Washington: Marriage Opponents Take On Surrogacy

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com December 19 2012 6:58 PM ET

Opponents to gay marriage in Washington state are launching another fight; this time to tamp down on gay couples' ability to have children.

An effort to introduce paid surrogacy is being considered in the legislature for 2013. The proposed law would overturn current policy that restricts compensation for surrogates only to the direct costs of pregnancy, delivery, and for legal bills.

However, those who led the failed fight to ban marriage equality with Referendum 74, are urging lawmakers to reject changes to surrogacy compensation. Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, which fought to pass Referendum 74, told MyNorthwest.com that broadening surrogacy would allow more gay couples to raise children.

"Introducing the profit motive into surrogacy entices women to do something for financial reasons that they would otherwise not do," he said in the report. He added, "Recognizing the dignity of the human person, we do not allow people to rent or sell their bodies or their body parts. This partially explains why prostitution and the sale of your kidney are illegal. You can donate a kidney, you just can't sell one."