Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Embryo bill to be heard in House and Senate this week

HB 2159/SB 2136, which would have a significant impact on who can use in vitro fertilization, will be heard in the House Family Justice subcommittee on Tuesday and in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The bill was rolled in the House subcommittee last week.

Our reading of the bill is that it would restrict the use of embyros to married, opposite-sex couples. The language throughout the bill refers to "a woman and her husband." Obviously this bill is a concern to the GLBT community, some of whose members have successfully used such procedures to start a family. But, like SB 0078, it also appears to affect a lot of straight people--single women, women who might have been widowed at a young age, women who are in the middle of a divorce, etc. We could all probably think of several scenarios that would be ruled out either as an intended or unintended consequence of the bill.

As there hasn't been any media coverage of the bill or significant discussion anywhere else, it is difficult to determine exactly what problem the bill is designed to solve, which always calls into question an ideological motive. In this case, that motive appears to be a certain understanding of the ideal family.

Click here for TEP's action alert on the bill, which provides links to the committee members so you can contact them and express your views.

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