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Lesbian couple in Sweden report their council to equality body after being charged for insemination

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  1. ““We think that there should be a medical reason for infertility for the council to pay for treatment and homosexuality is not counted as a disease.”

    OK, but isn’t that indirect discrimination? Maybe they should have a separate category for lesbian couples.

    1. Exactly what I was going to put. It’s a bit much using “homosexuality isn’t a disease” as an excuse for homophobic policy when usually of course we use it as an argument against it. And a very convincing one at that, so convincing that usually the homophobes simply ignore it, pretend that homosexuality is “deviant”, and hope that no-one points out the irritating truth, i.e. that they are in disagreement with scientific consensus, and have been for decades.

      To me this all shows that homophobes simply start off discriminating against us because of pure, irrational hatred, and just clutch at whatever straws they can to try to justify that particular form of discrimation with “logic”, whether this involves pretending that we’re “deviant”, accepting that we’re not “deviant”, cherry-picking Bible passages, selectively quoting debunked rubbish about “health risks”, etc, etc. They work backwards from a nasty, homophobic conclusion and try to cobble together “reasons” for it, but always fail.

      1. Paddyswurds 29 Aug 2012, 7:16pm

        It isn’t a homophobic policy. what this badly written article didn’t say was that only women with fertility or health problems get it free gay or straight. As these girls didn’t qualify under either category they were denied as would a healthy straight couple. This is controversy for the sake of controversy…..

        1. friday jones 29 Aug 2012, 11:03pm

          Except for the fact that they don’t generally use artificial insemination because the woman being artificially inseminated has any fertility problems, it’s generally due to low sperm motility or low sperm count in the male partner. In other words, with heterosexual couples, they treat the couple for infertility AS A COUPLE. The woman doesn’t have to have a medical condition at all.

          This is obviously discriminatory treatment based on the same-sex marriage. They treat heterosexual couples that cannot produce viable sperm for free, but a lesbian couple that cannot produce viable sperm has to pay for the insemination process that would be free if the non-inseminated partner was a male.

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 29 Aug 2012, 5:08pm

    Are we to assume that Swedish heterosexual unmarried couples qualify for free insemination, or is it just married hetero couples?

    1. Paddyswurds 29 Aug 2012, 11:01pm

      No, only women with fertility problems and it isn’t a Swedish blanket policy. It is a county to county policy and, as the article says, is available free to all in next door county.

  3. I think a key fact you need to know about this is whether fertile hetero couples receive free treatment or whether it’s only ones suffering infertility problems get it free. If the latter is true, I don’t think there’s any discrimination, indirect or not. Equality is about being treated the same – otherwise should the state ensure a ready supply of wombs to ensure gay men can have children?

    1. Well, clearly fertile heterosexual couples wouldn’t need it *unless* there was a problem, so that comparison doesn’t quite work. Whether this policy is right/wrong or fair/unfair, it could be seen as indirect discrimination in that its result is to treat lesbian couples differently, or rather, perhaps, not to take into account their differing situation.

      1. I don’t think it is treating them differently, it’s treating them the same. To treat them differently is to provide a service for them which others cannot receive. I always find Pink News articles to be badly written and lacking in essential facts, never quite well rounded enough as an article to provide quite the level of discussion prompted by their enticing comments on Facebook.

        Fair point re: a fertile hetero couple so I’ll suggest instead an example of a single woman with no partner – we don’t know what level of service she would be provided? And I’ll again reitterate my point of male couples – what kind of fertility assistance would be offered to them? Or would this be satisfactory indirect discrimination given that they can’t conceive (although neither can a lesbian couple without assistance)?

        1. I don’t know the answers to all those questions, Deej :D I did have a google and looked at the original report but there wasn’t much information in that which added to what was on PN. It also made the point that the couple weren’t happy with the way they were treated and felt they were treated insensitively.

          I have no idea about a single woman, but – and this is a total guess – if she were to have a proven medical problem stopping her conceiving then I’d guess she may qualify as the qualifier seems to be whether you have a medical problem preventing conception.

          I’m ambivalent about this because I do accept there isn’t endless money to pay for everything, but I do understand why it could be considered indirect discrimination. It’s a bit like the UK marriage law (at a stretch). In theory I’m not being discriminated against by that law because it applies to me and a straight woman in exactly the same way – we’re both allowed to marry a man. But – that’s not much consolation to me :D

        2. A gay male couple? Again, I don’t know, and that’s slightly more complicated.

          I half agree with you in that health problems are the real job of any health service, but still maybe there should be some kind of help for LGBT couples without health – or at least a discount or something. And whatever the situation, there’s no call for staff to be insensitive or unsympathetic.

          1. Sorry – *without health PROBLEMS

  4. Paddyswurds 29 Aug 2012, 5:40pm

    I can see where the council is coming from. What happened top the Gay male friend and a turkey baster….??

  5. It’s tricky. A straight couple who have no sperm between them would qualify but a lesbian couple don’t. Anyway, wish my inseminations cost £289, mine were £900! Should have gone to Sweden lol x

    1. Paddyswurds 29 Aug 2012, 11:06pm

      A six pack, a turkey baster and an obliging male friend would be a lot cheaper….. and a lot less hassle.

      1. Lol. In theory yes but we wanted a sperm donor that was all above board, screened etc & our son can find out who he is when he turns 18. It was the right decision for us.

  6. I agree with this policy. Tax-payers money should only be used to pay for medical conditions. It’s why procedures that count as cosmic aren’t payed for by the state either.

    Of course that’s unfortunate for lesbian couples but it makes sense. And gay men often have to pay quite a bit to get children of their own too so they’re not alone. ;)

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