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December 07, 2016

D.C. surrogacy bill passes first reading

DC_Council_6Dec2016
(Photo by Tina Reed, Washington Business Journal)

The Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act of 2016 passed its first reading as part of the consent agenda at the D.C. Council Legislative Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6. That means it was supported unanimously.

The bill will have its second and final reading at an additional legislative meeting (probably December 20), then it will go to Mayor Bowser for her signature.

This carefully written bill legalizes and regulates both traditional and gestational (in vitro fertilization based) surrogacies. It will give District couples, both gay and straight, a parenting option commonly practiced elsewhere. No longer will they have to travel outside the District for this purpose. Many couples' dreams of having families will be made easier and less stressful.

This comes after a four-year effort by a coalition of groups including GLAA that worked with the Council's Judiciary Committee staff, medical experts, and family advocates. Thanks to all the activists, families, experts, and affirming clergy who helped. It was opposed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, but they've pretty much opposed everything we've done for the past three-plus decades.

After it is signed, the bill will be transmitted to Congress for the congressional review period that all D.C. legislation must undergo. There may be challenges there; stay tuned.

December 04, 2016

D.C. surrogacy bill passes Judiciary, heads to full Council on Dec. 6

On Wednesday, November 30, the surrogacy parenting bill (currently known as the Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act of 2016), which has been knocking around the Council since January 2013, passed the DC Council Committee on the Judiciary by voice vote.

The Committee of the Whole will consider the bill on Tuesday, December 6. The bill will then get its first reading and vote by the full Council at the Legislative Meeting that follows the COW meeting. Second reading will occur later in December, then the bill goes to Mayor Bowser for signature.

This bill was the work of a broad coalition of advocates coordinated by past GLAA honoree Alison Gill, including extensive work by Judiciary staff under previous Judiciary Chair Tommy Wells and current chair Kenyan McDuffie. Particular thanks to current committee director Kate Mitchell.

Legalizing and regulating surrogacy is the last major piece of family-related law on GLAA's policy agenda. We testified in support of it in June 2013. I will conclude my term as GLAA president at the end of this month. I will be very glad to leave office on this note. We and our allies may have to battle to defend it during its congressional review period on Capitol Hill; but first things first.

The attacks on our ally Rep. Ellison

Rosendall_introducing_Ellison

Here are my remarks introducing Rep. Keith Ellison as keynote speaker at the ACLU/NCA Bill of Rights Dinner in April 2013. The attacks on him now that he is running for DNC chair are beneath the dignity of responsible advocates.

Adichie: in dangerous times, holding firm the boundaries of what is right and just

Where the author looks at how calls for an end to identity politics are a mask for white identity politics.

Trump in an emergency: pulling a Homer

Unlike B.H. Obama and H.R. Clinton, Donald Trump has not done his homework. I am waiting for him to pull a Homer. I prefer not to give him that chance. But I am just one small voice.

Rules of thumb for a dark age

Fake_news_is_propaganda

No justice even when it's caught on tape

Oakland's fire chief: "In my career of 30 years, I haven't experienced something of this magnitude"

Cristiano Ronaldo Proves He’s the ‘Blue Steel’ of Real Madrid in Shirtless Team Selfie

There Is No "War On Christmas," Unless You Count The Battle For Christian Supremacy

Happy holidays, everyone. I say it that way because my friends embrace a variety of cultural and religious traditions. I wish to be inclusive. You could say that I think All Holidays Matter. If that offends you, it likely means that you are a Christian supremacist, though you probably hadn't thought of it that way because you just took your Christian privilege for granted. With that attitude, you probably also voted for Trump. Well we live in a diverse society, and religious freedom means not just yours but everybody's. So instead of wailing about a nonexistent war on Christmas, kindly shove a good old pagan Yule Log up your backside. Fa la la la la.

Happy_Holidays

In assessing Trump, don’t forget Bush era

Excellent commentary by Charles Francis of Mattachine Society. Mattachine's "unerasure" activism is sadly more needed than ever.

Trump Tower Havana

State Dept. asked to apologize over 'lavender scare' firings

Anti-gay Gambian president loses re-election bid

Good news of an early end to a promised billion-year reign.

December 01, 2016

Trump's flaws will follow him into Situation Room

My latest column is now online at the Washington Blade.

November 26, 2016

Sen.Rubio has the gall to slam Castro's anti-gay record

I was no fan of Fidel Castro, who was a brutal despot who impoverished and enslaved his people. But Marco, you hypocrite, you can just take a seat.

Contrasting statement on Castro death by Presidents 44 and 45

Above, a tasteful and diplomatic statement by President Obama. Below, a tweet by his successor.

Black child was taunted, beaten on school playground

This is heartbreaking. The boy is my latest hero.

Major HIV vaccine trial in South Africa stokes hope

Christiane Amanpour: 2016 Burton Benjamin Memorial Award Acceptance Speech

Superb, eloquent speech by Christiane Amanpour appealing for the freedom and safety of journalists at home in America. Yes, she is talking about the authoritarian behavior of the President-Elect.