New Ruling Recognizes Rights Of Same-Sex Parents • Australia Considers Burqa Ban


• On Wednesday, the Obama administration will change a 1993 law, which will allow employees to take time off work to care for the children of their same-sex partners, regardless of whether they have legally adopted the child.

The ruling is part of Obama’s increased effort – which some have deemed an “incremental response” – to grant equal rights to gay and lesbian couples. The Labor Department will recognize that “if you act like a parent, do the work of a parent and raise the child like a parent, then you are a parent for the purpose of the Family and Medical Leave Act.” However, others are not so supportive of Obama’s actions, and claim that he hasn’t done enough to fulfill his promises to the gay community. • Though younger tennis players – or “pigtailed prodigies,” as the Wall Street Journal terms them – often get a lot of media attention, it’s the more established players that are filling the top seed this year. Unfortunately, it’s the phenoms that “made women’s tennis intriguing to the world,” and the dearth of young pros may be very bad for the game’s popularity. • Kid’s soccer is a lot safer than the stunts you see at the World Cup, but it can still be a dangerous game. Interestingly, there is a difference between the injuries that usually befell boys and girls. Girls are far more prone to heat illness and concussions. They are also more likely to tear a ligament in their supporting leg, while boys tend to tear in their dominant legs. Experts believe this has to do with different playing styles. • Scientists are one step closer to figuring out why some moms get postpartum depression, while others bounce back from the stress of labor with no problems. They believe it may have to do with levels of the enzyme monoamine oxidase A, which affects the transmission of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. • In other parenting news, a recent study out of Sweden found that fathers who take paternity leave live longer than those who return to work immediately. Experts are not sure why this is the case, but they speculate that men who are closely involved in their children’s health tend to take better care of their own bodies. They also take into account the stress-relieving effects of strong family ties. • A woman from Cahokia, Illinois was gunned down on a busy St. Louis-area highway on Sunday afternoon while dozens of witnesses watched from their car windows. Ashley Oliver ran across several lanes of traffic, banging on vehicle windows and begging for help, before her attacker and boyfriend caught up to her and shot her in the head. • The archbishops of Canterbury and York are attempting to mend the rift growing in the Church of England over the issue of appointing female bishops. The two men are proposing a new concession to opponents of women bishops, which will require a female bishop to share her diocese with a man. • And over in Italy, members of the Roman Catholic church are not too thrilled with a new film that depicts the life of Pope Joan. The movie is based on rumors that a female pope existed in the ninth century. According to the story, which the Church refutes, Joan rose to the position of power after disguising herself as a man. Representatives of the Church say the film has an “extremely limited vision” and is based on a “hoax.” • The Australian parliament is considering a bill that would ban women from wearing burqas and other face veils in public. Last month, the same bill was voted down in the NSW Upper House, partially because some of the MPs believe the measure is discriminatory. “Last month the coalition and the government did the right thing and said no, they would not allow the Upper House to be home to this kind of racist dog whistling,” said Green MP John Kaye. • Recent statistics out of New York reveals that maternal mortality statistics, while declining elsewhere in the world, are still disturbingly high in some groups. Black women are seven times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, according to data gathered from neighborhoods throughout New York City in 2001-2005. • Gay men in America are still not allowed to donate blood. The FDA explains that they’ve kept this outdated law on the books because men who have had sex with men (MSM) “are, as a group, at increased risk for HIV, hepatitis B and certain other infections.” Over at Slate, William Saletan responds by asking: “If it’s OK to reject blood from gay men, what about blacks?” • A Nigerian syndicate has been busted by police for defrauding some 111 Malaysian women. The scam involved Nigerians posing as handsome British men, who wooed the victims over online chats, before persuading them to send money – for misplaced gifts, of course. 11 Nigerian men and three local women have been arrested after months of investigation. • As New York comes closer to passing a no-fault divorce law (and thus catching up with the rest of the country), the debate over whether this is good for women rages on. Today’s entry: No-Fault Divorce is a Good Idea for Moms. • Physicians from Loyola University advise female marathoners to be careful and make sure they are getting proper nutrition. Like everything else, too much exercise can sometimes be too much, especially if it is not coupled with proper diet. • Now that burlesque has gone mainstream, there is a new trend in female-friendly sexification: Boudoir photos. Expect to see this featured in next month’s Cosmo under “sexy gifts to give your man.” •

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