Thursday, May 22, 2008


Check out this brief article from the London Telegraph.

Following the logic of laws recognising homosexual partnerships (civil unions) and adoption by gay couples, the Labour-led British Parliament has given the status of legal parent to both partners in a lesbian relationship when one of them gives birth by means of in vitro fertilisation. The move was rejected by most Conservative Party MPs, but a bid by one of them -- former leader Iain Duncan Smith -- to retain a rule recognising the need for a father was lost by 292 votes to 217. Mr Smith said the new rule would send the wrong message about fathers to the heterosexual world as well as same sex couples using fertility treatments.

The change comes as part of a Bill updating the UK's rules on fertility treatments, embryo research and abortion. Male gay couples who have children via surrogate mothers are not covered by the law change. Where there is reference to the father of a child, such as on birth certificates, this is to be read as reference to the female partner who did not give birth. The law will now say for the first time that babies born through fertility treatment do not need to have a father figure.
To objections that the change went against common sense, Labour MP Emily Thornberry said the term "common sense" worried her because it was often "a cover for discrimination, narrowness and an inability to face the 21st century".

The "important thing" was to give legal rights to lesbian couples and single women. Dawn Primarolo, the Health Minister (pictured), said reinstating the need for a father would be discriminatory as it would "create an additional hurdle" for such women. This would be "wholly inappropriate" following the decisions to allow civil partnerships and adoption by gay couples. ~ London Telegraph, May 20

No comments: