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Vermont legalizes gay marriage!

Vermont legalizes gay marriage with veto override

The House recorded a dramatic 100-49 vote — the minimum needed — to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto. Its vote followed a much easier override vote in the Senate, which rebuffed the Republican governor with a vote of 23-5.

Vermont was the first state to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples and joins Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa in giving gays the right to marry. Their approval of gay marriage came from the courts.

Tuesday morning's legislative action came less than a day after Douglas issued a veto message saying the bill would not improve the lot of gay and lesbian couples because it still would not provide them rights under federal and other states' laws.

April 06, 2009

VA teen suspended for two weeks because of birth-control pill

VA teen suspended for two weeks because of birth-control pill - Feministing

This is crazy.

Because of a zero tolerance drug policy at her Fairfax County, Virginia public school, one teen was given a two week suspension when she was caught taking her birth control pill during lunch. From the Washington Post:

School officials say they can't take chances. They are concerned about liability and safety. Any pills, even nonprescription pills, could be shared with another student who has allergies. And it would be difficult to enforce rules if students were allowed to take some pills but not others.

"Most people would not know the difference between birth control or some Ritalin or Tylenol or codeine," said Clarence Jones, coordinator for the Fairfax school system's safe and drug-free youth program. "If they are just pulling something out of their pockets and sticking it in their mouths, we don't know what they are taking."

It gets better!

During two weeks of watching television game shows and trying to keep up with homework online, the Fairfax teen, an honor student and lettered athlete, had time to study the handbook closely. If she had been caught high on LSD, heroin or another illegal drug, she found, she would have been suspended for five days. Taking her prescribed birth-control pill on campus drew the same punishment as bringing a gun to school would have.

April 05, 2009

Chinese Hunger for Sons Fuels Boys’ Abductions

Chinese Hunger for Sons Fuels Boys’ Abductions - NYTimes.com

Peng Gaofeng was busy with customers when a man snatched his 4-year-old son from the plaza in front of his shop as throngs of factory workers enjoyed a spring evening. “I turned away for a minute, and when I called out for him he was gone,” Mr. Peng said.

These and thousands of other children stolen from the teeming industrial hubs of China’s Pearl River Delta have never been recovered by their parents or by the police. But anecdotal evidence suggests the children do not travel far. Although some are sold to buyers in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, most of the boys are purchased domestically by families desperate for a male heir, parents of abducted children and some law enforcement officials who have investigated the matter say.

April 03, 2009

Sarah Palin's sister-in-law arrested for multiple burglaries

Alaska Politics Blog : Todd Palin's half-sister arrested for burglary | adn.com

Diana Palin, 35, entered a home near Wasilla’s Multi-Use Sports Complex and attempted to steal cash from the owner’s bedroom, police said.

She also broke into the same house on Tuesday and stole $400, they said.

She was arrested Thursday morning on felony charges of first-degree burglary and misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and theft, police said. Friday morning, she remained jailed at Mat-Su Pretrial Facility in Palmer in lieu of $10,000 bail and court-approved third party custodian.

Diana and her husband, Scott McLean, live in a different neighborhood from the location of the home she is accused of burglarizing.

McLean said Friday he didn’t recognize the street where his wife was arrested and had no idea why she might do what police say she did. McLean described Diana Palin asa stay-at-home mom who takes good care of their two young children.

Terrorist kills 12 people at Immigration Center in upstate New York

Massacre kills 12 at immigration center in NY - Yahoo! News

Details are still slim.

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – A gunman opened fire at an immigration services center in downtown Binghamton on Friday, killing as many as 13 people before authorities found him dead, officials said.

Gov. David Paterson said at a news conference that 12 or 13 people had been killed.

A law enforcement official said the body of the man believed to be the gunman was found in an office of the American Civic Association building. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the details of an ongoing hostage situation and was talking on condition of anonymity.

April 02, 2009

Sweden Legalizes Gay Marriage

BBC NEWS | Europe | Sweden allows same-sex marriage

Sweden will allow gay couples to be legally married from next month.

Parliament voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to recognise same-sex marriage, becoming the fifth country in Europe to do so.

Sweden was one of the first countries to give gay couples legal "partnership" rights, in the mid-1990s, and allowed them to adopt children from 2002.