LGBTQ

In the U.S., surrogate parenting is widely accepted. Although no official figures exist, experts believe perhaps a thousand American children are born every year through surrogacy.

A patchwork of state-to-state regulations governs the practice. But the bottom line is if you're an American in the market for a surrogate — and you have money to spend — you can do it.

Things are very different in other parts of the world.

Seattle moms Sarah Weigle and Julia Crouch and their daughter Maya. Although married in Washington state, Crouch chose to adopt their daughter to protect her status as a parent across the U.S.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on gay marriage this month. The high court decision could mark the end of a complicated legal era in which same-sex couples have had to jump through legal hoops to legally protect their family unit.

Waiting for Laverne Cox to enter the room.
Marlo Mack

As the mother of a young transgender child, my response to Caitlyn Jenner’s headline-grabbing announcement is a visceral one.

Yes, I’m kind of put off by the hype. No, I’m not a big fan of celebrity culture or reality television. But when I look at the cover of Vanity Fair, and read the news articles that respectfully use Jenner’s new name and female pronouns, I’m overwhelmed by this new state of affairs, and by a world that might just be ready to accept my daughter. And that knocks me off my feet with awe and gratitude.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is on his way to Israel.

He's scheduled to lead a trade delegation of Seattle-area business leaders next week and to speak at a gay and lesbian conference on June 11 in Tel Aviv. 

The Seattle Police Department's "Safe Place" decal.
Seattle Police

David Hyde speaks with officer Jim Ritter, LGBTQ Liaison for the Seattle Police Department, about the new Safe Place program which aims to keep the city's LGBTQ community safe from harassment and violence. 

Maria Bello is famous for her roles on television's ER and in films like Coyote Ugly and A History of Violence, but her new book is about her life off-screen. Whatever ... Love is Love is a memoir about family and relationships that expands on a column Bello wrote in 2013 for The New York Times.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Ireland has become the first-ever country to approve same-sex marriage by referendum, voting overwhelmingly to approve it despite opposition from clergy in the heavily Catholic nation, according to official results announced today.

Reuters says in Friday's vote "more than 60 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot, the highest turnout at a referendum there in over two decades."

Earlier, both sides in the debate acknowledged that the "yes" vote had succeeded.

Geoffrey McGrath delivers a petition bearing more than 125,000 signatures, urging Amazon to stop donating money to the Boy Scouts on May 21, 2014.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Marcie Sillman talks with former scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath about the president of Boy Scouts Of America's call for an end to the ban on openly gay adult leaders. 

Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters 

Tolerance with a side of pedestrian safety: That's the message Vienna is trying to send by replacing the usual stick figures on some of its pedestrian traffic lights with same-sex couples.

Peter Krauss of Vienna’s Urban Planning, Traffic and Transport department says the new lights catch people’s attention, and that’s a good thing. ”We wanted to raise awareness because a lot of accidents in Vienna happen at pedestrian crossings because people do not look at the lights," he points out. "Our idea was that if we change the symbols maybe we get their attention.”

    

A new lawsuit in Idaho claims the same legal argument that paved the way for gay marriage in the state should also make it illegal to refuse to hire gay people.

A drawing by a child in Professor Kristina Olson's study. Olson has found that transgender and non-trans girls have an equally deep sense of their gender identity.
Courtesy of Marlo Mack

When Kristina Olson, a psychology professor at the University of Washington, started looking into research on transgender children, she was surprised. It was thin at best.

Data from decades ago said that 80 percent of transgender kids revert to their born gender, but Olson was skeptical.

So she started the TransYouth Project to track transgender children to adulthood. The project has worked with 65 children across the U.S. and Canada – so far. Some are as young as 3.

Oregon lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to a measure that would ban so-called conversion therapy for youth.

Joe Wenke is a writer, activist and the founder of Trans Über, a publishing company that promotes LGBTQI community rights.

His most recent book is “The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity.” In it Wenke and his guests tell stories of the search for shared humanity in an increasingly polarized world. Wenke argues there is no homosexual agenda, or transgender agenda, there is just the human agenda, summed up by the concept of our common and unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The sperm came from Israel. It was frozen and flown to Thailand, where a South African egg donor awaited. After the egg was fertilized, the embryo traveled to Nepal and was implanted in the Indian woman who agreed to serve as the surrogate mother.

And roughly nine months later, there was a big, bouncing earthquake.

The world of international surrogacy is ... pretty complicated.

The U.S. Supreme Court directly confronts the question of gay marriage this week with a whopping 2 1/2 hours of oral argument, accompanied by plenty of prognostication afterward about the expected results. It won't be until June that we learn how the issue is settled nationally. In the meantime, though, we do know a good deal about the views of the justices already.

To say that there has been a revolution in the law when it comes to gay rights is an understatement.

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