The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for August 7th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for August 7th from 13:19 to 16:52:

  • 10 Mispronunciations That Make You Sound Stupid | The Best Article Every day – #2: Nuclear Do you know how tough it is to be an advocate for the correct pronunciation of this word (NU-clee-er) when the president of the United States pronounces it NU-cu-lar? I don’t buy that it’s a regional thing. Ya’ll is a regional thing; nu-cu-lar is not.
  • ACLU Blog: Because Freedom Can’t Blog Itself: Official Blog of the American Civil Liberties Union » NYCLU Sues Insurance Company for Denying Coverage to Married Lesbian Couple – The New York Civil Liberties Union recently filed a lawsuit against Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Western New York on behalf of a married lesbian couple who were denied spousal health care coverage by the insurance company. While the insurance company provides spousal health care coverage for the different-sex spouses of employees at a school district, it refused to do so for the same-sex spouses of school district employees. This means that our clients, who have been together for over ten years and have a one-year-old daughter, must live without the security of having full family health insurance. One of the parents in the family has been categorically excluded from eligibility for the plan.
  • Feministe » Elitism – John McCain and Barack Obama are both elites. So are all the media figures crying about elitism. Whether they sip wine or chug beer, the both of them are far removed from the sort of life I lead, you lead, your neighbors lead, your coworkers lead, your families lead. It doesn’t make a goddamn drop of difference to any of us whether either of them turns his nose up at other figures in the same high class they already occupy. It just hurts the feelings of those higher figures who have toxic levels of self-importance.
  • Feministe » OK, folks, it’s time for a privilege check. – Really, though, that’s not it. It’s not the drugs that make people nervous. The drug panic is just the superficial manifestation of a much, much more deeply-rooted fear. The fear of disability.
  • Obama Strikes Back: ‘It’s Like These Guys Take Pride in Being Ignorant’ | Video | AlterNet – Now two points. One, they know they are lying about what my energy plan is. But the other this they are making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4%. It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant.


  1. Terrence, there’s something wrong with your blog software. I keep trying to comment on the “what rights should same-sex couples NOT have?” thread, and it never shows up.

    If you don’t want me to answer your question, you shouldn’t ask it. If you want to discuss it at my blog eggandsperm, you’re more than welcome.

  2. Terrence, there’s something wrong with your blog software. I keep trying to comment on the “what rights should same-sex couples NOT have?” thread, and it never shows up.

    If you don’t want me to answer your question, you shouldn’t ask it. If you want to discuss it at my blog eggandsperm, you’re more than welcome.

    It got caught in the spam filter for some reason. I approved it. Beyond that I don’t see much left to discuss.

  3. Thanks. Yes, you did do a pretty long diary back in June, entitled “Gay Marriage And Gametes“.

    But you failed to address the main point that I was making, which was that by agreeing that same-sex couples should not have the right to attempt to conceive children together, great progress could be made for same-sex couples. You never went back to respond to my comments there, either.

    There is lots to be discussed still, because same-sex couples still don’t have equal protections, and they don’t need to be allowed to do same-sex conception. You are taking the wrong position, and it is causing real suffering and will cause even more real suffering. Keep conception natural, keep natural conception a right of all people. Don’t force genetic engineering on the whole world and cause everyone to lose their right to conceive children with their own genes just because you insist same-sex couples have the same rights as a man and a woman.

  4. I actually wrote a much longer post in response, but never finished it and thus never published it. Here’s the shorter version.

    The reason I don’t see much to discuss is because it’s apparent neither of us is going to move from our positions. “Same-sex conception” is something I’ve heard about almost exclusively from marriage equality opponents. I haven’t heard or see many marriage equality proponents advocating “same-sex conception.”

    As far as I know, it doesn’t exist yet. If it ever does, it can be banned the same way you’d ban cloning or genetic engineering of human beings. Those are issues that have been debated for some time now, and they are the only way that “same-sex conception” would ever possibly become a reality. In fact, same-sex couples would be dependent on those procedures if they wanted to conceive together. It’s not something we could do on our own, in the privacy of our own homes. And I doubt that mail-order kits will be available any time soon.

    They are laboratory procedures, which can be prohibited or otherwise dealt with separately from marriage equality. In fact, you could prohibit it without affecting same-sex couples from pursuing IVF, since that procedure requires egg and sperm. In fact, you could simply prohibit engineering an egg into sperm or vice versa, without delving into marriage.

    It also doesn’t change the reality that civil unions, domestic partnerships, etc., are not marriage and cannot be equal to marriage, because they are vulnerable to abrogation by the legislature or electorate in a way that marriage is not, because it has the inertia of being a long-established legal relationship status and having so many people subscribe to it. For those reasons, it is unlikely to be revised to include fewer rights and protections, or revoked altogether. The same is not so for civil unions and domestic partnership, which can be and have been (where they have been established) revised downward, so that the people affected by them have fewer rights and protections than they did before. Even if heterosexuals entered into these arrangements, they would always have the option of marriage, which same-sex couples do not.

    These are all points the California Supreme Court laid out very clearly in its ruling, and I’ve yet to hear them effectively countered. If there is some way to establish newly recognized legal relationships like civil unions or domestic partnership, and safeguard them from revision or revocation, I’m all ears. Otherwise, we’re talking apples and oranges.

    I haven’t fully decided what I think about cloning and genetic engineering, but it doesn’t matter as far as marriage is concerned. I’m happy to hear discussion of either, and listen to any point of view. However, I don’t see either as belonging in the context of the marriage equality debate. I don’t see the two as even remotely related.

    Bottom line, I see this entire line of discussion as a diversion, and an endless one, because — as I said earlier — neither of us is likely to move from our position. The more time I spend discussing it — going around and around and around — the less time I spend on advocacy, etc. So, I don’t have anything more to say about the subject.

  5. I think we will ultimately end up at the question of whether or not same-sex couples have a right to attempt to conceive together, so it’s not a diversion to discuss it now, it is cutting to the chase. All this other stuff is the diversion.

    If we do decide to allow it then a person would have the same rights with someone of either sex, so Civil Unions don’t make any sense – we should have same-sex marriage. This was the essence of the CA decision: the rights are the same, so the name should be the same.

    If we decide to ban it then people have a right with someone of the other sex that they don’t have with someone of their same sex. It doesn’t matter that it would require going to the lab to have children, lots of hetero couples go to the lab to have children. It is a question of being allowed to have children together or not, it is not about specific methods or where they are done. If they have different rights, then the CA court would agree, they should have different names.

    If we ban it, and allow same-sex marriage or say that same-sex couples should have the same rights as a married man and woman in CU’s, then we are saying that a married man and woman don’t have a right, in principle, to conceive children together. That is unacceptable. Different rights call for different names, and we need to protect marriage’s conception rights.

    Using conception rights as the sole distinction between marriage and CU would protect CU’s from being watered down (and also protect marriage from being watered down), because Congress would stipulate how CU’s need to be defined to get recognized as marriages for federal purposes.

    Last, don’t forget that relinquishing conception rights and marriage would be a great bargaining chip that would help get CU’s passed. Merely relinquishing the name doesn’t gain anything, because it seems like a stepping stone. There has to be a permanent difference.

    Thanks for your consideration. Please keep thinking about it, same-sex couples need equal protections, they don’t need conception rights.