UPDATE, 12/18/13, 10:30 a.m.: The title of this post used to read “R. Kelly Responds To Underage Girl Sex Expose With Football Metaphor ,” which was incorrect. R. Kelly hasn’t been accused of “sex,” he has been accused of sexual abuse of underage girls. In my haste to write a headline yesterday, I didn’t think that distinction through. — Jessica
This June, the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional in a case called Windsor v. United States. The woman behind the nation-changing lawsuit is Edith Windsor, an 84-year-old lesbian whose spouse, Thea Spyer, died in 2009. The women got engaged in 1967 and Edie wore a circular brooch with diamonds, so that coworkers and neighbors would not know they were a couple. For 40 years they stayed engaged, finally marrying in Canada in 2007. After Thea died, Edie was hit with $600,000 in taxes, because her U.S. government did not recognize her same-sex marriage as valid. By ruling DOMA unconstitutional, the Supreme Court affirmed the right of gay couples to have their marriages recognized on the federal level. As a runner-up for TIME magazine’s Person Of The Year distinction, here Edith speaks with TIME about the depth of her relationship with Thea and hiding their sexuality from anyone but their closest friends for decades. “There’s some legitimacy that we never knew we were lacking,” Edith said about getting married. “If you really care about the quality of someone’s life as much as you care about as your own, you have it made.” What a sweet and lovely woman. Edith, you’re my person of the year. [TIME]
It’s about damn time.
The United States is one of only a few countries in the world that does not provide any sort of paid maternity leave. In fact, it’s the only industrialized nation not to do so. All that could change with the Family And Medical Leave Insurance Act, a bill introduced today by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D -
CT NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).
The Family Act, as it’s being called for short, proposes an insurance plan that would provide paid family leave and paid sick leave for all workers: public or private, self-employed or full- or part-time. Workers could take time off for their own illness or that of a child, parent or spouse; it also includes both newborn and adopted children coming into the home. As described in The New York Times, the funding would be from both employers and employees. The benefits would be capped at $4,000 per month, covering 12 weeks/60 “caregiving days,” a year.
In other words, it is three months paid leave. Keep reading »
“Gayle [King] was the kind of kid who, in seventh grade Home Ec class, was writing down her name and the names of her children. While she was having those kind of daydreams, I was having daydreams about how I could be Martin Luther King. …If I had kids, my kids would hate me. They would have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah show talking about me; because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would’ve probably been them.”
This is Oprah Winfrey explaining why being childless by choice is the best decision for her and her career, including the baby
she had and gave up for adoption at 14. [Update: As a commenter has correctly pointed out, Oprah’s baby was stillborn.] Can you imagine if we didn’t have Oprah because she’d devoted her life to motherhood instead? Or even half her life? It would certainly be a different media and entertainment business we would have and possibly a different world. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Keep reading »