Double Dose: Same-Sex Marriage Survives Vote, Michael Moore Goes "Sicko," and Happy Father's Day!

June 15, 2007

Legislature Defeats Amendment Defining Marriage as Between a Man and a Woman: “The Legislature, in a vote as swift as it was historic, reaffirmed the state’s first-in-the-nation same-sex marriage ruling yesterday, unequivocally protecting the rights of gays and lesbians to wed in Massachusetts until at least 2012,” reports the Boston Globe. “In Massachusetts today, the freedom to marry is secure,” Gov. Deval Patrick said after the vote.

The Boston Globe has lots of coverage, including reactions from politicians, advocacy organizations and religious groups.

Identifying Symptoms of the “Silent Killer”: The Gynecological Cancer Foundation, the Society of Gynecologist Oncologists and the American Cancer Society have released a consensus statement that identifies a set of symptoms for early stage ovarian cancer. The tricky part is that the symptoms — bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency) — can often be confused with far less dangerous ailments.

“The majority of the time this won’t be ovarian cancer, but it’s just something that should be considered,” Dr. Barbara Goff, the director of gynecologic oncology at the University of Washington in Seattle and an author of several studies that helped identify the relevant symptoms, told The New York Times.

She emphasized that relatively new and persistent problems were the most important ones. So, the transient bloating that often accompanies menstrual periods would not qualify, nor would a lifelong history of indigestion.

Dr. Goff also acknowledged that the urinary problems on the list were classic symptoms of bladder infections, which is common in women. But it still makes sense to consult a doctor, she said, because bladder infections should be treated. Urinary trouble that persists despite treatment is a particular cause for concern, she said.

Goff was also interviewed on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Rachel at Women’s Health News has a great post about the new advice and the rate at which women are often told the problem is “all in their heads.”

Democrats Not Down for the Fight?: “On Wednesday, May 16, advocates were optimistic that legislation requiring emergency contraception to be stocked on all military bases would pass in the House,” writes Beccah Golubock Watson at In These Times. “But then, something mysterious happened.”

Weekend Arts Update: “Martin Puchner, a theater professor at Columbia University, said that more than 100 plays, beginning in the 17th century, have featured Socrates as a character. But Target Margin’s latest offering, he said, may well be the first one in which a young African-American woman plays the part,” reports The New York Times.

A Cinderella Story: Here’s a Rags to Riches tale that isn’t just for the story books — Laura Sillerman provides a feminist analysis of the first filly to win the Belmont Stakes since 1905.

Happy Father’s Day: “While a father may not be entitled to take the same pride in his sperm as he does in his kids, it’s fair to celebrate the single-minded cellular commas that helped give those children their start,” writes Natalie Angier, who writes clinically (and humorously) about the cells that make dad dad.

Meanwhile, Canadian Institutes of Health Research experts are exploring “the biological forces that forge the father-child bond” — specifically that “dads-to-be have showed higher levels of estrogen and prolactin and lower levels of testosterone than non-expectant men.” And Peggy Drexler writes at Women’s eNews about the evolution of father-daughter relationships.

Plus, Broadsheet points to a conservative blogger’s hilarious take on a study by a Yale researcher that found male congressmen who have daughters are more likely to vote in favor of legislation concerning women’s issues than those without daughters. The study was covered by USA Today.

The Sicko Truth: And, for your viewing pleasure … here’s Michael Moore on “Oprah.” (The “Oprah” video was pulled from YouTube; I’ve switched it with Moore’s interview on “Nightline.”) Moore’s new film, “Sicko,” a critique of the U.S. healthcare system, is due out June 29. Read more here. And here’s part two of the video below.

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