Problems with Same Sex Procreation
As in other areas where ethics and technology meet, I would be in favor of a ten year moratorium on human SSP which could be extended after review. If results can be produced that are equivalent in safety and efficacy as IVF, then I see no reason for it to be banned from that point on.
The problem with SSP is the same one involved with cloning. Gametes which come together during fertilization have nearly all their sets of genes turned on. This provides the embryo the potential to produce all the body's structures and functions. The exception to this is that one pattern of genes is turned off (methylated) in the chromosomes in the egg and a different pattern of genes is methylated in those found in the sperm. When these two gametes with complimentary patterns combine, the likelihood of having a healthy full term baby is increased.
With SSP, there is no gamete with the male methylation pattern. I believe this is the main source of the problems that have shown up. Normally, for example, the X chromosome from the egg remains dominant, while the X or Y chromosome provided by the sperm is eventually all but shut down. If the X chromosomes both come from an egg, both may stay on, resulting in the duplication of function, and all kinds of problems can ensue.
In cloning, a skin cell, for example, has to be demethylated to return it to a poly-potential state. This indiscriminate process would remove the male and female methylation patterns as well, resulting in the same sort of difficulties as with SSP described above. Producing an embryo with the same methylation patterns as occur in the natural fertilization process is way beyond our current understanding or abilities.
The sets of genes that later produce a template in the limbic system which would determine the gender of the person which produces an automatic sexual arousal response are on the X chromosome. The presence or absence of the Y chromosome from the male gamete usually leaves the set of genes which would result in a person being attracted to females turned on and the set which would result in a person being attracted to males turned off (Y present) or vice versa (Y absent.) This results in a heterosexual orientation. A small percentage of the time, this signaling goes awry, resulting in a person with a homosexual orientation. If both sets of genes for sexual attraction are left on, the person will have a bisexual orientation; if neither, an asexual orientation. On those rare occasions when the attracted to male sets of genes on both X chromosomes are left on, this female would be "doubly" attracted to males, a condition known as nymphomania. Since men have only one X chromosome, this doubling effect cannot occur, so there is no corresponding condition in males.
Since sexual orientation is determined by the gene selection which occurs after fertilization as described above, no amount of socialization can coax a person who is gay to be straight, and no amount of "indoctrination" (as some put it) can result in a straight person becoming gay.
How we treat people who have a different orientation than most of us is our choice. My moral system tells me to treat others with understanding and respect, and in all fairness and compassion, to allow lesbian and gay couples to have the same right to a civil marriage for all the same reasons that I have. (From: Family Scholar's blog Comment #24)