Here’s a bit of what happened in the world of same-sex marriage, queer parenting and assisted reproduction for the week of Apr 8 – 14, 2013.
We’re on a gay marriage roll, y’all
New Zealand isn’t far behind. It’s likely they’ll become the 13th country to legally recognize same-sex marriage on Wednesday, when a bill is expected to pass its third Parliamentary reading. If the law passes, New Zealand will also introduce gender-neutral marriage applications. Zeee!
And in France, a law to legalize same-sex marriage passed a Senate vote and is on track to be enacted this summer. Huzzah!
Over in South Africa, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2006, Tshepo Cameron Modisane and Thoba Calvin Sithol became the first gay couple to be married in a traditional tribal ceremony. The men, both 27, were married in front of 200 guests with the full support of their families. The couple plans to have children through a surrogate. “There is an idea that being gay is against being African,” said Modisane. “But being gay is as African as being black, so it’s part of our culture and we are rooted in our culture.”
Will Thailand become the new India for gay couples seeking surrogates?
Since India changed its laws to ban gay couples from using Indian surrogates, prospective gay parents in Australia have been turning to Thailand. But one of the problems with Thai law is that a surrogate must be listed as the birth mother on the birth certificate — and her husband must be listed as the father if she’s married.
America exports lots and lots of sperm
Turns out the United States is a big exporter of human sperm. Who knew? In fact, four US sperm banks control about 65% of the global market. What makes American sperm popular is the country’s ethnic diversity and its high standards for disease testing and donor screening, among the world’s most stringent.