With the Supreme Court’s marriage decision, one might think that equality for gay families has arrived. But that would be a mistake. The court’s ruling could work to produce new conflicts and intensify old ones. Around the U.S., Gay Surrogacy now finds itself in the front line of the equality battle, according to an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times.
According to the author, while the public may have largely accepted the legitimacy of same-sex relationships (most notably marriage), there is a lingering and deeply rooted bias toward traditional, heterosexual parenting. At legal core is the “right to identity”, which some hold to mean that a child has a inalienable right to know and be-known by its birth parents. The emphasis on family ties through the birth mother relegates gay couples/families to a second-class status. Same-sex couples are more often than heterosexuals to rely on assisted reproductive technologies and surrogacy to conceive their families.
In essence, having lost the battle against marriage equality, social conservatives are resurrecting old arguments against same-sex marriage in the upcoming battle for “same-sex family equality”. The right may be forced to live with gay married couples, but they steadfastly refuse to accept and acknowledge married same-sex parents.
For surrogacy cases, different U.S. states are making special provisions to thwart the possibility of gay male parents from achieving family status. For example, Arkansas law defines parents in a surrogacy agreement to be the “biological father and the woman intended to be the mother.” The wordig of hte legislation is clearly intended to excude same-sex male parents.
In a similar attempt to shut down surrogacy for gay male parents, Louisiana lawmakers passed a bill that would have allowed gestational surrogacy only for couples who do not need donor egg or sperm — allowing only heterosexual couples from pursuing surrogacy in that state. (The bill was vetoed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.)
Says the author… “The battle over LGBT equality is far from over. But the court’s embrace of marriage equality takes a stand for sexual-orientation equality, and it should mean that ultimately lesbian and gay families will receive equal treatment under the law.”