Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law a measure legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington State, making it the seventh in the nation to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed, USA Today reported Feb. 13. Gregoire, who is a Democrat and Roman Catholic, said, "I'm proud our same-sex couples will no longer be treated as separate but equal." The law takes effect June 7.
More News to Cheer This Week:
- Female prisoners should be allowed temporary release from jail to visit their children, a British High Court judge ruled, The Daily Mail reported Feb. 14.
- The U.S. Embassy has handed over two new ambulances and other gear to the Islamabad Women's Police Station, The South Asian News Agency reported Feb. 15.
- Mexican federal prosecutors say they have detained four people who for almost a decade lured unsuspecting young Mexican women to the United States to force them into prostitution, reported the Associated Press Feb. 15.
- Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes urged Congress and President Obama to renew the Violence Against Women Act in column appearing in The NY Daily News Feb. 15.
- House lawmakers inWashington State passed a bill requiring health insurers covering maternity care to also pay for abortions, SeattlePi.com reported Feb. 14.
- President Obama preserved $296 million in the Title X Family Planning Program in his 2013 budget plan, Planned Parenthood said in a Feb. 13 press statement. The budget also calls for nearly $105 million for teen pregnancy, keeping 2012 funding levels.
- Eve Ensler, Tony Award-winning playwright and activist, wants to mobilize one billion people worldwide to stand against violence, culminating on Feb. 14, 2013, with people walking out of work, school or wherever they are next Valentine's Day and dancing together in solidarity against violence, her V-Day organization announced Feb. 14 in a press statement.
- Egypt's head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi ordered the formation of the National Council for Women, one year after it had been dissolved following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak, Bikya Masr reported Feb.12.
- Pregnant women with cancer can be treated and receive chemotherapy with minimal risk for the fetus, Europeans researchers found, The Washington Post reported Feb. 11. A Belgian-led study of 70 children in Europe exposed to chemotherapy while they were in the womb found they developed just as well as other children, according to tests on their hearts, IQ and general health.
- NARAL Pro-Choice America, which supports abortion rights, is airing radio ads in four swing state defending President Obama for seeking to require that all insurance companies cover contraception in their basic plans, The Hill reported Feb. 13.