SACRAMENTO — The governor of California has signed into law a bill that mandates insurance companies in the state to provide coverage for infertility treatments for homosexuals.
As previously reported, AB 460 was proposed this past spring by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco, whose partner died of AIDS in 1994. He asserts that some insurance companies are discriminating by denying coverage to homosexuals because they did not have “an opposite sex married partner in which to have one year of regular sexual relations without conception.”
Current law requires that spouses try to conceive for one year, and may claim coverage if they remain barren after that time.
“Reproductive medicine is for everybody’s benefit,” Ammiano wrote in a statement following the signing of the bill this month by Governor Jerry Brown. “To restrict fertility coverage solely to heterosexual married couples violates California’s non-discrimination laws. I wrote this bill to correct that.”
“Coverage for the treatment of infertility shall be offered and provided without discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, domestic partner status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation,” the new law states.
It does, however, seek to protect religious insurance companies from being mandated to violate their conscience.
“[This bill] shall not be construed to require any plan, which is a subsidiary of an entity whose owner or corporate member is a religious organization, to offer coverage for treatment of infertility in a manner inconsistent with that religious organization’s religious and ethical principles,” the legislation provides.
Carlos Alcala, spokeperson for Assemblyman Ammiano clarified the bill’s intent.
“Anything that is covered by an insurance plan must be covered for everyone,” he said. “If a plan covers egg donation costs for a heterosexual couple unable to conceive without it, it would have to cover those costs for a gay male couple as well.”
The law covers artificial insemination, but excludes in vitro fertilization.
“We have the right to marry now and this is further support for us to be able to create families,” Judy Appel of the homosexual advocacy group Our Family Coalition told the Associated Press.
But some have been perplexed by the legislation as by nature those of the same gender cannot conceive with each other.
“The way the law works, gay and lesbian couples would simply have to testify that they have been having sex for a year without producing a child to be considered ‘infertile,’ which is [100% of the time], since baby-making requires necessary components missing in homosexual activity,” comments writer Ben Shapiro.
“It doesn’t mean situations in which two gay men are both infertile and incapable of impregnating a surrogate mother,” he continued. “It means situations in which gay or lesbian couples can’t make a baby by having sex with each other. In other words, every single gay and lesbian couple on the planet.”
“Biologically, homosexuals cannot produce children, so politics cannot trump biology,” Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality told OneNewsNow. “[T]o force insurance companies to provide infertility treatment benefits to homosexual couples is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”