Republicans in Tennessee are proposing bills that would classify children born from artificial insemination as illegitimate. But there may be a legitimate rationale behind what they’re doing.
A child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman’s husband, is deemed to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife.
Why get rid of a statute that involves a married, consenting couple? It’s not like this would affect gay or lesbian couples, as many have speculated online, and the procedure is one that’s been used by many straight couples as a way to overcome infertility.
According to one Facebook user, Weaver told her this legislation was aimed at getting the government out of asking couples how their babies were born. By repealing the current statute, the law would still say a baby born to a married woman — regardless of method — is legitimate. The Facebook user said Weaver sent her this message:
… the repeal of the law does not de-legitimize a child conceived by insemination and, to be honest, the law that will remain on the books is less intrusive into the relationship of a husband and wife than the statute being repealed. Unlike the law being repealed, the remaining law that will now govern the situation does not have the government inquiring into the means by which the couple’s child came into existence or whose sperm, the husband’s or a donor’s, was used.
If that’s accurate, the new bills seem less troublesome that headlines would suggest, but it’s odd that neither Weaver nor Hensley have explained themselves publicly.
It’s not like they can rely on their good reputations. Waver once apologized for a racist photo by saying, “I’m the least racist of anyone. Some of my greatest friends are black.” Hensley’s ex-wife also accused him of hitting her with the door of his truck. He also introduced legislation (known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill) that would ban elementary and middle school teachers from discussing anything related to LGBT issues.