· The Oregon House approves an anti-bullying bill 50 to 9 "with all no votes coming from minority Republicans." The bill now moves to the Senate. Meanwhile in Minnesota, an anti-bullying bill advances in the Senate.
· Dhani Jones reflects on his role as cultural ambassador in his new television series Dhani Tackles the Globe. "[Jones] recalled that in Cambodia, a group of kids kept calling him 'Mr. Obama.' 'There
are some places where the people haven't seen many people of color or
people with hair like mine, so they want to touch it,' said Jones. 'Part
of Dhani Tackles the Globe is my experience of the different nuances
of different countries and people, and hopefully, it can make an
amazing experience for the next person.' " (Thanks RevKev!)
· The stalled civil unions bill has effectively been killed in the Hawaii Senate. "A motion to pull the Hawaii civil unions bill from the deadlocked Senate Judiciary Committee failed this afternoon 18 to 6, effectively killing the measure," reports HRC Backstory. The legislation passed the House of Representatives by a 33-17 vote on February 12. The AP quotes Senate Judiciary Chairman Brian Taniguchi who says the bill could be amended and revived .... but that probably cannot happen until next year.
· President Barack Obama appoints a Latina lesbian as an Associate Judge in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Marisa Demeo currently works as a Magistrate in the Criminal Division of the Superior Court. The judge has worked for numerous public interest groups such as the AIDS Service Center of Lower Manhattan and the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fun. (Thanks Andres!)
· New York City changes birth certificate policy for lesbians. Legally married lesbian couples will now have both names on the birth certificates of their children
· Kobe Bryant and wife sued by former housekeeper and accused of verbal abuse and humiliation. Among many other things, Vanessa Bryant is accused of forcing the employee to "put her hand in a bag of dog feces to retrieve the price tag" for a blouse that she had accidentally ruined. Kobe says the claim is "outrageous."
· Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will no longer cover gender reassignment surgery. A broad coalition of organizations—including the ACLU and National Association of Social Workers—condemn the decision.