Lesbian woman sues US sperm bank after giving birth to a mixed-race child

It’s thought that someone at the Ohio sperm bank misread the label on the vial, resulting in the white woman receiving sperm from an African-American donor despite having requested a Caucasian sample.

Jennifer CramblettA white woman in Ohio is suing a sperm bank because she says staff mistakenly gave her vials of semen from an African-American donor after she had requested samples from a white man.

Jennifer Cramblett used the services of the Downers Grove-based Midwest Sperm Bank in 2011 and successfully became pregnant.

She is now raising her two-year-old mixed-race daughter with her same-sex partner, Amanda Zinkon, in Uniontown, Ohio.

Although she became aware of the mix-up when she was pregnant in April 2012, Cramblett says that she has decided to sue the sperm bank now because she has experienced difficulties in the child’s upbringing in a predominantly all-white community – which she describes in the lawsuit as ‘too racially intolerant’.

She is suing for ‘wrongful birth’ and ‘breach of warranty’, saying that she has suffered emotional and economic losses.

The lawsuit, which was republished by the Sun Sentinel, can be read in its entirety here. It states, ‘On August 21, 2012, Jennifer gave birth to Payton, a beautiful, obviously mixed-race baby girl.

‘Jennifer bonded with Payton easily and she and Amanda love her very much. Even so, Jennifer lives each day with fears, anxieties and uncertainty about her future and Payton’s future.’

The lawsuits says that the women became aware of the problem when they contacted the clinic to enquire about getting more samples from the same donor, with a view to Zinkon also conceiving a child.

The lawsuit suggests that the error was due to the clinic hand-labeling samples in pen and ink instead of printing clear electronic labels: Cramblett was sent samples from donor ‘330’ instead of donor ‘380’.

When the error became apparent, the clinic wrote a letter of apology and issued Cramblett with a refund for the sperm samples that she had already purchased.

The lawsuit says that because of Cramblett’s upbringing, where family members expressed stereotypical attitudes around non-white people, she has ‘limited cultural competency relative to African Americans’ and is undergoing a ‘steep learning curve.’

‘As just one example, getting a young daughter’s hair cut is not particularly stressful for most mothers, but to Jennifer it is not a routine matter, because Payton has hair typical of an African American girl. To get a decent cut, Jennifer must travel to a black neighborhood, far from where she lives, where she is obviously different in appearance, and not overtly welcome.’

Cramblett believes her child’s welfare and psychological well-being would be improved if the family moved to a more racially diverse area, and that she feels particular stress at the thought of sending her to an all-white school.

In an interview with NBC News, Cramblett said that she had initially been ‘mad’ with the sperm bank for being negligent, and was then upset because she felt they didn’t seem to care about her feelings and emotions.

In talking about the reasons for launching the lawsuit, she said, ‘We decided we had to take this into our hands because… I’m not going to sit back and let this happen to anyone every again.

‘You can’t just do that and say, “Well you got a baby… so you should be happy. Lesbian couples can’t get a baby anyway… you should be happy you have a healthy child”. I am happy that I have a healthy child. We love her more to this day, she’s made us the people that we are, never trade her for the world… but I’m not going to let them get away with not being held accountable.’

The Midwest Sperm Bank has declined to comment on the lawsuit.

(Courtesy of GayStarNews.com)

 

Lesbian woman sues US sperm bank after giving birth to a mixed-race child was originally published on Lesbian News

Supreme Court Takes No Immediate Action On Gay Marriage

The Supreme Court has taken no action on appeals asking it to take up the issue of same-sex marriage.

The gay marriage cases are not among cases the court agreed to hear in its term that begins next week.

The justices are expected Monday to turn away appeals in hundreds of cases, although it is not likely the same-sex marriage cases will be among those.

The justices meet again in private on October 10 to consider new cases, and decisions about what to hear could be announced then or on October 14.

(Courtesy of HuffPost.com)

Supreme Court Takes No Immediate Action On Gay Marriage was originally published on Lesbian News

October 2014 Femastrology

October Sun Sign Profile: Libra (September 23-October 22)

It’s always fascinating to hear what people have to say about their own Sun Signs. “So, how do you like being a Capricorn?” I asked a gal that the other day and she answered confidently, “Well, I think it’s a pretty good fit for me!” Typical practical, strong, business-like Capricorn answer! But when I ask most Libras the results are quite different. It usually goes something like this: “Well, yeah, you know, harmony, balance, beauty, and stuff like that…right?” Almost always, they want me to tell them what I think. And there is a key to the Libra personality, they want to connect.

Libra

Don’t get me wrong, Libras have their own opinions and don’t mind expressing them. Air Signs like to talk. Libras aren’t as notoriously chatty as Gemini’s but they can come in a close second. Cordial, engaging, charming, and persuasive, Libras often shine in professions where tact, decorum, and diplomacy matter. Of course, they also make great used car salesmen. When Libras piss other people off, it’s usually because of their schmooze-meister tendencies, coupled with their sometimes not-so-great knack for being superficial. Now, these aren’t the usual things you hear about the sign of Love and Relating, but every Sun Sign has its dark side!

 

Known for their refined good taste and artistic abilities, Libras always have something to add to the style file. They are good to follow on Pinterest. They also tend to kick butt in one-on-one sports like Martial Arts and tennis. And they make good cops and lawyers, too, as they have a sense of justice and fair play. They can make good criminals, if they have a partner. Bonnie Parker of Bonnie and Clyde was a Libra. And they love to be in love! Bedroom hint: They say Libras like to be dominated, but it’s really just a trap! You’ll be wrapped around their little fingers in no time!

 

Libra gets along with fellow air signs Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, but may tend to seek out partnerships with those who are more “opposite” in some ways. They can match up nicely with a powerful Scorpio or a dominant Aries or Leo. Cancer and Capricorn might possibly be the worst match for Libra, as the tense aspects between these signs can block intimacy, which is Libra’s main goal. Dating a Libra? Make sure you like to talk, in the bedroom, too.

 

Femastrology Horoscopes for October 2013

For all the Sun Signs: October starts out with an explosive bang! Uranus in Aries, the bringer of sudden, revolutionary change, will be way close to Earth on the 10/4/13, opposing the New Moon in Libra. This could stir up some major drama, both personally and globally. Watch the headlines, you’ll see plenty. Mercury goes retrograde in Scorpio on October 21, 2013, but we’ll start feeling the effects much earlier, so head’s up! Get all important decision-making done during the first week of the month, or better wait until mid-November. There’s a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aries on 10/18/13…right before Mercury Retrograde, so all I can say is, October is going to be one wild ass month!

October Opportunity Days: 9, 15, 16, 20, and 25.

 

Aries (March 21-April 19) Expect the unexpected big time regarding relationships! Important people in your life are in transition. Keep your cool as things could get a little dramatic. Be cautious with any legal issues that might crop up, they could be more important than you think.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Pay particular attention to all matters connected to health at the start of the month, as something may arise suddenly that needs quick attention. Keep an eye on possible fires that need to be put out in the work place. Stay centered!

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Single Gemini’s could be tempted to hook up this month, but be discriminating. You might change your mind by next month in a big way! This is a good month for getting outside your comfort zone socially, and for your creativity, so enjoy. It could be rapturous!

Cancer (June 21-July 21) Keep things calm, cool and collected on the home front, if possible. Then you will be able to focus on potentially powerful opportunities for career and life direction. There could be some major change with a close family member who might need your advice or assistance.

Leo (July 23-August 22) This could be a great month for you if you don’t end up putting your own foot deep into your mouth. Take care with any and all important communication. Less is more and watch what you put in writing. Be particularly aware when traveling, both around town or further. Get your car checked out if anything seems amiss.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) It’s all about the money, honey, so put some effort into all things fiscal this month and you’ll come out ahead. Respond to changes or upsets with money by taking decisive action.

Libra (September 23-October 22) This could be one wild birthday! This month snaps and sizzles with change, particularly in the relationship zone. If you are in the mood to put yourself out there, in business or personally, you’ll be noticed. Dress up, you are being observed.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Time to see what condition your condition is in. Feel like venting? Get ye to your shrink. Much is stirring inside of you and it behooves you to start processing it. You may be privy to some stunning secrets. Will you keep them?

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) This could be a super-fantastic month for your social life. Not interested? Why not? If something else more serious is on your mind, know that you are more likely to succeed this month with just about anything you try. Take advantage of it and get some things moving.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This will be a wild and somewhat unpredictable month for you, so get yourself together right at the start. Don’t procrastinate on ANYTHING. You’ll need your wits about you to take advantage of major opportunities that could arise.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18) You should be able to take advantage of some high energy, so channel it towards something useful. If you want to go somewhere, go. If you want to learn something, grab onto it. Action required!

Pisces (February 19-March 20) A fascinating brew of the past colliding with the future awaits this month. Use your psychic skills to figure out the maze and get a hold of some things you really want and need.

Victoria Bearden has practiced astrology for over 30 years, with clients across the country and abroad. To set up a personal consultation you can call her at 760-634-1028 or visit her web site at www.victoriabearden.com.

 

October 2014 Femastrology was originally published on Lesbian News

Louisiana judge rules in favor of the freedom to marry, 40th victory since June ‘13

Today, September 22, Judge Edward Rubin of the 15th Judicial District Court ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in a state legal challenge to an amendment in Louisiana that denies same-sex couples the freedom to marry.

The case, Costanza and Brewer v. Caldwell, was filed in 2013 on behalf of Angela Marie Costanza and Chastity Shanelle Brewer, who are raising their 10-year-old son in Lafayette. The case sought respect for Angela and Chastity’s marriage license; since Louisiana did not respect their marriage, one mother was not permitted to legally adopt her son.

The ruling today grants the second-parent adoption and affirms that the Louisiana amendment violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.

The ruling today comes just three weeks after U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman became the first federal judge since June 2013 to uphold marriage discrimination, when he ruled in Robicheaux v. Caldwell in favor of marriage discrimination in Louisiana. Judge Rubin’s order today is a swift rebuttal of the out-of-step decision inRobicheaux and is another demonstration that America – all of America – is ready for the freedom to marry.

In total, 40 separate rulings have been issued since June 2013 in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. More than 80 cases have been filed in state and federal courts across the country. In five cases, all parties have urged the United States Supreme Court to grant certiorari this year and resolve the question of whether same-sex couples have the freedom to marry.

(Courtesy of FreedomToMarry.org)

Louisiana judge rules in favor of the freedom to marry, 40th victory since June ‘13 was originally published on Lesbian News

250,000 gay couples married in America in the first decade of marriage equality

The United States Census Bureau has found that there are now over half a million married gay and lesbian Americans, ten years after Massachusetts became the first state to allow them to marry

Over half a million Americans have married a partner of the same-sex, new Census data released this month reveals.

The United States Census Bureau estimated in 2012 that there were only 182,000 same-sex married couples in America.

However revised estimates from the bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey upped that figure substantially to nearly 252,000.

That figure does not include same-sex couples who married but then later divorced.

In comparison there are 56 million American households that are headed by opposite-sex married couples.

Until May of this year the US Census Bureau lumped people who reported being in same-sex marriages in with unmarried couples who were living together, making it difficult to get an accurate picture of how many gay and lesbian Americans have actually married.

The first same-sex couples to legally marry in America began doing so ten years ago on 17 May 2004 in the state of Massachusetts following a November 2003 ruling by its state Supreme Judicial Court.

The Census Bureau also found that only 50.3% of Americans over 18 were in married relationships in 2013 – down from an all time high in 1960 when 72.2% of Americans were in opposite-sex marriages and same-sex relationships were illegal and not recorded.

It wasn’t until two years later in 1962 that Illinois became the first US state to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults.

(Courtesy of GayStarNews.com)

250,000 gay couples married in America in the first decade of marriage equality was originally published on Lesbian News

Alison Bechdel Awarded MacArthur Fellowship: ‘Fun Home’ Creator One Of 21 New Fellows

On Wednesday, cartoonist [and former LN cover] Alison Bechdel was named one of 21 new MacArthur Fellows.

Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel via Lesbian News, September 2003

Bechdel’s name may be familiar to you from her graphic memoirs Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic and Are You My Mother?, or you may recognize her as the deviser of the Bechdel test, a metric she described in a 1985 comic strip that assesses whether movies have meaningful interactions between female characters. For decades, she’s been assembling a groundbreaking body of work that plays with what the cartoon form can do, through her graphic memoirs as well as through her comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For.”

Bechdel’s choice as a MacArthur Fellow made a splash, however, as it marks only the second time a cartoonist has been selected for the honor. The first, Ben Katchor, was awarded the fellowship in 2000.

Graphic novels and cartoons have been catching more and more of the spotlight in recent years, with serious, realistic comic books such as Bechdel’s memoirs, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, and Craig Thompson’s Blankets helping push the form further into the literary mainstream. Not all attention is positive, however; the American Library Association has made graphic novels the theme of 2014’s Banned Books Week (Sept. 21-27), because “despite their literary merit and popularity as a format, they are often subject to censorship.”

Bechdel’s choice for a MacArthur fellowship, however, demonstrates that the increasingly serious critical attention shown to cartoonists and graphic novelists can pay dividends. The fellowship provides $625,000 over five years to each recipient; Bechdel noted to the Los Angeles Times, “It will give me a lot of security that I don’t have.”

Though no novelists or short-story writers numbered among the 2014 winners, new fellows also included poet Terrance Hayes, translator and poet Khaled Mattawa, and playwright Samuel D. Hunter.

Read more about all 21 MacArthur Fellows from 2014 here.

(Courtesy of HuffPost.com)

 

Alison Bechdel Awarded MacArthur Fellowship: ‘Fun Home’ Creator One Of 21 New Fellows was originally published on Lesbian News

ICYMI, k.d. lang Featured on Canada Post Stamp

k.d. lang Canadian Post Stamp

Singer-songwriter k.d. lang is featured on a new stamp released by the Canada Post, pictured above. Each stamp features a photo of lang taken by Jeri Heiden, whose art direction can be seen on lang’s many iconic album designs. The stamp is one of five in the Post’s Country Legends stamp series, honoring some of Canada’s most recognized country musicians, and part of Canada Post’s larger 2014 stamp program, which aims to demonstrate Canada’s diverse combination of achievement, progress, and culture. The new k.d. lang stamp is now available to order via canadapost.ca.

“Collectively we continue to capture moments that will long live through our stamp collection,” says Deepak Chopra, President and CEO of Canada Post. “And we encourage everyone to take note of these stories as they truly mark who we are as Canadians.”

k.d. lang’s latest album, Sing it Loud, was released on Nonesuch Records in 2011 and followed the 2010 career retrospective Recollection, which marked the 25th anniversary of her recording debut. She made her Broadway debut earlier this year in the new musical, After Midnight. In 2013, lang was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. She had previously won eight Juno Awards, four Grammy Awards, a BRIT, an AMA, a VMA, and four awards from GLAAD. In 1996, she received Canada’s highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada.

(Courtesy of nonesuch.com)

 

ICYMI, k.d. lang Featured on Canada Post Stamp was originally published on Lesbian News

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Watch 6th Circuit For SCOTUS’ Next Move On Gay Marriage

People seeking clues about how soon the Supreme Court might weigh in on states’ gay marriage bans should pay close attention to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told a Minnesota audience Tuesday.

Ginsburg said cases pending before the circuit covering Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee would probably play a role in the high court’s timing. She said “there will be some urgency” if that appeals court allows same-sex marriage bans to stand. Such a decision would run contrary to a legal trend favoring gay marriage and force the Supreme Court to step in sooner, she predicted.

She said if the appeals panel falls in line with other rulings there is “no need for us to rush.”

Ginsburg didn’t get into the merits of any particular case or any state’s gay marriage ban, but she marveled at the “remarkable” shift in public perception of same-sex marriage that she attributes to gays and lesbians being more open about their relationships. Same-sex couples can legally wed in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Bans that have been overturned in some other states continue to make their way through the courts.

“Having people close to us who say who they are — that made the attitude change in this country,” Ginsburg said at the University of Minnesota Law School.

The Supreme Court returns from a summer recess in early October. Ginsburg wasn’t the only justice on the lecture circuit Tuesday; Justice Clarence Thomas was addressing a gathering in Texas.

Thomas, one of the court’s conservatives, expressed his firm belief in the strict construction of the Constitution during his appearance at the University of Texas at Tyler. As a judge, Thomas said, he’s “not into creative writing,” the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported.

And Thomas said he’s motivated by the belief that if the country “is not perfect, it is perfectible.”

Fifteen months ago, the high court struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that denied a range of tax, health and veterans benefits to legally married gay couples. Rulings invalidating state gay marriage bans followed in quick succession.

Ginsburg spent 90 minutes before an audience of hundreds discussing her two decades on the Supreme Court as well as her days as an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer. In a question-and-answer period, she predicted that cases dealing with the environment and technology would make for watershed decisions in years to come.

Privacy of information carried on smartphones in the context of criminal searches could be particularly big, Ginsburg said. “You can have on that cellphone more than you can pack in a file cabinet,” she said.

The liberal justice said the court is the most collegial place she has worked as she fondly described her close relationship with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. She made sure to plug a comic opera about the two of them — “Scalia/Ginsburg” — that will debut next year in Virginia.

And the 81-year-old Ginsburg elicited plenty of laughter by highlighting a Tumblr account about her called the “Notorious R.B.G.” and a never-realized dream job.

“If I had any talent God could give me, I would be a great diva,” she said.

(Courtesy of HuffPost.com)

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Watch 6th Circuit For SCOTUS’ Next Move On Gay Marriage was originally published on Lesbian News

Writer for ‘Orange Is the New Black’: Show helped me realize I was gay

When “Orange is the New Black” writer Lauren Morelli started working on the series, she didn’t realize how much it would also script her future.

As Morelli wrote in an essay for Mic.com in May, writing for the Netflix hit helped her realize that she was gay — even though at the time, she was married to a man. When production began on “OITNB,” Morelli had been wed for five months.

“I realized I was gay in fall 2012, one of my first days on the set,” Morelli wrote. “It wasn’t so much one thing, but the sum of many small details: how uncomfortable I felt around groups of lesbians or how I considered myself … a ‘not very sexual person.’ When considered alone, these seemed like little quirks that made me me.”

But on the set of “OITNB,” where she helped shape the story of main character Piper (Taylor Schilling) and her relationships, “these small moments came into sharp relief,” Morelli continued. “I was finally forced to consider a question that had never, ever occurred to me before … am I gay?”

That answer, she discovered, was yes. Watching a love scene that she’d written between Piper and Alex (Laura Prepon) unfold in front of the cameras, Morelli said she found her emotions paralleling the show. “I’d found a mouthpiece for my own desires,” she wrote in her essay, “and a glimmer of what my future could look like.”

According to TMZ, Morelli and her husband of two years, Steve Basilone, have now amicably split and have jointly filed for divorce. The OITNB writer is also reportedly dating one of the show’s stars, Samira Wiley, the actress who plays Poussey and who sometimes pops up in Morelli’s Instagram feed.

“I went through it all on set: I fell in love with a woman, and I watched my life play out on screen,” Morelli wrote on Mic.com. “This is my story, which is messy and nuanced and a constantly moving target, but one I’m grateful for.”

(Courtesy of CNN.com)

Writer for ‘Orange Is the New Black’: Show helped me realize I was gay was originally published on Lesbian News

Web censor lifts ban on gay content for millions of users

Symantec, the software firm behind Norton AntiVirus, routinely allowed customers to filter out LGBTI websites

One of the biggest web filtering services in the world has announced they are scrapping a system that allows Symantec has allowed access to LGBT web siteshomophobes to block access to ‘gay and lesbian’ content.

Symantec, the online security firm behind Norton AntiVirus, has routinely been filtering out LGBTI websites offering news, charity and support as they consider them to be essentially the same thing as child porn.

The fourth-largest software company in the world, they say the ‘lifestyle-sexual orientation’ category will now be steadily removed from its databases.

‘Making this change was not only the right thing to do, it was a good business decision,’ said Fran Rosch, executive vice president, Norton Business Unit, Symantec today (16 September).

‘Having a category in place that could be used to filter out all LGBT-oriented sites was inconsistent with Symantec’s values and the mission of our software.’

While Symantec will allow customers to set their search to block offensive websites, there will no longer be an option to block websites just because they have LGBTI content.

The AP reports the firm’s shift came after customers at Au Bon Pain cafe and bakery set up a campaign after they found the free Wi-Fi was blocking access to LGBTI charities.

GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said the change proves that ‘Symantec gets it’.

‘It’s time that our software reflects our values, and that means filtering out discrimination,’ she said.

Earlier this year, following pressure from Gay Star News, Dell scrapped their own filtering system that allowed the blocking of LGBTI websites.

(Courtesy of GayStarNews.com)

Web censor lifts ban on gay content for millions of users was originally published on Lesbian News