Thursday, February 12, 2009

Page One Kentucky supports Adulters' Rights Act of 2009

About every couple of weeks the folks over at Page One Kentucky get in a tizzy about something I have said the they aim their rhetorical popgun over my direction and fire off a few rounds. 

What have I done now to upset them?  We go now to the anonymous author of the post (okay, so courage isn't one of their virtues):
There’s a bill in the state house right now–HB 28– that has religious conservatives up in arms.
Up in arms? We hadn't even ordered the ammunition when one simple little question in Wednesday's House Judiciary Committee practically torpedoed the whole bill.  As I pointed out before the meeting, the bill is being supported by the argument that the biology of the father trumps all other important considerations in parental rights cases, a position that would make mincemeat of laws governing adoption and in vitro fertilization.

If biology is the prevailing consideration, I asked, then what prevents a rapist from demanding parental rights?  In fact, Tom Riner asked a more pointed question: "Under this legislation, would a person who had committed rape be able to act on this legislation to press their paternal rights as the father of the child?"

What followed was a string of fairly unintelligible legalese from bill sponsor Daryll Owens (D-Louisville), after which Riner asked, "So it would cover him if he wanted to do that?"

"Well, I guess he could, yeah. [insert long awkward pause here] Again, I think that's extremely unlikely, but I guess he could."

Can you say "gotcha"?

All of this, of course followed questions from other Democratic members of the committee, including Brent Yonts, Robin Webb, and Kelly Flood, who shot so many holes in the bill that there wasn't much left when it was over.

So crippled was the bill by the end of the testimony, an embarassed Rep. Owens withdrew the bill. 

The whole sorry episode can be viewed here.  HB 28 comes up about 80 percent of the way through the meeting.

So what are we to make of the anonymous author at Page One?  Well, after quoting from my press release and relating what I did say, he goes on to relate what I did not say:
He continues later in the day to assert that his opposition is based
in part on the fact that the passage of HB 28 into law would allow
rapists to assert parental rights. Yes, because prior to Rhoades v
Ricketts there were rapists asserting parental rights willy-nilly. We
could really get in the weeds here, as Carey allows himself to do–
rapists are asserting parental rights? Really?

In fact, why didn't Mr. Anonymous just quote what I actually did say:
If you take this argument to its logical conclusion, then the
biological father of a child born through in vitro fertilization to a
mother married to another man could gain parental rights. In fact, if
biology trumps everything else, what stops a rapist from claiming
parental rights?
Nowhere did I say I thought the bill would allow for this:  I said this was the logical outcome of their argument, not the legal outcome of their bill.  But this is a philosophical distinction, not exactly a specialty over at Page One.  I just assumed that the law had other provisions preventing this, but Owen's answer to Riner's question (which was directed at the legal issues) makes you wonder.

But what am I supposed to make of this paragraph:
You see, there has been, for some time, quite a bit of righteous
outrage over women’s bodies, and the rights that come along with being
able to use those bodies to create another living being. But men have
been off the hook, more or less because we don’t have to carry the
child. That argument, however, comes with a clear-cut expiration date.
And this is going to open a very large can of worms: the date of fetal
viability. Yeah. HB 28 isn’t just about adultery and rape and holding
down the gays like Marty Cothran wants you to think. It’s also about
aboriton. But what did I say? I’m not getting in the weeds. There are
multi-million dollar organizations that talk about aborition on both
sides of the aisle. But what about paternal rights and responsibility?
Martin Cothran’s organization has an agenda–they’re pushing against
this legislation because it helps the chances that teh gays and teh
sluts will never get what they want–but what about those of us outside
the universe of right-wing hate?
What in the world does fetal viability have to do with this bill--much less "aboriton"?  And where do "teh gays and teh sluts" come in?  He (whoever "he" is) is criticizing me for saying the bill is about something that I didn't say it was about, and then he says the bill is about something it's not about?  Is this supposed to be persuasive?

As to the last part of the paragraph, I'm not even sure what it means.

At first I wondered why Jake would let someone only partially literate guest post on his blog. Then it occurred to me: he's even less coherent than Jake. 

It makes Jake look good!


Katie said...

I bet Mr. Anonymous used the "Conservatives up in arms" cliche because all he can actually do is reiterate phrases and ideas he's already heard.

Anonymous said...

I'm rubbing my eyes reading the discussion on this bill here. For Martin is actually taking a position that is favorable for homosexual couples who are parents (favorable in a roundabout but very real sense).

As I've said before, this blog is full of contradictions.

Martin Cothran said...


Laws against violent crime are also favorable for gays. Am I supposed to feel conflicted over that?