NEWS: Sec’t Of Ed Endorses Marriage Equality, Ex-Gays Win (And Lose), CA Assembly Gets Ugly, And More!

Following in the footsteps of Vice President Joe Biden, Education Secretary Arne Duncan (above) has come out in favor of marriage equality. When asked on by Morning Joe‘s Mark Halperin if he believed “that same-sex men and women should be able to get legally married in the United States?” Duncan said “Yes, I do.” [Morning Joe]

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) has claimed victory after a federal judge tossed activist Wayne Besen‘s defamation lawsuit claiming PFOX’s Greg Quinlan wrongly stated Besen was fired by HRC. “Filing frivolous lawsuits and abusing our judicial system seems to be a new tactic of radical homosexual activist pressure groups like Besen’s. They are desperate to silence the message of hope that there is freedom from unwanted same-sex attractions.,” says PFOX’s Matt Barber.  [PR Newswire]

Speaking of ex-gays, Exodus International has canceled its planned national convention due to lack of interest. “It is with great disappointment that we are notifying you today that the Love Won Out Conference scheduled for May 19th at Legacy Church in Albuquerque, NM has been cancelled… We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. In my seven years serving on the Exodus team, this was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make,” wrote EI events planner David Fountain  [Ex-Gay Watch]

The three Iowa judges voted out of office in 2009 after legalizing same-sex marriage are receiving the John F. Kennedy Library’s Profiles in Courage Awards on May 29.  Said Lambda Legal’s Camilla Taylor, “Chief Justice Ternus, Justice Streit, and Justice Baker took an oath to defend the Iowa Constitution and earned their place in history when they lived up to their oath with integrity and did the right thing before much of the rest of the country was ready.” [CBS News]

Republican members of the California Legislature started picking at number of new measures aimed at helping the LGBT community. One would require the state to track the sexual orientation of business owners it does business with—in addition to data on race, ethnicity and gender it already collects. “Assemblywoman Linda Halderman (R-Fresno)… [said] some people would ‘cheat the system’ by lying about their sexual orientation, while others would feel exposed.”  [AP]