Ho boy…Umm bad choice of words, considering the subject….
State Representative G.A. Hardaway (D-92) of Memphis seems to have opened up a can of worms that he may not be able to shut. The bill in question… HB2964/SB3717. Sponsored by Hardaway and State Senator Reginald Tate (D-33) the bill would require a paternity test to be administered before a man’s name could be included on a birth certificate.
Needless to say, this set off a firestorm. In a widely forwarded email that I received Friday, the original author (whose name was removed from the forwarded email) writes:
This bill presumes that every woman in the state is so immoral that she can not be trusted to confirm the father of her child. For a woman who delivers a child while her husband is serving in Iraq, the child’s birth certificate will not state the father’s name. Should that father be killed while serving this country in Iraq, the child would not receive any benefits due a child of military personnel killed in action.
among other potential problems the bill may create.
Let me just say, this is not an election year bill, if you want to get elected in Memphis, where women make up a majority of the electorate. In fact, in just about every way, politically and practically, this bill is stupid unless you want to piss off all the wrong people.
If the goal is to provide some kind of legal remedy for men to contest the paternity of a child, there are many better ways to deal with it, rather than making it mandatory for every child born in Tennessee. Had the bill sought to provide some better legal remedy for that instance, there would still be resistance, but the tone of the bill would not have such a decidedly anti-woman flair.
I seriously doubt that this bill makes it anywhere. It’s plutonium. While there may be some need to provide legal and financial help for individuals seeking to prove, or disprove as the case may be, paternity, by introducing this bill, Rep. Hardaway has ensured that it will not be dealt with in this session.
Finally, an aside…
Last night was Nikki Tinker’s campaign kickoff. Rep. Hardaway was on the list of Hosts of the event. It makes me wonder, what does Ms. Tinker think of this legislation. Considering the lack of an issues page on her site…the world may never know.