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On the right path

Of course, it is not your sexuality that determines whether you can become a good mother.


[2. February 2007] Norwegian lesbian couples are already parents. Lesbian women are like most women, and many also want to be a mother. In lesbian environments, it has become increasingly common to travel to Denmark to have inseminated semen. That's where lesbian women are treated the way they should be treated: just like any other woman.

The biotechnology committee has now taken the first step towards repealing one of the rules that discriminate against gays in Norway. The government-appointed committee has, by a large majority, advocated for lesbian couples to be able to have artificial insemination. Because although lesbians and gays have the right to enter into partnerships, and now also have the right to maternity allowance and leave, the provision of assistance to have children is still linked to infertile, heterosexual women.

The government is currently in the final stages of its work on the study of a common marriage law for heterosexuals and gays. We have previously criticized the government for taking good time on these issues. It should not be necessary to study simple principles of equal treatment. But now the investigation is finally drawing to reach the same conclusions that the government should have set out in principle in the first place. When they come up with a bill, gay couples can finally get the same rights as heterosexual couples. One of the important consequences of the right to artificial insemination and equal rights as married couples is that lesbian couples can finally avoid having to adopt their own children. Today, many years are spent on stepchild adoption, and an already-pressured childcare center needs to spend time on home visits and report writing for well-functioning families with highly loved children.

There is no human right to have children. But any respect for human rights involves treating people on an equal footing, regardless of sexuality. A logical consequence of this is that lesbian couples should be considered parents in the same way as heterosexual couples. We congratulate the Biotechnology Committee on a good decision and urge Minister of Gender Equality Karita Bekkemelem and the Government to advance in a bill. A new law can make everyday life easier for lesbian families. So it should have been all the way.

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