Obama must know this won't work

President-elect Obama has posted his Civil Rights Agenda at his change.gov site. Among the items are these two which are relevant to this blog:
  • Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

  • Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: Barack Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.
Regarding Civil Unions, how could he seriously be proposing Civil Unions with all the rights of marriage after every state court that has addressed the issue has said that is unconstitutional to use a different name for same-sex unions with the same rights? He said he "respects" the California court's decision, but that's hard to reconcile with supporting the very solution that they rejected as harmful and unconstitutional. The fact is, almost no one supports civil unions that are "marriage in all but name", even if they were constitutional, so it's not going to work. But he can still accomplish federal recognition of Civil Unions that give all those 1,100+ federal legal rights, and, he can do it in a way that preserves marriage and makes the Federal Marriage Amendment unnecessary: by enacting the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise to prohibit genetic engineering and same-sex conception by limiting conception to a man and a woman's sperm and egg, preserve marriage as conception rights, and recognizing Civil Unions that are defined as "marriage minus conception rights".


New Scientist Editorial: Getting ready for same-sex reproduction

I wish I had seen this New Scientist editorial when it came out in February: "Getting ready for same-sex reproduction". It's no surprise that New Scientist magazine is smugly in favor of it and calls the "fears" of same-sex reproduction "largely irrational", as they have editorialized for same-sex marriage and against the irrational religions that oppose "science" many times in the past, but at least they called for a public discussion of the issue, right now. Too bad I hadn't seen this during the election.

Thanks to Dr. Maurice Bernstein at his Bioethics Discussion Blog for starting a discussion of the issue there and pointing his readers to the New Scientist editorial. I don't know Maurice's position as I just came across his long-running blog recently, but I think tries to be neutral on issues and just host a discussion. I hope he gets some interest and generates good discussion there.


California should be the first to enact Recognition-Ready Civil Unions

In addition to the speculation about what happens to existing same-sex marriages in California (the options are: turned into the old DP's, voided, left standing but not 'recognized' in California, or, unlikely but suggested by some, still recognized but no new marriages issued), there is also the question of what prop 8 does to DP's if they want to go back to them. Does Prop 8 make DP's unconstitutional also? Well, no, it doesn't, but even so, they can't go back to those old DP's as they'd been defined either, because those were already unconstitutional.

The court said it is unconstitutional discrimination to call identical legal institutions different names for same-sex couples. Proposition 8 didn't amend the constitution to say that it was OK to now call identical institutions by different names, it said that only a man and a woman can be recognized as legally married. So it would still be just as unconstitutional now as it was seven months ago to use a different name for the same rights. If that opinion was right then (and I think it was) then it is still right today.

So uh-oh, it looks like there is a bit of a bind here. The only constitutional option is to make them unequal institutions, with different legal rights and protections. The best way to do that is with a "marriage minus one" formulation, so that all the other rights are known to be included. The right has to be intrinsic to marriage in order for it to be subtractable from marriage, such as the right not to self-incriminate your spouse, or the right to inherit property. It wouldn't work to say "marriage minus the right to vote", because that is an individual right, something done by individuals. It has to be something marriages have a right to do together, and something that same-sex couples don't want or need, or it would defeat the purpose.

How about...the right to conceive a child together using the couple's own genes? This has the advantage over other possibilities because it's something we need to ban as soon as possible anyhow, and there would be lots of long lasting benefits to banning it.

California should be the first state to enact "Federal Recognition Ready" Civil Unions that are defined as marriage minus the right to conceive children together, so that when Congress enacts the Egg and Sperm Law and repeals DOMA, their Civil Unions will match the necessary definition to be recognized as marriage and they could qualify immediately. Then other states would follow suit soon after.


Kmiec: "Say 'no' to the Brave New World"

Finally! Prominent Constitutional Law professor Douglas Kmeic has written an op-ed for SFGate that raises the issue of same-sex procreation and how it relates to marriage. It doesn't go all the way to the conclusions I'd like it to, but it points in the right direction.
Separating marriage from procreation may also have other remote, but frightening, ill consequences. Society should be skeptical of wider use of asexual procreation. An earlier dark moment in U.S. history employed eugenics to forcibly sterilize the mentally disabled. The push for artificial wombs and the genetic manipulation of intelligence already peppers scientific literature - a push that would no doubt grow, accommodating even the minimal same-sex desire for simulating natural child birth - claimed to be of interest for 20-30 percent of same-sex couples. When carefully assessed, the acquisition of unnatural reproductive means often advances the interests of the very affluent through a libertarian exercise that would threaten all hope of democratic equality.

In a depopulating world, the claim that there is a universal right to marry regardless of gender becomes a frightening ally of a claimed universal right to access to genetically engineered children. People should reject this claim by returning traditional marriage to its rightful place.
The best part is that Professor Kmeic is a close advisor and supporter of Barack Obama, and used to advise Bush I and Reagan on Constitutional law too. So maybe he'll give Barack the right advice and he'll arrive at the right conclusion, and come up with the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise on his own. He needs to advise Obama to start using conception rights as the distinction between civil unions and marriage, and to start actually opposing same-sex marriage in states that already have it, as opposed to having "no problem" with it, and saying that same-sex couples should have all the rights of marriage. He needs to say that same-sex couples in Civil Unions should have all the rights of marriage except the right to conceive children together using their own genes, which should remain the essential right of marriage, and be reserved for a man and a woman.


A vote for Democrats is a vote for Gattaca

Joe Biden gave a talk last week where he revealed the real hopes of Democrats for Embryonic Stem Cell research. Here is his quote:
“I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy, because there's joy to it as well, the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well guess what folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?”

Biden received a thunderous ovation when he made the remark at a town hall style meeting this morning in Columbia.
First of all, the Republicans do support stem cell research and always have, they just don't support embryonic stem cell research, which involves creating a new embryo and pulling it apart into disorganized embryonic cells, which destroys its chance to be born. Adult stem cell research (where pluripotent stem cells are created directly from skin cells or marrow cells, and no new embryo is created) has already produced treatments and made great progress, and Republicans support it fully.

So why do Democrats give a thunderous ovation for embryonic stem cell research? Well, there's a big clue when Biden talks about birth defects, and suggests that "if you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research." The insistence on embryonic research can only mean one thing: they ultimately aspire to do genetic intervention to prevent birth defects by designing the embryo's genes.

That there would be "a thunderous ovation" indicates that there is far more being cheered for than stem cell research. There are far too many Transhumanists and people who call for designer babies to think their brand of thinking would not find a comfy home in that crowd of Biden supporters. That applause was for the whole promise of genetic intervention, perfect designer babies, and not having any babies with birth defects in the first place. In the context of "the difficulty of raising a child with a developmental disability" (note his need to carefully remind the crowd that there could be joy in raising an imperfect baby, lest they thunderously boo), it's clear the Democrats are calling for Designer Babies and genetic intervention.

The Republican platform, on the other hand, calls for a ban on Cloning and experimentation on embryos (not sure what their definition of cloning is, hopefully it would be a blanket ban on all conceptions that do not combine sperm of a man and an egg of a woman, like Missouri's ban).

The Democrats call for embryonic and genetic research and reproductive freedom. The Democrats insist on same-sex conception being legal. On BlueMassGroup, they even refuse to condemn Will Saletan's incredible call for genetic intervention to raise IQ's of Nigerian babies. Are they out of their minds?

A vote for Obama and the Democrats is a vote for Gattaca. For government regulated, state funded eugenics and same-sex conception, coercive genetic intervention, and the loss of basic human rights to have a natural child.


Why Civil Unions Are Right For Same-Sex Couples

[I just submitted this to Alternet.org]

There is one right that all marriages should have that same-sex couples should not have: the right to conceive children together, to create genetically related offspring from the couple's own genes.

Attempting to create children by joining the genes of two men or two women is radically unethical and unnecessary and is a wrong-headed goal and a mis-use of resources. It requires genetic modification to reverse the epigenetic imprinting that makes male and female gametes complementary so they can join together to make a new human genome. It is not just a new form of IVF, it is a radical push into genetic engineering of human beings that should not be allowed, not just because of the high risk of genetic defects in the child, but primarily because of how it would effect society and individual reproduction rights if we allowed people to be created from engineered genomes.

But it is currently legal, and many researchers are working on techniques to enable same-sex couples to conceive using stem-cell derived gametes. And though most same-sex couples are not the least bit interested in having their children be guinea pigs and do not feel that shared biological connections are required to have a loving family, there are also many that are eager to try it. It is not science fiction, it is perhaps just a year or two away from being attempted by a reckless lab and an emotionally manipulated couple.

Congress should ban cloning, same-sex conception, and other forms of human genetic engineering with an "egg and sperm law" that would prohibit conceiving children by any means other than joining an egg of a woman and a sperm of a man, unadulterated and unmodified so that they are truly "of" the person.

This ban would create a distinction in the rights of same-sex couples and man-woman couples that should match the distinction between marriages and civil unions: marriages should guarantee the couple the right to attempt to conceive children together, civil unions should be defined by states as being exactly like marriage except lacking conception rights.

At the same time they enact the "egg and sperm" anti-cloning law, Congress should make two more additional laws. The second law would be to recognize state civil unions as marriages for all federal purposes, if the state civil union is defined as being exactly like marriage except lacking conception rights. This would provide states with uniform Civil Union language that would make it possible to enact CU's in all fifty states, even those that have prohibited giving same-sex couples the rights of marriage in their constitutions. The third law would define in federal law that no marriage in the United States can be prohibited from attempting to conceive children using the couple's own genes, and affirm that all people have an equal right to marry and procreate. Together, these laws would truly preserve marriage, while also limiting it to a man and a woman.

These three laws make up "The Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise" and should be enacted immediately. There is no reason to wait, and doing it before the election will allow people to be free to vote on other issues rather than being held hostage to their position in the marriage debate.


What is a woman?

There were some interesting articles in the New York Times recently about testing female athletes at the Beijing Olympics if they were "suspected" of being male. (article and op-ed)

I agree with those articles that verifying gender is needlessly intrusive and problematic and should not be done for athletes, but disagree when the articles veer from athletics and try to assert the broader Postgenderist position that sex itself is needless and obsolete, malleable and fluid, and should not be fixed or determined by anyone for any reason. What does it mean to "live as" a gender, if not an offensive embrace of stereotypes?

There is of course one area where sex matters: reproduction. People with intersexed conditions, XXY chromosomes, and fluid gender expression have always existed, but never has any person reproduced as both a man and a woman, never has anyone both fathered and mothered offspring. Every person has one sex which they are most likely able to reproduce as, and one sex (the other sex) with whom they are most likely able to reproduce with, and that never changes throughout a person's life. It might not match, and need not define, the legal or social or apparent sex by which a person lives or even believes themselves to be, but it usually does and always should (though its OK when it doesn't). But that "most-likely-to-conceive-as" sex is what matters when it comes to reproduction: people should only be allowed to conceive as the sex which they are most likely to succeed as. After we enact the egg and sperm law, labs would make that determination if they are hired to facilitate a conception. Obviously merely living as or legally being the other sex cannot be a way around the egg and sperm law, or the law will not shut the door on genetic modification. But that lab-determination would be private, the public wouldn't know why the couple was unable to conceive.

On the other hand, if a couple is publicly, legally, a same-sex couple, but both-sexed by their most-likely-to-conceive-as sex, they would be publicly prohibited from attempting to conceive, even though their genes were in fact complementary. A lab would have to turn same-sex couples away at the door after looking at their legal sex, they wouldn't even get to the stage where genetic imprinting matters. If they were somehow able to do it naturally even though presenting as a same-sex couple, that should be cause to correct their legal sex (though not their gender expression).

To sum up, these articles are wrong that sex is fluid and cannot be defined. A woman is someone who would most likely be able to conceive with a man, a man is someone who would be most likely able to conceive with a woman. People should only be allowed to conceive as the sex which they are most likely to succeed as, and should be assigned that sex at birth, and their fertility and sexual identity should be protected as they grow up so that they are able to marry and procreate.


"We Must Choose"

"We are now at the point in history where we must choose whether or not to subject human nature to market forces and industrial production systems."

That's from "Genetic Modification: This Time It's Personal", an excellent issue paper from Human Genetics Alert urging the British Parliament to not allow scientists there to create genetically modified human embryos. The vote on Britian's Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill has been "delayed until Autumn". You can find a link to download the whole HGA paper here at Alliance For Humane Biotechnology.


Some Transhumanism Articles

The cloyingly intellectual webzine The Global Spiral devoted their June issue to Transhumanism; hat tip to Austrailian Transhumanist Russell Blackford who critiqued each of the six articles on his blog MetaMagician3000. The article by Ted Peters starts with a darn good summary of what Transhumanists generally believe and value, but in the second half he winds up pulling his punches so as not to seem a "luddite" and seems to endorse a "careful" version of Transhumanism that keeps a watchful eye out for bad applications. Perhaps that's why Russell thought it was the best article. Katherine Hayles also chickens out, making a point to disagree with Francis Fukayama (who I've emailed a couple times), saying "I do not necessarily agree with Fukuyama’s argument that we should outlaw such developments as human cloning with legislation forbidding it". I think she, like most people in this debate, is making the mistake of not appreciating what a ban would do.

Most Transhumanists frame the question as: should we keep moving toward this post-human future, where we could eradicate diseases and enhance human capabilities and even achieve Universal super-intelligence, or (the sole alternative), should we let the "anti-science" and "luddite" Chicken Littles keep us stuck in this disease-ridden world because they fear change? They never consider that a ban would be change, and they are desperately trying to maintain the status quo. A ban on genetic engineering would be a radical and revolutionary change, not only causing a massive shift in funding to health care and prevention and research aimed at helping existing people today, but it would have an enormous positive effect on every person's sense of responsibility and self-worth, by affirming each of our lives as fully equal and deserving of dignity and respect. Affirming that all people are and forever will be "created equal" as the child of a man and a woman, and have the same right as everyone to reproduce with their unmodified gametes, will be a big change, it will make people stop assuming that technology is our only hope, that we are only in the way. Instead, we will be the only hope, and that affirmation of our responsibility as an integral part of nature will be felt the world over. Choosing to maintain the Transhumanist status quo is missing out on how beautiful life will be in a post-Transhumanism world. We need to put Transhumanism behind us as soon as possible.


Obama Needs Help On Marriage

Barack Obama is rightly taking heat all over the blogosphere for his inconsistencies on same-sex marriage. But could they all be explained by his ignorance of same-sex conception? If it turns out, after learning about the efforts to enable people to conceive genetically-related offspring with a same-sex partner, that he believes that it would be unethical to attempt it and that people should only be allowed to conceive with someone of the other sex, then he could use that distinction to explain his opposition to same-sex marriage. Marriages, he could say, should continue to protect the couple's right to conceive children together, while Civil Unions should provide all the other rights and protections that he has been saying same-sex couples should have access to. Hopefully he does not want to strip the protection of conception rights from marriage and allow states to prohibit a validly married couple from using their own genes to conceive children together.


Also, negligent lawyers

In the post below, I challenged the blogosphere's prominent marriage defenders and bioethicists to explain why they aren't calling for a Missouri-style "egg and sperm" law banning the use of modified gametes. While I'm at it, I should also challenge the blogosphere's prominent lawyers, such as Jack Balkin, Eugene Volokh, Ann Althouse, Dale Carpenter, Andrew Koppelman, etc (man there are lots of them) to end their silence on this subject and offer their expert opinion. I have posted many comments over the years at their blogs, and never once has one of them replied to me that I was wrong. I think that's interesting.

When I pester them enough, they generally respond that they simply aren't interested in the subject, or haven't thought about it, which is total bullshit: they just don't want the subject to be raised yet, they think they can just ignore me and pretend that they've never been asked if conception rights are the sine qua non of marriage and if the state might have an interest in stopping same-sex conception or genetic engineering before it happens. There are students studying genetics law and reproductive law in law schools today, but lawyers are never disinterested parties. That whole lucrative, interesting field will be gone if Congress enacts the Egg and Sperm Compromise. Just like the "marriage experts" and the "bioethicists", these are people that have a vested interest in extending the controversy indefinitely and bringing us slowly down the slippery slope one expensive case at a time.

Well here is the challenge to the above law profs: explain to me where I am going wrong. Engage in a discussion here with me, tell me about how marriage and conception rights are related or not related, or whatever. Just address the damn subject already.

Warning: Fraudulent "Marriage Defender"

David Benkof of GaysDefendMarriage joins the list of fraudulent "marriage defenders" such as Maggie Gallagher, Jennifer Roback Morse, Family Scholars, Opine Editorials, who have dominated the traditional marriage debate on the blogosphere and provided insipid and embarrassing straw man arguments for the same-sex marriage proponents to argue against.

The thing they all have in common that makes them utterly fraudulent and dangerous is that they all believe that same-sex conception should be legal. In each case, I have been rejected and insulted and censored on their sites for raising the issue of same-sex conception and suggesting they add opposition to unethical conception technology to their arguments. They have surprised me by siding with radical gay activists in insisting that same-sex conception is a right and should not be banned. They do not see that it harms marriage to say that a couple that is allowed to conceive a baby together should not be allowed to marry first. How can they be so inconsistent? The only answer is that they are frauds.

There are also bioethicists who seem to be performing the same function in the bioethics realm (Wesley Smith, the Center for Bioethics and Culture, the Center for Genetics and Society, even perhaps the President's Council on Bioethics), offering up weak, useless arguments against cloning and genetic engineering and refusing to clearly call for a law against creating genetically modified people. When I press them to call for a law, they fall silent. Their livelihood comes from writing about how bad the Brave New World is, not from stopping the Brave New World.

Not surprisingly, all of these marriage defenders and bioethicists blogroll each other and praise each other as the top-notch thinkers offering the best arguments imaginable against same-sex marriage and genetic engineering. Assuming they are all actual different people, they have become a remarkably effective conspiracy to block simple legislation and cover up the issues of same-sex conception and germline modification, as if these weren't even ethical issues.

I challenge all the groups and people name-checked here to clarify their position on creating children using modified or artificial gametes, or any method besides joining the sperm of a man and the egg of a woman. I am still hopeful they will prove me wrong about this conspiracy, by just one of them breaking ranks and supporting a law against same-sex conception and the use of modified gametes.


Postgenderism: Beyond the Gender Binary

That's the title of a new essay from George Dvorsky and James Hughes available at Dvorsky's blog SentientDevelopments. Dvorsky is a prominent transhumanist and co-founder of the Toronto chapter of the World Transhumanist Association. Dvorsky coined the term "postgenderism" and wrote the original wikipedia entry, which has now been merged with "transgenderism".

From the abstract:
Postgenderists argue that gender is an arbitrary and unnecessary limitation on human potential, and foresee the elimination of involuntary biological and psychological gendering in the human species through the application of neurotechnology, biotechnology and reproductive technologies. Postgenderists contend that dyadic gender roles and sexual dimorphisms are generally to the detriment of individuals and society. Assisted reproduction will make it possible for individuals of any sex to reproduce in any combinations they choose, with or without “mothers” and “fathers,” and artificial wombs will make biological wombs unnecessary for reproduction.
The Transhumanist movement is very well organized and dedicated to putting transhumanist principles into practice. There are over fifty chapters around the world, and many affiliates, such as the Immortality Institute, Better Humans, and the Mormon Transhumanist Association, which is notable for being the only religious affiliate or chapter, the others being expressly atheistic.


Leading researcher calls for law

Shinya Yamanaka, a leading "stem cell pioneer" was interviewed in New Scientist last December. (subscription required if you want to see it in context of the advertisements, but I'll copy the whole story to the comments for purposes of education and discussion.)

The important thing to note is that he is crying out for society to regulate the use of this technology, he's saying that scientists can't make these decisions on their own, they just see "an opportunity".

Are there any other scenarios that could raise ethical dilemmas?

I'm not sure whether we should try to make eggs from male iPS cells and vice versa. In theory, two men could use this technology to have a baby, because you could take skin cells and use them to make an egg. [...]

Who do you think should be responsible for deciding what is ethically acceptable?

These are very difficult decisions, and I think that society should make them. It should not be scientists. They can find it difficult to think like the person on the street, and instead may see it simply as a good opportunity. We scientists can be involved in the decision-making process, but I think unless society is comfortable with the therapy it should not go ahead.

"Female sperm and gay guinea pigs"

That's the title of a great op-ed in SFGate, online home of the San Francisco Chronicle. Some key passages:
Like reproductive cloning, efforts to use female sperm or other artificial gametes would mean starting with biological materials that have not been produced by evolutionary dynamics to participate in reproduction. In human beings, this would be an extraordinarily high-risk gamble. As researchers and others have concluded in speculation about human reproductive cloning, the very investigations that would be required to try to improve the safety of female-sperm reproduction in human beings would amount to unethical human experimentation.
What's going on here? Why are speculative and risky technologies being held out to lesbians and gay men as tantalizing prospects? Are reproductive methods that amount to dangerous experimentation on their children really a road to freedom for gay families? Or is the language of equality and empowerment being used to justify human experimentation that puts these children at great risk?

Anti-gay sentiment is not caused by the inability of same-sex couples to have biologically related children, but by fear and intolerance. The solutions to homophobia will not be found in test tubes and Petri dishes, but in challenging and changing our laws, policies and culture. Our resources are far better spent advocating for equal access to existing means of family building, legal protections for gay parents and children, and full social acceptance of diverse kinds of families.

Of course, any assisted reproduction techniques that are safe and ethical for heterosexuals should also be available for gays. But the obverse is also true: Reproductive methods that are not safe enough for straight people shouldn't be promoted to gays and lesbians. Gay families should not be made into guinea pigs for techno-enthusiasts interested in extreme forms of human experimentation.


New Leon Kass article

Leon Kass, the original Chairman of President's Council On Bioethics which inspired this blog 's name with their 2004 report recommending a federal "Egg and Sperm law", has written an update on the progress, or lack thereof, in The Weekly Standard.

Particularly reassuring is that Dr. Kass is now clarifying his view that the egg and sperm should come from a man and a woman. Readers may recall I was concerned that the Council was leaving the door open for same-sex couples to use "female sperm" or "male eggs", and perhaps there were members of the Council that were indeed insistent on leaving out the sex-specific language. But here he is able to speak on his own, and makes it clear that all people should have one mother and one father:
Second, we should call for a legislative ban on all attempts to conceive a child save by the union of egg and sperm (both taken from adults). This would ban human cloning to produce children, but also other egregious forms of baby making that would deny children a link to two biological parents, one male and one female, both adults.

This is great news, and the rest of the article is very good news as well, because apparently things are coming together that make this year a great opportunity to accomplish these goals.


New pro-ssp website

There's a new website pushing for same-sex procreation out there, appropriately called www.SameSexProcreation.com. There are lots and lots of links there, including a really good section on epigenetics and the research going on to determine all the sex-determined imprinted genes.

The author believes that SSP should be developed mainly to force SSM to be accepted, on the theory that everyone will drop their objections to SSM once procreation is possible. It is a reasonable theory, since many people argue that SSM should not be allowed since procreation is not possible, but the more likely conclusion is that SSP will be oppposed for all the other reasons they oppose SSM. We reach the same conclusion that if SSP is allowed, then SSM should be allowed also, but we differ on whether SSP should be allowed.


Sperm created from female stem cells

Well, they're right on schedule in Britian, where they have "coaxed" female stem cells to develop into sperm cells. In England, apparently there is a law against using gametes derived from stem cells, and that article says that "the UK parliament is now debating changes to the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, and the government is under pressure to include an amendment that would allow the future use of eggs and sperm grown in the lab from stem cells. However, a clause added to this amendment would restrict this to sperm from genetic males and eggs from genetic females." The reason to do that is because converting it to the other gender's gamete requires genetic engineering to reverse the imprinting, and would not be restorative medicine that justifies attempting it.

In America, there is no such law, except in Missouri, where implanting such an embryo is illegal. It would be legal to try this today in Massachusetts and 48 other states.

It is now clear that the words "sperm" and "egg" are going to be used to refer cells that merely act and look like sperm and eggs, whether they come from a male or female won't matter. So, the "Hole In The Massachusetts Egg And Sperm Law" I wrote about last week is definitely there, and surely intentional. I will not bother to change the name of this blog, or of the Egg and Sperm Compromise, because I feel it still conveys the spirit of requiring a man and a woman's gametes. But now I will have to make clear that the "Egg and Sperm Law" is actually a "sperm of a man and egg of a woman law".


The hole in the Massachusetts egg and sperm law

Massachusetts actually already has an "egg and sperm law", enacted in 2005, that bans implanting embryos that are "not initiated by the union of an oocyte [egg] and sperm." This was part of the law that legalized SCNT stem cell research in order to lure biotech and pharmaceutical firms to Massachusetts, but this part got so little notice amidst all the talk about legalizing SCNT for stem cell research that I never realized it existed before. But is it a good enough "egg and sperm" law?

Unfortunately, like the PCBE's 2004 recommendations, it doesn't define "oocyte" or "sperm" or say if they can be engineered or derived from stem cells.

The law appears intentionally vague about requiring a man and a woman to reproduce with their natural gametes, in the very same way the PCBE's carefully chosen "two progenitors" language does. Clearly the intention is to allow people to use sperm or eggs depending on who they were hoping to conceive with, and to allow labs to create engineered gametes.

In contrast, Missouri's law limits the creation of children to the union of "sperm of a human male" and "egg of a human female", enforcing that they be actual gametes not just based on, but of an actual male and female. Of course, now there's the question of defining male and female and whether they mean legal sex or "most-likely-to-conceive-as-sex".

The legal sex of the people providing the genetic material is obviously immaterial to the lab-level ethics of trying to join their genes, but legal sex would be the first thing to check, and a lab would have to turn away people publicly of the same sex, because they are publicly prohibited. If they are not publicly prohibited, they are legally a man and a woman, but a lab might find that they were privately the same sex, and so they'd privately be prohibited from treating the couple. A legal sex-change shouldn't make it legal to do the very same unsafe genetic experiments that same-sex conception would require.

And finally, no matter what the Massachusetts law says, it is useless if another state (New Jersey, perhaps?) allows labs to attempt same-sex conception, or conception using modified or tricked gametes. Couples will just travel to New Jersey to perform the implantation and skirt around their own state's law. This is why we need a Federal law, to comply with international treaties and so that one selfish short-sighted state doesn't screw up human dignity and honor for the whole world.


It's 2008!

It was in 2005 that Dr. Richard Scott, the respected, award-winning fertility doctor at Reproductive Medicine Associates in Morristown, New Jersey, made the following prediction in a GayCityNews.com interview regarding same-sex conception using stem cell-derived engineered gametes:
“I think in the next three to five years we could see children come out of this discovery, if the research continues to progress at this pace.”
2005 plus three equals 2008! That's like, uh, now! We should not allow Dr. Richard Scott or anyone to go forward with these experiments on people. We need a law stopping them immediately, before they try it!

Obama and Clinton on same-sex rights

Clinton and Obama each issued very different statements about New Hampshire civil unions taking effect on January 1st, revealing, perhaps, how each feels about postgenderism. Obama says he will work for the day when same-sex couples have the "same legal rights and privileges as straight couples" (he means male-female couples), whereas Clinton lauded NH for "fair and equal treatment" of same-sex couples and sees "preserving the rights and freedom of all" as the important thing.

The NH law is very silly, since it explicitly gives all the rights of marriage to same-sex couples but inexplicably doesn't call them marriages. As we know, people should not have the same right to conceive children with a person of either sex, only with a person of the other sex. And we know that having children together should be a guaranteed right of all marriages. Rudy Giuliani criticized New Hampshire's CU's in spite of his support of CU's, because these go "too far" by giving all the rights of marriage, and perhaps Hillary Clinton agrees on this point even though she doesn't call attention to it.

I think this unfortunately rules out Obama, revealing him to be a postgenderist, or at least dangerously ignorant of what it means to be "working for" postgenderism. We need to preserve the rights of all, not make everyone's right to conceive naturally "equal" to their right to use genetic engineering. Postgenderism and transhumanism directly attack natural conception rights by imposing the "better" option of using genetically engineered genes to create children instead of a person's own genes. To preserve the rights of all people, we need to prohibit genetic engineering and preserve the right of all marriages to conceive with their own gametes.