Saletan mentions Kaguya

William Saletan has finally taken note of Kaguya, and he seems to take for granted that there is a right to attempt same-sex conception. And Elizabeth Marquardt responds with the facts about the extreme risks of birth defects, and wonders if he would attempt it for his own children. But while I am happy to see Kaguya being discussed, I wish Elizabeth would argue that it shouldn't be allowed at all, that we can't let people decide for themselves if the risks are acceptable. Instead, she is essentially agreeing with Saletan that there is a right to attempt it, but suggesting that people just shouldn't. The desire to have children together is incredibly strong, and we already know the lengths that heterosexual couples go to to have children together, and how they accept the higher risks to the child. And medical privacy and the right of a marriage to attempt to conceive probably means we cannot prohibit couples from attempting IVF. But medical privacy is not an issue with same-sex couples, we do not have to allow people to conceive with someone of their own sex, there are very supportable basis to prohibit people from attempting it or having the right to attempt it.

But in spite of her again not calling for a ban, I'm very grateful for her repeating the now famous numbers and arguing against attempting it. Thanks!



A frequent argument I hear is that "no one is advocating same-sex conception." Well, clicking around on Wikipedia, I clicked on "postgenderism."
From the entry: "George Dvorsky is a transhumanist thinker who coined the term "postgenderism" to describe a social philosophy which seeks the elimination of gender in the human species through the application of advanced biotechnology and assisted reproductive technologies." Read the whole entry; lots of people seriously advocate for this.


Missouri's egg and sperm law

Did anyone notice that in passing Missouri's Stem Cell initiative, voters there passed the nation's first egg and sperm law? And that was the least controversial part of the initiative. If that was the only issue in the Amendment, I bet it would have gotten 99% of the vote.
No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being.
"Clone or attempt to clone a human being” means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being.

Of course, it is also a very useless egg and sperm law, as all it does is prohibit the actual implantation, presumably within the borders of Missouri. It does not say what would happen if a Missouri lab created the embryo with Missouri money, Missouri researchers, and Missouri progenators, but they simply drove to Illinois to perform the implantation. It doesn't look like that would break the law.

We need a Federal egg and sperm law, and it has to prohibit more than just implantation. It has to prohibit the conception of children from anything other than a man's sperm and a woman's egg, and I mean conception in the most conceptual meaning conceivable. It has to rule out the very idea of a person that isn't the union of a man and a woman's gametes, and prohibit people from attempting realize that idea no matter what country they plan on doing it in. And it has to have no statute of limitations, it has to be enforceable when any of the parties involved in the attempt return to US soil. (The person created is not a party to the attempt, obviously. But the progenators, the scientists, and the owners of the lab would all be guilty and subject to fines and imprisonment).

Other countries would surely follow in enacting egg and sperm laws, and the UN is already way ahead on this issue, with both a cloning ban (that the US has not ratified) and a declaration of the rights of children (that the US has not ratified). If there is some Island of Dr. Sullivan where same-sex couples can conceive children, they will have to live the rest of their lives there.


Some exchanges on other blogs

I googled "same-sex conception" and found lots of my own posts on other blogs, where I have tried to introduce the bloggers to issue of same-sex conception, usually to no avail. These arguments are all pretty similar, you might want to read some of them to see how they usually end up with the other person "bowing out".

Balkinization (and an old one here)
Blue Mass Group (and here and here)
Alas, A Blog
Creative Destruction (and here and here)
Marriage Debate (Maggie has refused to talk about same-sex conception)
Greater Boston Blog
Althouse Blog (and her only response here)


Stem cell article taken down

The GayCityNews article "Scientist's hope of two genetic dads" has been removed from their site. Does that have anything to do with my publicity campaign? I suspect it does, as there is a blatant effort to keep people ignorant of this field of research. But they can't remove the archived copy on the web.archive.org site, and I'll copy the text of the article as a comment to this post just in case.

Oh, and here is the website of Dr. Richard Scott's fertility company, Reproductive Medicine Associates.


10,000 flyers

I've passed out 10,000 flyers now, and my sign has been read by probably ten times that number, so my estimation is that 100,000 people are now aware that there is such a thing as same-sex conception.


"The Revolution in Parenthood"

Elizabeth Marquardt at FamilyScholars.org and the Institute of American Values has just published a remarkable report on everything going on lately with marriage and parenting and conception technology. She includes the work being done on same-sex reproduction technology, and asks the question in footnote 84 "How can anyone even consider experimenting with human embryos and children in this way?"

Well, the answer is, they can consider it because it is not prohibited. They are almost obligated to consider it, because it's a legal solution to the problems of donors and step families and all the other problems in the report. How can they not consider it? So, in the serious discussion she calls for, I raise this point right away: We have to take this choice out of people's hands. We have to prohibit it, so that people cannot even consider experimenting with human embryos and children in this way. We have to tell researchers what to work on and what not to work on, so that they do the boring stuff like keep us existing people healthy.

Congratulations to Elizabeth, this report is a real masterpiece, a great work. (and footnote 84 warmed my heart, I've typed those numbers on her blog so many times!)


My letter to the Governor

I mailed off a letter to Governor Romney today. They say letters will be answered in one to two weeks and I "will get a response." It's kind of long so I will copy it as a comment to this post.


Flyer Campaign pt 1

Well, it's primary day here in Massachusetts, and we've just finished passing out 3,000 flyers all over the state. Thanks to everyone who took it and read it, and thanks to my friends for passing them out with me. It was gratifying to see how much interest there was in this topic. People would stop in their tracks and stand and read the whole flyer, and come back and ask questions. It was heartening to hear that most people are very opposed to this research.

Most importantly, I think the flyer succeeded in bringing this issue to the attention of the candidates. They heard from people.

I was thrown out of a Reilly event in Malden, literally picked up and thrown out the door, because I showed up with these flyers. I had agreed already not to distribute them inside, but I wanted to have them with me, as they are the key to the flyering campaign, pt 1. I wasn't about to let them shut me up for the whole duration of the event and not get a chance to present one to Reilly or talk with him about it. So I was told to leave, and since I was being kicked out anyway, I decided I may as well hand them out to everyone I could until the guy literally and loudly threw me out. Reilly campaign staffers hoped for less of a scene, but they didn't want me there either. I retreated to the sidewalk and continued to pass them out, but had to split cause they said they called the police for tresspassing or something. So that was fun.

And a guy from Fox25 News took interest while we were at the State House yesterday, and said they might think about running a feature story on the issue. So that is cool too.

After today the race will be down to four (Kerry Healy, Christy Mihos, Grace Ross, and whoever wins the Dem primary) so it is time for a new flyer, and Flyer Campaign pt 2.


The Compromise

I propose a compromise to resolve the marriage debate that I think everyone should support. It is based on the univerally acknowledged need for same-sex procreation to be thoroughly examined and declared safe before allowing any lab to attempt to create a person that is not the union of a man and a woman. Until same-sex conception is declared safe and acceptable, same-sex couples should not have a right to attempt it, and this difference in rights from both-sex marriages (which all have a right to attempt to conceive) would simply be acknowledged in name. If and when same-sex conception is considered safe and Congress decides to allow same-sex couples to attempt to conceive, they will do that by changing same-sex civil unions to marriages. Marriage will continue unchanged, always granting the couple conception rights.

In return, the federal government would officially recognize state civil unions as if they were marriages, including paying the social security and tax benefits that the federal government gives marriages. (and the federal government could encourage all states to offer civil unions, since their main objection (that they are marriage in all but name) would no longer be true)

The "tradtitional marriage" side would get to preserve the word marriage, and clearly differentiate it from civil unions in the most substantial way, preserving equal conception rights for all people and preventing unethical manufacture of genetically modified people. This would ban reproductive cloning also, effectively ending that debate as well. (It would not affect the debate about therapuetic cloning, as that does not attempt to create people). The cost of federal benefits for civil unions would be quite minimal, though it certainly is a cost.

The SSM side would get federal benefits and a much greater liklihood of civil unions in all 50 states. They would only give up something that is not even possible and might never be, but they would give up the pretense that same-sex couples have equal rights to both sex couples and acknowledge that people only have a right to conceive with someone of the other sex.

The people who do not support this compromise should have to convince us that, depending on why they don't support it, same-sex couples should be allowed *today* to attempt to conceive children together in spite of the risks, or that committed civilly-unioned same-sex couples should not be entitled to federal benefits. Update 2/14/2013: This was the original proposal of the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise in 2006. It is still the same, except now I specify that Civil Unions would have to be defined by the states as "marriage minus conception rights" to receive federal recognition as if they were marriages.


Are the pundits giving cover for SSC?

Why has Maggie Gallagher never stated a position on banning Same-sex conception? Why does Sara Butler Nardo say she thinks same-sex couples should have the same reproductive rights as male-female couples?

Could it possibly be that they are not against SSC? DO they feel that it is not something that can be banned? Would they just rather not think about it?

whatever the case, the refusal of the leading 'pro-marriage' pundits to even acknowldge that there is an issue is a big problem, because lots of people think that pro-marriage pundits are doing all they can, making the best arguments, and manning the brigades.

I'm hoping Maggie will explain her position here.