2381 posts categorized "Families"

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.

November 26, 2016

Black child was taunted, beaten on school playground

This is heartbreaking. The boy is my latest hero.

Trump Picks NOM Donor and Gay Marriage Opponent Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary

This is not good.

November 19, 2016

Mom sues her own daughter for starting trans hormones without her permission

Gee, why would anyone want to get away from such a loving mother?

November 17, 2016

Congresswoman Norton pledges to defend Death with Dignity Act from congressional interference

November 06, 2016

Couples look to county clerk Kim Davis to pay legal bill

November 01, 2016

Death with Dignity Act passes first reading at DC Council

(That's me, Rick Rosendall, in the yellow shirt at center left in above pic.)

On Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 1) the Death with Dignity Act passed first reading at the DC Council by a vote of 11-2. (Dissenting were CMs Alexander and Nadeau.) Most advocates on both sides (I have testified and lobbied in favor on behalf of GLAA) have been civil toward one another during the process leading up to today's vote. Health Committee Chair Yvette Alexander, for example, held a committee markup on the bill despite her personal opposition.

But one opponent was quite exercised as today's meeting was about to begin, threatening to defeat every Councilmember who supported the bill. (Good luck with that, lady, since most Washingtonians disagree with you.) She even gave a dressing down to bill supporter Romaine Thomas, a beloved local figure who is widow and mother of past council members and a longtime public servant in her own right. The angry woman refused even to shake Romaine's hand; I, as usual, had embraced Mrs. Thomas, asked after her family (her grandson is in college), and said I was glad we were on the same side.

Continue reading "Death with Dignity Act passes first reading at DC Council" »

October 11, 2016

Australia national marriage vote blocked

Good. Your right to marry should not be subject to approval by your neighbors.

October 09, 2016

Ben Carson: Same-Sex Marriage Will Bring "Mass Killings"

In case you hadn't seen enough craziness today.

September 23, 2016

A fearless wife records police use of deadly force

The video taken by Keith Scott's wife Rakeyia of his fatal encounter with police is hard to watch and to listen to. MSNBC was just analyzing the video. I do not begrudge their doing that, but I had to mute the TV. I've had too much. One thing that shines through in the painful recording is this woman's fearlessness in confronting her husband's killers. She is not the first. If there is one ray of hope in all this, it may be that.

September 21, 2016

Trump Jr. stole photo of Skittles to denigrate refugees – from a refugee

Obama at UN Refugee Summit

President Obama addresses United Nations

September 19, 2016

McCrory staged fake Q&A to avoid questions on HB2

September 16, 2016

'Dr. Oz' Show Cuts Trump's Comments About Kissing His Daughter 'Every Chance' He Gets

On top of everything else, a high creep factor.

Robert White takes his seat as D.C. Councilmember At-Large

Congrats to freshly minted D.C. Councilmember Robert White (D-At-Large), who was sworn in today after being chosen by the D.C. Democratic State Committee to fill the unexpired term of recently resigned Councilmember Vincent Orange. In the picture below, CM White is joined by infant daughter Madison. Robert earned the highest GLAA rating in the At-Large primary race, which he won in June. He stands for a full term on November 8.

September 15, 2016

Ivanka Trump Suggests Gay Male Couples Are Out of Luck in Donald Trump's Family Leave Plan

September 12, 2016

Tim Kaine: I Think the Catholic Church is Going to Change Its Position on Gay Marriage

I appreciate Sen. Kaine's sentiments, but I think if you read what Pope Francis has written, you would be less optimistic. His Holiness has a great pastoral gift, the value of which I do not minimize. But he remains a conservative, and he has made quite clear that, his personal kindness and graciousness notwithstanding, he has no intention of changing Church doctrine regarding women or gay people. Indeed, he is appallingly uninformed on the science of gender identity. The Catholic Church is not about to budge any time soon.

UK tells gay Ugandan asylum seeker he can Skype his boyfriend after he is deported

The heartless and inhumane policy of the British Home Office toward LGBT asylum seekers continues unabated. If you pray, pray for this man's safety. We've much more work to do on the international front, even with purported allies.

September 08, 2016

Apple – Introducing iPhone 7

The world's leading brand includes a gay couple in its iPhone 7 rollout. But of course.

August 31, 2016

10,000th Syrian refugee arrives in U.S.

This is a good thing. The disgraceful hate-mongering over it by Donald Trump shames our nation. America has done much to worsen the situation in the Middle East. Taking in families fleeing the devastation and chaos is the very least we can do. When people so vehemently object to this humanitarian action, it is clear that American exceptionalism means never facing the consequences of America's projection of power around the world. If that is what greatness is all about, we should have no part of it.

August 30, 2016

Family Feud contestant shows the power of being out

Twice-Divorced Adulterer Donald Trump Immediately Exploits Clinton Top Aide's Marital Separation

Only the latest in a long series of disgusting statements by Mr. Trump.

August 25, 2016

Entire neighborhood flies rainbow flags after bigots egg their gay neighbors

Gay couple makes history in South Africa with birth of triplets

August 24, 2016

Attack of the Closeted Church Queens

Preach, Sampson!

Ciara and Russell Wilson moved wedding to London after NC's HB2

Good for them.

August 16, 2016

Vincent Orange resigns from the D.C. Council

It became official yesterday, August 15: Vincent Orange is gone from the D.C. Council. This City Paper article from 2010 shows some of the reasons why I consider this good news. In addition to having called his rival mayoral candidates in 2006 morally unfit for supporting marriage equality (he lost badly in that race), he falsely took credit for reforms at Pepco (and wrongly invoked my name while doing so).

Orange did some good things, though one bill he moved for us he only did after another Councilmember (I believe it was Jack Evans) held up one of his bills until Orange marked up the bill we wanted. Orange finally decided to support marriage equality after we had won. But he was the least trustworthy member of the Council, and his self-promotion was endless and exhausting. Democratic At-Large nominee Robert White, who is expected to be appointed to the vacant seat on an interim basis, will be a breath of fresh air on the Council.

July 25, 2016

Trump's GOP Inherits the Wind: Time to turn back a fascist mob

My new Blade column gapes at Trump's fascist rally in Cleveland, as well as the growing scandal over Russian interference in the American election. And I examine the sharp contrast between the two parties' vice presidential candidates. Have a gander while you watch self-defeating leftists trying to sabotage the proceedings in Philadelphia.

July 20, 2016

Animated gay dads to make Nickelodeon debut this week

She would not, could not, with a goat

The Tina Fey of 2016 has emerged, and it is our best girl, @LauraBenanti. Now I have something to look forward to during the rest of this campaign. Brava, Laura. You nailed it. My favorite moment is her squinting at the teleprompter.

July 15, 2016

JJ Abrams on George Takei's 'preposterous' reaction to Sulu being gay in new Star trek flick

July 13, 2016

LGBT rights vs. 'religious freedom' on full display at hearing

More on Tuesday's anti-gay FADA hearing on Capitol Hill.

Barney Frank testifies against anti-gay 'religious freedom' bill

A fine performance by the former congressman at yesterday's disgraceful hearing on the anti-LGBT, so-called First Amendment Defense Act, which is simply a continued attack on gay families waged under a new (and false) banner.

July 06, 2016

Philly Archbishop: No communion for sexually active gays

Gaping injustice and grief in Baton Rouge

Have you had occasion in your life to sob uncontrollably? Do you remember the raw grief and the sense of being lost, the free fall of despair? Were you 15 years old and facing TV cameras as Cameron Sterling was in Baton Rouge? His father Alton was shot multiple times point blank while already restrained. It is too awful for words; yet the heartbreaking video of Cameron's grief may be the only way to touch the humanity of some people. 61 years ago, Emmett Till's mother was faced with the awful decision of whether to have a closed casket or to open it and allow photographers to capture the horror. "I want them to see what they did to my son," she said. It is natural to want to grieve in private. Once again, a family reeling from the devastation of brutal injustice has found the courage to allow the cameras in. We are too good at distancing; we need to be confronted by the barbarity done in our name. But oh, for a child to have to bear that burden. I hope Cameron at least gets some sense of the countless strangers who longed to hold him as he shook. But he wants his father back, and we cannot give that to him. We must do more than cry in sympathy. We must make this stop.

Below, the horrific video of this point-blank killing of Alton Sterling while he was restrained. All cops are not monsters. But we have a terrible and recurring problem, and a big part of it is a refusal by people all along the chain of justice, including juries, to hold racist, murderous officers accountable. We have got to find a way to change this. But at least we can make some noise. Joan E. Biren writes: "Let the BATON ROUGE PD (@BRPD) know what you think. I did."
PHONE: (225) 389-2000
EMAIL: brpdinfo@brgov.com

Note: After he was shot, Sterling was mortally wounded but not dead. He died subsequently.

June 28, 2016

The 2016 anti-LGBT March for Marriage was a complete flop

June 27, 2016

Breaking: Federal Judge Rules Clerks Cannot Cite Religion to Recuse From Issuing Marriage Licenses

Mike Huckabee pays $25,500 for using Eye of the Tiger at Kim Davis rally