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Today’s Lady News: Lesbian Students Claim Oklahoma School Won’t Let Them Graduate

  • Two lesbian students said their Oklahoma high school won’t let them graduate as long as the girls are living together. Melissa McKenzie moved in with her girlfriend Kelsey Hicks and Hicks’ family. But McKenzie claims she was kicked out of school when administrators learned that and told her she could return when she went back to her parents’ home. Hicks had also dropped out of school last month, but said the principal discouraged her from returning. Although Hicks admitted she’s been in trouble at school in the past, she said the principal pushed her towards getting her GED instead because she’s gay. [Advocate.com, News9.com]
  • One of the U.K.’s leading midwives has accused the National Health Service of “scaring” women out of having a home birth. [Telegraph]
  • Watch a trailer starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard as Winnie and Nelson Mandela in a biopic of her life, “Winnie.” [Clutch Magazine]

  • The Center for Reproductive Rights has charged the FDA with being in contempt of court for refusing to react to a judge’s 2009 order to reconsider restrictions on Plan B, a morning-after pill. A judge had requested that the FDA reconsider making Plan B available to 17-year-olds and to all women without a prescription. The FDA has since lowered the age to 17, but all women are still required to have a doctor’s scrip for Plan B. The FDA has been accused of dragging its feet on Plan B and other contraceptives because of ideological pressures from outside the agency. [Washington Post]
  • Seventy-eight percent of women who work in IT said they don’t believe their pay is equal to their male colleagues, while almost half the men believed it was equal, according to a survey by Technisource. Similarly, 74 percent of women agreed with the statement “Female IT workers face a different set of career challenges than their career counterparts,” while less than half of the men agreed. [CNET]
  • Last week Cindy McCain appeared in a NOH8 campaign video speaking out against the government for treating gays and lesbians as “second class citizens.” But on Friday she tweeted that she also “stand[s] by my husband’s stance on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” So, so frustrating, Cindy. [AfterEllen.com]
  • Starting next year, upperclassmen at Columbia University will be allowed to live with members of the opposite sex at a pilot program taking place in six residence halls. [Columbia Spectator]
  • Ozwald Balfour, a former Republican leader in Utah, was ordered to 90 days in jail and a psychiatric evaluation six years after he was arrested for groping three women. Balfour allegedly grabbed the women’s breasts while interviewing them for a job within his company. [Salt Late Tribune]
  • Director Judd Apatow (“Knocked Up,” “Funny People”) defends himself from Jezebel’s accusations that his work as a filmmaker has been sexist. [Oh No They Didn't!]
  • A battered women’s group, Peace Over Violence, denies any affiliation with Mel Gibson’s ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva. Oksana’s lawyer had said she’d be working with the organization. [TMZ.com]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Burma’s pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi was released this Saturday after spending most of the past 25 years under house arrest. [BBC]
  • Italian women are fighting to put more women in the boardrooms, with only a dismal four percent of board members being women. [Wall Street Journal]
  • Portraits of 400 women who have gone missing in the border city of Juarez, Mexico, are on display at an exhibition in London. Many of these women have been raped as well as killed and are employed as factory workers near the U.S. border. [BBC]
  • Roberta Sykes, an activist for the aboriginal people of Australia, passed away yesterday in Sydney. She was the first indigenous Australian to graduate from a U.S. college. Sykes was awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal in 1994. [Feministing]
  • France’s highest appeals court will investigate the country’s gay marriage ban. [France24]
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