"in three to five years"

This article quotes a fertility doctor who says he expects to see children come out of new technology that uses stem cells to help same-sex couples have children together in three to five years.


Jacoby misses chance

It's great that Jeff Jacoby brings up the question of adult consensual incest, but he missed an opportunity to educate about marriage. Siblings are not allowed to marry, because marriage is a license to procreate, and siblings are not allowed to procreate (hence their being thrown in jail for incest). Marriages that are found to be between siblings are immediately declared null and void, even if they have no children and don't intend to have children, because only couples that have a right to have children together are allowed to be married.
The interesting question then is do same-sex couples have a right to have children together? The technology to create a child genetically related to two same-sex parents is currently being developed. In experiments in mice, it took 457 tries to get one mouse, named "Kaguya", to survive to adulthood, with the other 456 all dying at various stages along the way (10 were born alive but died shortly afterwards). I feel that the risks to the child are far too great, and will always be far too great, to allow this sort of experimentation in humans. Same-sex procreation must be prohibited, along with all other forms of procreation that do not combine a man's sperm and a woman's egg. Civil unions could be created to give committed same-sex couples, and perhaps even siblings, most of the rights of marriage, but they should not be given the right to attempt to procreate together that is the right of every marriage.


Causes in Common

Here's a LGBT website that makes some strong claims for procreation rights. Basically, they want no regulation at all, and they insist that it must be affordable and safe (meaning, we subsidize the research and pay for the procedures), so that they have the same practical ability to have children that opposite sex marriages have naturally. While they don't mention same-sex procreation and seem to focus on access to donor conception and surrogacy, there is no doubt that when they say they want full autonomy to make reproduction decisions, that they are opposed to any ban on anything. So, it is not just me who points out how gay rights are in conflict with responsible ethical procreation, gay rights groups are not very shy about it either. When gay rights groups said it was about hospital visitation, they were not telling the whole truth.

Another scholar on board!

It's picking up steam now. David Blankenhorn has made a presentation (read it here) in which he also calls for "children's rights":
2. Every child has the right to a natural biological heritage, defined as the union of the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg. Society should typically refrain from actions that would efface or deny the child’s natural biological heritage, or what the French philosopher Sylvianne Agacinski calls the child’s double origin.

He bases much of his thinking on the the testimony of Narelle Grech, so I hope it's not too self-congratulatory to point out that she said back in February: "Johnny Moral, I think you are tops! All of your comments have made me smile, and say “yeah!” out loud." I am very proud of that, but of course, that was a while ago, I probably now have competition from David Blankenhorn and Margaret Somerville for who is "tops".


Children's Rights

Margaret Somerville has written a new column here in which she calls for new legislation of "children's rights." She writes:
These rights should include: (1) The right to be conceived with a natural biological heritage -- that is, to have unmodified biological origins -- in particular, to be conceived from a natural sperm from one identified man and a natural ovum from one identified woman; and (2) the right to know the identity of one's biological parents.

This is better language than the PCBE's proposal (which this site is dedicated to enacting) because she adds the words "unmodified", "natural", "identifiable", and "man" and "woman". I agree that the law must add those important words, or else someone will try to call a sperm an egg or something (in spite of the proper defintion of sperm as being a "male gamete", ie, the gamete of a male).
And she is doing a great job of selling it by tying it in with donor conception, and referring to the growing chorus of donor conceived adults who want to save other people from being conceived the way they were. I wouldn't have thought to consider these issues together, but by putting them under the same heading of "children's rights", she comes up with a great new approach.
I disagree with her choice to imply that same-sex marriage can coexist with her first right, as it would create, for the first time in history, marriages that, by law, cannot procreate. Usually, we don't give marriage licenses to couples that are prohibited from procreating together, and I think it is a terrible mistake to start now. I assume she does that so that "children's rights" don't get caught up in the SSM debate, and it's true they are important on their own. But I think it works better to link them together.


Egg and sperm from stem cells

This article says they've now 'proved' that egg and sperm can be derived from embryonic stem cells. The article doesn't say if either sperm or eggs could be made from the same person's cloned embryo, but I assume so. Would this be a way for a same-sex couple to get around an egg and sperm law? No, mainly because of safety issues again, which are insurmountable. The article notes that it would have to be proven safe, because "the culture process may cause genetic changes". Also, by definition, eggs come from women, and sperm from men, so even if you created something that had a tail and could fertilize an egg, if it was a woman's gamete, then it could not be called a sperm, it could only be called an egg that functioned like a sperm. This process has already been forseen by the President's Council, which is why they specified that the egg and sperm should be derived from adults in their recommendation.
Also, there are more than just safety issues involved. Even if it were someday safe for two women or two men to have a baby together, we should still prohibit it for cultural/societal/human reasons. People should be created equal, the same way, with a mother and a father. Since we are all just one sex, it is good that the two sexes need each other to cooperate to create a new life, which again is just one sex, again needing to come together with the other sex to reproduce. Sexual reproduction connects us to the rest of humanity not just vertically through our children, but horizontally, through our need for the other sex. Being impossibly created in a laborotory would connect us more to the products of technology and consumerism. We'd empathize with toasters.
But would this be a valid way to restore fertiity for people who did not have healthy gametes? I don't think so, though the goal is laudable (though embryo cloning not the way to go about it). It would not have the last two problems, of course, but certainly would still have the insurmounable safety issue. The only way to justify the inherent risk of childbirth is that it is natural and necessary after pregnancy, and marriage gives couples the right to sexual intercourse which often results in pregnancy. But conceiving a child using technology is not natural or necessary, so that risk can be avoided. There is no right to do whatever it takes to create offspring, for male-female couples or same-sex couples.


Salon: don't worry your pretty little heads

Salon has a lame article entitled the future of reproductive sex. The author takes the usual inexplicable "head in the sand" position that successfully using these techniques will be very difficult if not impossible, few people would use it if it ever was possible, it will probably not replace regular sex if people did want to use it, so therefore, there is no need to worry about it. Go back to drinking your beer, everyone. Huh? That would mean that the only case the author feels we should have reason to worry is if it were so safe and successful that everyone used it and it replaced sex!! He doesn't say where the downside is in banning it right now, he just says we are so far away that all we should do today is have fun getting drunk and laughing about it. What overseer arrogance! How much more ostrich-head-in-the-sand can you get?

Meanwhile, the research goes on, and, more tragically, people are allowed to believe that they might be able to have a child someday with a person of their same sex. That is a very cruel and anti-social thing to allow anyone to believe, given the liklihood that it will never happen. People should know with absolute certainty that the only way they will ever reproduce is with the cooperation and equal participation of a person of the other sex, so they had better learn how to get along with people of that sex now, since they'll be their child's other parent.

The discussion of artificial eggs and sperm illustrates that the PCBE's proposed language needs to be changed to "a man's sperm and a woman's egg". A child created with an "egg" artificially created from a man's DNA might have the same imprinting problems that plagued Kaguya's siblings, and so that would have to be ruled out completely. Creating children needs to be limited to couples that could naturally do so. This is the Enough point, and we are there already.


Galois on the record for SSP

Gabriel Rosenberg was wonderfully consice when I asked him about his support for same-sex procreation rights.
I would say to your most recent question, "do you think that procreation should be a right of both-sex couples only, and same-sex couples should not be allowed to procreate together by any means?" the answer is no.

Though he claims to be against radical and unsafe technologies, he offers no explanation as to who would decide what is unsafe, or exactly how unsafe it would have to be to be banned. How many attempts would have to be aborted before he would agree it was unsafe and should be banned? Would he ever? How could someone who believes that two men or two women have the same equal right to have children ever be against developing this technology? This man will stand in the way of enacting much needed ethical laws against cloning and same-sex procreation just because they conflict with his mantra that same-sex couples must be considered equal. When I told him it was time to consider adjusting to reality because his single-minded defense of same-sex rights was turning him into a monster, forced to take ugly positions on SSP, on intrusive fertility tests and risk assessments for heterosexual couples, and on the distinctions between races, he banned me from posting on his blog. But not before I got him on the record supporting SSP rights.


My Terry Schiavo comment...

I think the reason people were so adamant that Terry's was not a life worth living (which is what the argument was really about - no one claimed that OJ had a husband's right to decide if HIS wife should live or die, because her life was 'worth living') was because it will be imperative to be able to abort fetuses that don't come out right during the experimentation phase of same-sex procreation and other forms of non egg and sperm procreation. They will have to make everyone used to the idea that some lives are not worth living, and people would WANT to be aborted if they weren't coming out right. It took 457 tries to make Kaguya, and 10 pups were born. It will be much easier for human parents to justify allowing the runts to starve to death once we have been through a few Terry Schiavo cases. "They wouldn't want to live like this" they'd say.


Can't be for SSM and against SSP

Chairm's comment #11 on this Family Scholars post expresses perfectly how banning SSP but allowing SSM will change marriage:
"Thusfar, SSM advocates have claimed that their reform would just tinker with the edges, not the core of marriage. It seems to me that if the right to procreate with one's spouse would be denied as a result of state recognition of SSM, then, marriage will indeed be replaced by something else."
If marriage doesn't mean that the spouses have a right to procreate together, and if some couples are denied the right to procreate, then all of our procreation rights are in jeopardy. In this age of genetic screening and increased reliance on IVF, that's a very grave situation.


Margeret Somerville

Canada's Dr. Margeret Somerville, a McGill Law and Ethics professor, affirms that SSM would grant SSP rights:
"Same-sex marriage also raises problems regarding reproductive technologies. Society must limit the use of these technologies to protect children. But such limitations could be prohibited if they contravened same-sex couples' rights to found family, rights that come with marriage as a matter of law. I believe a child has a right not to be created from the sperm of two men or the ova of two women, or by cloning. Including same-sex relationships in marriage would support such uses of reproductive technologies. "
Read the whole thing.


California decision

The judge says :'One does not have to be married in order to procreate, nor does one have to procreate in order to be married,' he wrote. 'Thus, no legitimate state interest to justify the preclusion of same-sex marriage can be found.'

Well, that's all well and good, but if a couple does not have a right to procreate, then that couple is also not allowed to marry, even in California:
285. Persons being within the degrees of consanguinity within which marriages are declared by law to be incestuous and void, who intermarry with each other, or who commit fornication or adultery with each other, are punishable by imprisonment in the state prison.
Currently, same-sex couples have the right to attempt to procreate with SSP, but only because Congress hasn't got around to enacting the egg and sperm law yet. That law would mean that a same-sex couple, like siblings, would not have a right to procreate together, and therefore, like siblings, they would not have a right to marry each other. Because ALL MARRIAGES must have a right to procreate, regardless of the fact that it is possible and even legal to procreate without marriage.


Girl, you'll be a woman soon

I just hope that this girl doesn't let anyone sterilize her. I would hate Massachusetts to be complicit in taking away this girl's right to become pregnant someday. A "sex-change" will never produce sperm, so if she wants to have children, she will have to stay a girl. And if she stays a girl, she can use her "male-brain" to get one of those careers that Lawrence Summers was talking about. Shouldn't feminists be saying that there's nothing wrong with being a girl? When she reaches puberty, maybe she'll decide she likes dresses and want to be a woman. Why shouldn't she want to be a woman? Isn't that some sort of disorder, to not want to be your sex? Don't brains sometimes learn? Someone should arrest those crazy parents for child-neglect, fire that criminally liberal superintendent, and expose that self-interested endocrinologist, who specializes in FtM surgery.
It's also interesting that the Globe's story was so supportive and referred to her as "he", while the Herald's story referred to her as "the child".


The main point

Hello. I'd like everyone browsing to this blog to comment here on how they feel about SSP - same-sex procreation. Check out my blog posts if you like, but please don't get distracted by them. This blog is dedicated to prohibiting non egg and sperm conception. So please click on the picture of the mouse to read about Kaguya, check out the arguments at eggandsperm.org, read the the FAQ's, and then leave a comment. What do you think: is there a right to SSP, or is "marriage and procreation" a right people should have only with a person of the other sex? Can this be the distinction between marriage and civil union that everyone is looking for?


Now, this is rape!

A man Chicago is suing a woman for Sperm Theft Distress. He has to pay child support after the woman "regifted" the semen he gave to her mouth to her vagina without his knowledge. He should sue her for rape, and this child should be seen as a child born out of rape. Does that lawyer tell female rape victims that it is wrong to put the rapist in jail or claim any emotional damage because it might be damaging to the child to hear its mother claim she didnt want to be impregnated? And I can't believe that the defense admits she did this, and just thinks it is something that a woman ought to be able to do.



They're asking over on MarriageDebate. Well, if you seperate procreation rights from marriage, then it's hard to see why marriage is the government's business. What is obviously the government's business, though, is the welfare of its citizens. And because the creation of new citizens might happen whenever a man and a woman have intercourse, the government has an obligation to ensure that intercourse is only done by people who have made the proper binding commitments to each other and any citizens they might create. A marriage license is a public license to start doing what might make people, and along with it comes legal responsibilities. I agree with Maggie that there can't be legal responsibilities without the government being involved.

It is foolish to think that sex can be kept private, sex always takes place in public because it always has the potential to become public nine months later. No one suggests that it isn't the government's business to hold fathers and mothers responsible to their children, or even to each other. Perhaps modern child support enforcement, abortion, and paternity testing has made it seem like we can worry about responsibility if and when children arrive, but what about couples who don't have children, even after years of trying? Do they not need some public support and protection? They have no way of knowing if a baby will arrive, and must live their lives with the same responsibility for each other and their future children.

The questions about the word "morality" seem to be afraid to mention the 'f' word - is it the governments business to say it is illegal to fornicate, to have children, unless you are married? Does the mere existence of a fornication law cause people be responsible? I think, in my experience, that it does. I knew, and my girlfriends knew, that it was officially, legally, authoritatively, wrong. Sex was something that people shouldn't have unless they are married. And that was a very good excuse for either one of us to say no. And if we enforced the fornication law a little better (either of us, as well as the government) we might even see a reason to get married.


Mad About Marriage

InNewsweekly's cover story asks the question "What does it mean that adultery is now a criminal act for gay married couples?" Well, given that adultery requires sexual intercourse in Massachusetts, as long as they stay gay and don't have sexual intercourse, the crime won't be adultery. New Hampshire's Supreme Court recently ruled that way too. And "Crimes against Nature" are not made legal by marriage - in fact, marriage would seem to criminalize sodomy by making it public, whereas the acts of Mr. Lawrence were deemed legal only because they were acts done in private. Privacy was the key in Lawrence v Texas. As long as the acts were done in private, the state could not criminalize them. But privacy isn't just a matter of whether the public can see something taking place, but also if they are "open and notorious" about it. Marriage is a public license and affirmation that sex takes place in this bed. Sex itself, married or not, is always is a public act, since it potentially, and uncontrollably, creates the public. That's why Lawrence didn't apply to fornication - there's no such thing as private sexual intercourse.
And there is another legal ramification to gay marraige: people in a gay marriage are not allowed to have sexual intercourse at all: they physically can't have sex within it, and they are not allowed to marry someone with whom they can, at least as long as the marriage is "permanent." Gay marriage legally forbids the participants from ever participating in the "basic civil right" of Skinner and Loving, and, especially when combined with Massachusetts's efforts in public schools to steer children(!!!) directly into presumably "permanent and exclusive" gay marriages, is therefore as unconstitutional as sterilization ever was.


Watch these theories crumble

All five SSM arguments on Balkinization become moot:

"1. It violates sex equality to tell a man he cannot marry another man when a woman could do so." Not when it is "completely unethical" for a man to attempt to proceate with a man but completely ethical for him to attempt to procreate with a woman.
"2. Sexual orientation discrimination." Eggs and sperm don't care what the orientation of their maker is, nor does the ban on non egg and sperm procreation.
"3. Irrational discrimination." No, it's completely rational, because the scientists themselves say it would be completely unethical to attempt this in humans. Just think of the other 9 mal-formed mice that couldn't make it to adulthood, not to mention the 371 that couldn't make it to birth. It's irrational to allow people to try it on people.
"4. animus at a specific social group" You can't claim animus if the ban is completely rational, to protect the people being created.
"5. violates a fundamental due process right to marry" That fundamental right is the right to attempt procreate found in Skinner, but naturally, not using a completely unethical technology (or else, the court could have said that Skinner could still conceive with technology someday). People have a fundamental right to be straight and marry someone of the other sex, and gay marriage actually encroaches on that right.


2 women deny rape charges

Grrr. There's no such thing as homosexual rape. Rape is non-consensual sexual intercourse (sex) and that requires all the sexes. Why can't they call this sexual assault? It is really demeaning to people who actually have their reproductive choice taken from them.


Is there a right to procreate?

More and more people these days seem to think that procreation is a right of an individual, and completely independent of marriage, but there is lots of legal history that reminds us there has never been a right for an individual to procreate, but only a right to choose another person to marry with whom you may then mutually attempt to procreate. As Ampersand points out on Alas, A Blog: "ability to bear children was not a traditional ground for fault-based divorce." This means that if one of the partners is thought to be infertile after the marriage, the state would not allow the other partner to look for someone else with whom they might procreate. So clearly, the state didn't feel that anyone has been denied any civil right to procreate by being forced to remain married to a sterile person, or it would allow them to divorce and try it with someone else. (of course, now no-fault divorce is possible, but not because of a new found procreation right.) There is only a right to not be sterilized, and there is a right to marry someone and then attempt to procreate (aka, have sex). But there's no "right to procreate." Marriage is a license to attempt to procreate. If we don't want two people to attempt to procreate, we withhold the license. We withhold it from siblings due to health risks and we can withhold it from couples of the same-sex for the same reason.

I think the issue of cloning has made people think that reproduction is something that individuals do on their own, as opposed to something marriages do, a man and woman together. Also, using the term "fully human" about individuals plays into this, as though people do not need a complimentary person of the other sex to fully represent the species, and fully flower their own body's potential. I know that in this narcissistic "me" society, the idea that we should have to cooperate with someone to reproduce and share our children must be frustrating, but to take it to Randolfe Wicker's conclusion is just misanthropic.