The passing of this bill baffles me beyond words. I thought our country was learning to move past discrimination. Apparently, Louisiana would like to take a giant leap backwards.
If you are a same-sex couple in Louisiana, it is currently legal for you to contract with a surrogate mother to carry a baby for you and your partner. That is about to change. The Louisiana Senate passed a bill this week that sets new standards for paid and contract surrogate pregnancies. Senate Bill 162 would allow only married heterosexual couples to use the services of a surrogate mother. It doesn’t matter whether the surrogate has been paid, or if she simply wanted to help a friend. Gay couples, or single people of any persuasion, will not be allowed to have a child using a surrogate.
A similar bill has already passed the House, but with an amendment that would nullify the bill if the Supreme Court strikes down DOMA. Democrat Gary Smith, sponsor of the Senate bill, objected to that provision saying he preferred to find language that would link the definition of a married couple to the State Constitution, which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. The bill now heads to a conference committee to find a version both houses can agree with, but in either version, gays will be barred from having a child through a surrogate.
SB 162 was objected to by both the Left, who thinks using a woman’s womb as a commodity exploits women, and the Right, who object to the destruction of embryos the in vitro process causes. In spite of these vocal constituencies, and the fact that the new regulations disenfranchise gay and single people, the bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers. Governor Jindal is expected to sign.
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