Could this be the first state to allow equal IVF treatment for gay couples?
The LGBT community in Hawaii is campaigning for equal access to financial support for in vitro fertilisation treatment for gay couples.
They are asking insurance companies to cover in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment for surrogates, which same-sex couples require to have a child.
At present, Hawaiian law requires insurance companies to cover the cost of IVF treatment, but only for heterosexual married couples.
This means that same-sex couples are not covered, even if they are married.
The cost of fertility treatment for same-sex couples is therefore much higher.
“I would be going into the office and pulling out my credit card”, Sean Smith, a gay man living in Hawaii, told the Democrat Gazette, “and other people are probably just walking out and insurance is picking up the tab.”
Sean and his partner Kale Taylor spent over $20,000 on IVF treatment.
They had to borrow money and refinance a second mortgage.
If Hawaii changed its law to cover IVF treatment for same-sex couples, it would be the first US state to do so.
And there is hope that the law will be changed.
The proposal has the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and the Democratic Party of Hawaii.
It has already passed the state Senate and a vote will be held in the House this week.
In 2015, Britain became the first country to pass approve a law to allow babies to be created from the DNA of three people.
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In Maryland, some progress was made last year.
A change was made no longer requiring the use of a husband’s sperm.
This means that lesbian couples are covered, but gay men are still excluded.
Hawaii’s proposal will take change a step further.
“It’s definitely groundbreaking”, said Barabra Collura, President and CEO of Resolve, a non-profit organisation that helps families access IVF treatment.
‘We need to update them [laws] and make them so that they are no longer discriminatory’.
Related topics: American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, Barbara Collure, Democratic Party of Hawaii, fertility treatment, Hawaii, Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, in vitro fertilisation, Insurance company, IVF, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Kale Taylor, LGBT, Maryland, Resolve, same-sex couple, Sean Smith, surrogate, US