It’s not so damned funny

Official photo via State of Georgia website
Official photo via State of Georgia website

Too many liberals underestimate conservatives, and while we’re laughing, they’re rolling back our rights.

There’s a Republican (really, are you surprised?) state legislator from Georgia who is being widely mocked this week. Rep. Tom Kirby introduced legislation making it illegal to splice human embryos with non-human cells.

Kirby even gave an interview to a local TV station saying he’s against the creation of human-animal hybrids such as centaurs and mermaids.

“I really don’t like centaurs,” Kirby said, according to Raw Story. “They really have bad attitudes most of the time and we’ve got enough people with bad attitudes as it is.”

You say, “What an idiot!” Ha ha ha, right?

Except when I watched the interview, he’s clearly smirking. He knows it’s a stupid question, and he doesn’t really believe anyone is going to go into a lab and try to breed a baby centaur or mermaid.

So, what’s this legislation really about? Politifact and the website of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution note the legislation  also would forbid any human embryo from being created except from a sperm and an egg.

You see? This isn’t about some backwoods moron who’s scared of centaurs. It’s about discrimination.

It’s about outlawing same-sex couples from having a child who is created from each partner’s own genetic material—something that scientists at Cambridge University in England, just a few weeks ago, said is theoretically possible.

In other words, a gay male couple might, some day, no longer need a female friend or relative to donate an egg, and a lesbian couple might not need a male friend or relative to donate sperm.

(And, swirled in, there’s also a little bit of kicking women’s reproductive rights to the curb. Kirby’s proposed embryo protection act would assert that human life begins at conception. If you don’t believe me, go read his own explanation.)

I don’t know if creating human embryos in a lab from non-reproductive cells is a good, bad or indifferent idea; I’m not an ethicist or a philosopher. I personally have some squeamishness about the idea, especially considering how many unwanted kids wind up in foster care, awaiting adoption.

But I’m really tired of liberals getting fixated on silly surface issues—”Ha, ha, some hillbilly Republican thinks mermaids are real!”—and missing the real point of laws like these.

In fact, any time you hear a truly stupid piece of legislation being proposed by a state legislator, chances are, hidden inside is something to hurt gays, women, or the poor, or to hand over some public asset to a private company.

I did a quick online search, and I don’t see any pending similar legislation in Pennsylvania—but if this bill passes in Georgia, you can bet conservative legislators in Harrisburg, and Columbus, and Charleston will suddenly express similar concerns about protecting the “sanctity of life.”


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