8 continues in federal court. Proponents of Prop 8 are appealing a recent decision which found that former U.S. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker’s same-sex relationship did not disqualify him from being able to fairly preside over a case concerning the measure’s constitutionality in 2010.
- Anti-Gay Forces Fighting Last Ditch Effort To Stop SB 48. Anti-gay groups in California are rushing to collect enough signatures to put the repeal of California’s FAIR Education Act – which would prohibit public schools from ignoring the historical contributions of LGBT role models – on the ballot in 2012. Multiple reports have captured opponents of the law misinforming the public about what the law does, prompting the Courage Campaign to file a complaint against “Stop SB 48.” It’s unclear how many more signatures Stop SB 48 needs to collect before next week’s deadline.