Thursday, July 29, 2010

THE RETURN OF THE SPERM DONOR MENACE! Back in May the folks at Family Scholars opened what appeared to be a brave new front in their usual war against gay marriage: Alerting their constituents to the menace of sperm donation. As detailed here, they found a young woman sired by a sperm donor who was mad that marriage-deprived gay people got to claim victim status while she, who had suffered the stigma of turkey-baster parentage, had neither fund-raisers nor pride parades of her own.

I doubted this risible schtick would lead to anything, but apparently Family Scholars are still working it. And in furtherance of it, they're even pretending to be open to same-sex marriage. That's how big a deal this is!

Family Scholars has a "My Daddy's Name is Donor" tag under which they file extensive complaining on the subject ("he’s not just a sperm donor, he’s my father"). Though Family Scholars has traditionally been hostile to gay marriage (because Won't Someone Please Think of the Children), at least one anti-sperm spokesperson says she's open to a parlay with the marriage equality people.

"I do believe it’s possible to have two mothers, or two fathers," says Elizabeth Marquardt in the craftily-titled "The Compromise I Think I Could Accept," "...But I do NOT believe that having two mothers means you do not also have a father out there, somewhere." So states that made it possible for fatherless victims of donation to harass their donor-daddies might get a prize from Elizabeth Marquardt:
That is, jurisdictions that ban anonymous donation of sperm, eggs, and wombs -- and with it, the erroneous idea that children are just made from random gametes and don’t care where they come from -- could also institute legal same sex marriage.
Generous of her, ain't it? But Marquardt's follow-up suggests she was just toying. Among her added reservations: "I worry that the next step will be recognizing poly arrangements and group parenting rights." Experience shows that once they start talking like that, there's no dealing with them.

But though the deal between them and their imaginary gay friends seems to be off, Family Scholars is still standing athwart the tidal wave of donor jism, crying "Glub!" They currently seek publicity with anti-donor glosses on the new film The Kids Are All Right, which involves a sperm donor whose contribution has enabled a lesbian couple to have a kid. Marquardt takes to Opus Dei stroke book First Things to explain that "The Kids Are Not All Right." (They must not pay editors very much at First Things; I'd have gone with "Dykes Do Cum Shots, Kids Get Hangover" or something like that.)

The movie, she allows, is OK as a movie -- it's "rich on particulars and complexity," by which Marquardt means the lesbians have some faults. But not enough, alas; nor do they drop down a trap door into hell at the end like Don Juan, nor repent and promise to accept cock as the only legitimate conveyance of love juice. So Marquardt decides that "despite the attempts at realism, the movie is a fantasy," and devotes the rest of her review to the sorrows of fatherless beaker babies:
And what about those whose sperm donors have no interest in being fathers? In the COLAGE guide, one young woman says, “My donor doesn’t seem to be particularly into the whole father thing with me, and it caused me quite a bit of pain trying to get him to be.” Another says: “I grew up having certain expectation of what roles my [sperm donor] . . . would play in my life and when [he] didn’t fulfill those expectations, I was hurt.”
I would like to be more sympathetic toward them, but I lost my father quite young, and would be embarrassed to go about in public as a grown man blubbering about it, let alone blaming it on science. And though I tend to be pessimistic on the subject, I would say that if the anti-gay-marriage team is reduced to tugging at heartstrings with adults who weep because some guy who jerked off into a cup with their mommy's name on it 20 years ago won't take them fishing, they can't be doing very well.

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