Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Will someone tell me why this Progressive Journalist is NOT a raving lunatic?

This recent e-mail exchange with a progressive journalist to my mind clearly demonstrates the complete and utter lunacy of "marriage equality".   But what the hell do I know?  I'm just a Bible-Thumping Rube.

Me:

I want to make this point as bluntly and as forcefully as I can. The proponents of "marriage equality" insist that the sex of parents does not matter. This assumes a re-definition of "parent" to mean "guardian". Therefore, "marriage equality" NECESSARILY reduces fatherhood to sperm donation and motherhood to surrogacy. "Marriage equality" reduces fatherhood and motherhood, in other words, to discrete, commodifiable services. "Marriage equality" is just another capitalist trick.

PJ:

I guess I agree with everything you just said, except the idea that it's a "reduction." It's a clarification, and not one that changes any parent's commitment to raising their children. And the last sentence of course... the difference marriage equality makes for the better is quite obvious.

Me:

Well, then, if you agree with the basic gist of what I just wrote, then why do find the logical consequence thereof so improbable and bizarre?  The logical consequence being this:

The courts rule that because marriage has nothing to do with procreation, presumption of parenthood no longer attaches to civil marriage. If a woman gets pregnant by her husband, she has the legal status of a surrogate until she makes it known that she wants to take over joint parenting responsibilities. And, in the same way, the husband has the legal status of a sperm donor until he makes it known that he wants to be a co-parent as well. Of course, both the husband and the wife will have to file for a parenting license and pass the required tests before they can adopt the child. Otherwise, the baby will go to the highest bidders who are also judged the most competent parents.

Such an arrangement would have the distinct advantage of being in conformity with the dictates of justice, fairness, and equality. It would finally put a very bright legal line between marriage and procreation and, thereby, achieve full legal equality between straight and gays. Of course, it falls short of full equality because opposite-sex couples still have the advantage of being their own surrogates and sperm donors and they are allowed first dibs (legally contingent dibs, yes, but first dibs all the same) on whatever sweet little commodities they produce. But the only way to achieve full equality between gays and straights is compulsory mass sterilization, and that unfortunately is politically unfeasible now.

PJ:

You don't have to be married to have a kid. The way that you assume the two are linked just doesn't make sense, and none of your consequences follow. There's nothing wrong with presumptive parentage; it makes sense to hold people accountable for their own children and, for lack of a better description, ensure that they have dibs on their own children.

We have adoption without same-sex marriage. We have nonprocreative marriages without same-sex marriage. I just don't see how these things are any different with same-sex marriage.

Me:

It is not the presumption of parentage.  You never have to presume who the mother is.  For fairly obvious reasons.  It is the presumption of paternity.

Also, in a previous post you agreed that sex is irrelevant to being a parent, and now you seem to say that it is.  If motherhood is nothing other than surrogacy and fatherhood nothing other than sperm donation—and you have agreed that it is--then it has nothing to do with your concept of “parenthood” which you have agreed to be only a completely asexual guardianship, and now you are suggesting that siring and birthing a child are linked to the responsibilities of parenthood?  Do you realize that you are contradicting yourself?  Or do you think that the law of non-contradiction is also a religious notion and as such cannot apply to a secular person like yourself?

PJ:

I just think you're trying to impose absolutes on situations too complicated for absolutes.

Children deserve two parents that are either accountable or committed to take care of them. There are a number of ways the law can accomplish that that are not mutually exclusive.

When a heterosexual woman has a baby, she has dibs to raise that child. If she's single, she can name the biological father and hold him accountable for child support. That makes sense to me.

If a woman has a baby and decides to put it up for adoption, she can do that too (like my birth mother did). The state can then find a fitting couple — or even a qualified single person in some cases — to raise that child. In that case, the new set of parents should be named the kids legal protectors; the biological mother has given up her dibs.

If a woman in a lesbian relationship uses a sperm donor or a gay male couple hires a surrogate, the situation is the same. In both cases, a donor has agreed that despite being the biological progenitor, they will give up their dibs to raising the child.

None of those points seem contradictory to me. They all seem in the best interest of a child's well-being.

Me:

Yes, a parent is accountable to his or her children, but a sperm donor or a surrogate is not.   You want to say that sexual difference does not matter at all in parenting.  But you have to admit that sexual difference is indispensable to the production of the child, and therefore, you have to separate the production of the child from the parenting of the child.  And that is why you have agreed that motherhood is nothing more than surrogacy and fatherhood nothing more than sperm donation.  Surrogacy and sperm donation are not supposed to be connected with your concept of asexual guardianship.

But then you also want to say that the production of child implies parental obligations, and that the law should recognize this, as it does when it forces a father to pay child support. but then sexual difference does matter to being a parent and fatherhood is obviously a lot more than sperm donation and motherhood a lot more than surrogacy.

So, on the one hand you say that fatherhood is merely sperm donation and motherhood is merely a surrogacy, and on the other hand you defend the current parent laws which assume that fatherhood is a lot more than sperm donation and motherhood is a lot more than surrogacy.  How you are NOT contradicting yourself, I do not know.

PJ:

We're talking about liability here. If you get a girl pregnant, you're responsible. If you donate your sperm and somebody else uses it to conceive a child, then they're responsible. What matters is who is responsible for the pregnancy. Children deserve the support of two parents; it makes sense for the law to hold biological parents responsible first because they're the ones that initiated the pregnancy.

The only sexual difference I see is that it's a lot harder for a woman to run away from her own baby than it is for the man, who has nine months to make an escape. But women do it too, and there's not an inherent difference there.

Me:

If impregnation entails parental responsibilities, then fatherhood must be more than mere sperm donation.  You still are contradicting yourself.  Furthermore, impregnation is enough to trigger a paternity suit, and the lack of intent to impregnate is not a defense.  So, the parallel you draw between impregnation, where intent does not matter, and contracting with a sperm donor, where intent obviously must matter, is simply false.

It’s much, much harder because of the mother-child bond that develops for nine months. You are denying decades of attachment theory simply because your lunatic ideology tells you to do so. Face it, the human being is sexual, the human being is NOT an amoeba.

PJ:

I stand by all my points.

Me:

And by doing so, you contradict yourself.  On the one hand, you say that sexual reproduction does not matter at all to parenting because parenting is an asexual enterprise, and then, on the other hand, you claim that sexual reproduction entails parental responsibilities, thereby admitting that sexual difference does matter to parenting.  Again, how this is not a contradiction, I have no clue whatsoever.

PJ:

I think that every child should have adults responsible for raising her. If indiscriminate adults get pregnant, they’re responsible. If a couple arranges to adoption/sperm donor/surrogacy, they’re responsible. That’s why I support birth control. It’s a burden on straight couples; if you get accidentally pregnant, then yes, you’re responsible. Somebody has to be. But stupidly having sex without protection is not the same as donating sperm, where you’re not responsible for the intent to get pregnant.

You want arbitrary absolutes based on biology. That just doesn’t fit for many kids. And nothing really justifies such an oversimplification of things.

Me:

So, you finally admit that opposite-sex relationships should be treated differently under the law from same-sex couples and, thereby, concede that sexual difference does indeed matter for parental obligations.  Still, you try to downplay this admission by comparing once again an accidental pregnancy to a contract with a sperm donor or a surrogate, but this is a false comparison.  A contract is an explicit acknowledgment of obligations whereas a reckless act obviously isn’t.  To say that responsibility attaches to an explicit promise to be responsible is tautological.  To say that responsibility attaches to a certain act is not.

And why, as you claimed in an earlier post, does a child deserve TWO parents?  How the deuce do you arrive at the number two?  Well, it takes two people to make a baby but that’s only if you believe that sexual difference matters in parenting, and you insist that you do not (except, of course, when you do).  Once you throw out sexual difference as a standard for parenting,  what’s to stop—oh, I don’t know—a legislature in a state such as, say, California from saying that sometimes a child deserves to have three or more “parents”?



By the way, absolutes or anything else for that matter cannot be arbitrary if they are based on something.  “Arbitrary” means “baseless”.

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