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Today’s Lady News: D.C. Grants First Marriage License To A Lesbian Couple

  • A lesbian couple was the first couple to file for a same-sex marriage license in today in Washington, D.C. Angelisa Young and Sinjolya Townsend have been together for 12 years and plan to marry next week. Aww, reading the post about this is making my eyes tear up! [DCist]
  • A topless bar on Long Island has been accused of firing a 29-year-old employee for getting pregnant. Jennifer Paviglianiti has filed a discrimination charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Cafe Royale and claims she was told by her boss customers are “not coming in to see sexy bartenders that are pregnant and bulging out.” [Nerve.com]

  • Two male country commissioners in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, want the county’s health insurance to stop covering elective abortions and instead require employees to use money from their “medical reimbursement funds” for abortion coverage for them and their family members. According to the county’s Human Resources department, the county health benefits have covered the costs of four abortions since 2003. [Kalamazoo Gazette]
  • New Jersey’s State Senate is poised to vote on the nomination of Bret Schundler as commissioner of education. When Schundler ran for governor of NJ in 2001, he voiced support of sex ed programs that “stress abstinence rather than safe sex” and opposed teaching that homosexuality is “acceptable.” [NJ.com]
  • An assistant principal at North Carolina’s Central Cabarrus High School has been charged with numerous offenses after having sex with two students, including one under the age of 16. Aaronson Franks was arrested (after a parent went to the police) and released on $60,000 bailed. [Essence]
  • Women find it less socially acceptable to “friend” a co-worker or boss on Facebook than men do, according to study by the Liberty Mutual Group. [Boston Globe]
  • For Women’s History Month, Essence asked bell hooks, activist and author, what she thinks about the current state of the women’s movement, domestic violence, equal pay, and what black women should be paying attention to the most. [Essence]
  • You’ve heard that old saying: “Women and children first.” It turns out that in the face of disaster, you shouldn’t necessarily expect to benefit from chivalry. [Discover Magazine]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Women’s rights have advanced in 15 of the 18 countries in North Africa and the Middle East over the past five years, according to the watchdog group Freedom House. Women made gains in education, participation in politics, and economic opportunity, the report found. [AP]
  • A member of Uganda’s parliament says the anti-homosexuality bill that would punish HIV+ gays with the death penalty will not be dropped. [New York Daily News]
  • Anti-abortion activists in Poland have put up a poster which reads, “Abortion for Polish women introduced by Hitler on March 9, 1943,” featuring Adolf Hitler’s face alongside aborted fetuses. [Telegraph UK]
  • Iraq experts say that the quota for women in government does not necessarily translate to respect for these female politicians. [AP]
  • Two women were banned from boarding a plane at U.K.’s Manchester Airport two weeks ago because they refused to walk through the x-ray body scans. One of the women, who is believed to be Muslim, cited religious grounds and the other woman refused on health grounds. [BBC]
  • According to a new study by the U.K.-based Women’s Environmental Network, women and girls in developing countries comprise the vast majority of those affected by climate change, especially when it comes to water scarcity. When people in developing countries need to travel farther distances for clean water, it is often the girls who are taken out of school first to handle the task. [Treehugger]
  • Colombian lingerie model Angie Sanselmente Valencia was busted recently for drug trafficking, shedding light on a new strategy for drug cartels: Enlist models and beauty pageant winners to carry drugs because, allegedly, they are less likely to be searched by customs officials. [The Daily Beast]

Yesterday in Today’s Lady News, we learned that American Apparel’s Best Bottom In The World contest is finally, mercifully, over.

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