Awwww . . . (
by Steve Timmer
Mar 26, 2013, 1:30 PM

You can’t legislate biology

In an overheated and poisonous op-ed in the Strib on Monday, the biology history professor Ryan MacPherson from that institution of higher learning, Bethany Lutheran College — Allen Quist’s old, quite literally, haunt — suggests that a child could have up to six people claiming parentage under the law proposed by marriage equality advocates. Bethany’s sponsoring Lutheran synod takes a dim view of anything other than one Biblical view (liberal theologians would disagree) of How Things Should Be between men and women. Although the op-ed says these are MacPherson’s own opinions, I doubt there is much daylight between Bethany and MacPherson.

How many could there be now, Ryan? Let’s see: biological parents, adoptive parents, and maybe a surrogate. That’s five. Yes, friends, there are fights over parentage and parental rights even today!

[Update (3/28/13): The Strib has a story yesterday about an adoption fight between foster parents and grandparents to adopt a couple of toddlers. So the estimate above was low.]

MacPherson’s venomous piece reminds one of Katherine Kersten, who wrote recently that Minnesota was going to make daddies mommies and mommies daddies, and that they’d come and take you away if you called yourself a “stay-at-home dad.” Okay, I made that last part up. But you could hear Kersten — or MacPherson, for that matter — say it, can’t you?

MacPherson writes that you can’t legislate biology. But to paraphrase Inigo Montoya, I don’t think that means what you think it means, Professor. In spite of what your fellow biology professor, Glenn Gruenhagen, says, it is established beyond serious scientific doubt that same-sex attraction is an innate and immutable feature of a person when born.

MacPherson and Kersten are the ones trying to legislate biology, or rather maintain the legislative status quo on biology. But the rights and duties of parents have long been the subject of legislation by the state, and those rights and responsibilities have not been entirely congruent with biological parentage for a long time, well, at least since children — and women, too — were considered chattels. Gay marriage with children is not the leap into the great beyond that Ryan and Katie want you think it is.

It is merely evolutionary, so to speak.

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