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  1. #1
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    A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    This thread was inspired by another thread, "A Man's Right To Choose".

    I claim that a man CAN refuse forced fatherhood in three different ways, but he must refuse being a father by taking action BEFORE he has sex with a woman, and BEFORE a child is conceived.

    1) A man who decides that he NEVER wants to have any children, can refuse forced fatherhood by simply having a vasectomy.

    2) A man who may want children in the future, but not at the present time, can refuse forced fatherhood, by abstaining from sex until he is ready, willing, and able to be financially and personally responsible for a child.

    3) For a man who wants children in the future, but who is not willing to abstain from sex in the present, there is a third way to refuse forced fatherhood.
    He must use a condom EACH AND EVERY TIME he has sex with a woman, AND ALSO sign a notarized, legal agreement with said woman, BEFORE he has sex with her, in which he relinquishes ALL OF HIS PARENTAL RIGHTS to any child he may conceive with her.

    A father cannot voluntarily relinquish his parental rights, by himself, without the mother's consent.

    However, if both parties, man and woman, sign the contract, agreeing that the man is legally relinquishing all parental rights to any child conceived , in the future, with said woman, said man would theoretically release himself from any obligation to pay child support for said child.

    I don't know if such a contract would even hold up in court, but if said woman refuses to sign such an agreement, the man shouldn't have sex with her.

    Side note:
    Parental rights of a father can be voluntarily relinquished after the conception or birth of a child, but this would probably be impossible, if the mother of the child did not agree to it.
    .
    Last edited by Scarlett44; August 8th, 2008 at 01:25 PM.
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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Not for nothing, but there are agents of the state whose purpose is to make that kind of contract impossible to enforce. The argument being that it is the right of the child, not the mother, we're talking about. Do I agree that I should be able to, with the father's consent, terminate his rights AND his financial responsibility? Absolutely. Is it possible today? Only if I refuse to give a name for the birth certificate AND if I'm not compelled by the state to comply with determining paternity in order to receive public assistance.

    So the question is this: Are you proposing a hypothetical, or are you telling me that this is something that occurs where you live?
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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlett44 View Post
    This thread was inspired by another thread, "A Man's Right To Choose".

    I claim that a man CAN refuse forced fatherhood in three different ways, but he must refuse being a father by taking action BEFORE he has sex with a woman, and BEFORE a child is conceived.

    1) A man who decides that he NEVER wants to have any children, can refuse forced fatherhood by simply having a vasectomy.
    And a woman can have her tubes tied. This does not rectify the inequality between avenues of relief for mothers-to-be and fathers-to-be.

    2) A man who may want children in the future, but not at the present time, can refuse forced fatherhood, by abstaining from sex until he is ready, willing, and able to be financially and personally responsible for a child.
    Same goes for a woman.

    3) For a man who wants children in the future, but who is not willing to abstain from sex in the present, there is a third way to refuse forced fatherhood.
    He must use a condom EACH AND EVERY TIME he has sex with a woman, AND ALSO sign a notarized, legal agreement with said woman, BEFORE he has sex with her, in which he relinquishes ALL OF HIS PARENTAL RIGHTS to any child he may conceive with her.

    A father cannot voluntarily relinquish his parental rights, by himself, without the mother's consent.

    However, if both parties, man and woman, sign the contract, agreeing that the man is legally relinquishing all parental rights to any child conceived , in the future, with said woman, said man would theoretically release himself from any obligation to pay child support for said child.

    I don't know if such a contract would even hold up in court, but if said woman refuses to sign such an agreement, the man shouldn't have sex with her.
    ...except that a woman can relinquish her parental obligations without having to secure the consent of the child's father by simply having an abortion.

    Side note:
    Parental rights of a father can be voluntarily relinquished after the conception or birth of a child, but this would probably be impossible, if the mother of the child did not agree to it.
    .

    Yes, but in the time period before birth a mother-to-be who does not wish to be a mother has a significant advantage over a father-to-be who does not wish to be a father. Which should be changed.
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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Yes, but in the time period before birth a mother-to-be who does not wish to be a mother has a significant advantage over a father-to-be who does not wish to be a father. Which should be changed.
    How?

    What would you change in the time period before birth that would improve the situation?

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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    How?

    What would you change in the time period before birth that would improve the situation?
    Either remove the woman's ability to abort the pregnancy, or give the man the option to abort his own incipient parental obligations to the child.
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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlett44 View Post
    I claim that a man CAN refuse forced fatherhood in three different ways, but he must refuse being a father by taking action BEFORE he has sex with a woman, and BEFORE a child is conceived.
    Why can't the woman refuse motherhood in the same way by simply keeping her legs shut? (I am in no way pro life, but I'm trying to argue this along the same lines)

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlett44 View Post
    1) A man who decides that he NEVER wants to have any children, can refuse forced fatherhood by simply having a vasectomy.
    Why should a man be made to put himself through surgery for fear some woman would rope him into fatherhood against his will?
    If he doesn't want a child, he tells her. If she gets pregnant, too bad. He can walk away, the woman can deal with the pregnancy herself. Don't forget the woman has a choice to sleep with a man who has already made it clear he was no wish for a child. She is also at fault, and should accept the consequences.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlett44 View Post
    2) A man who may want children in the future, but not at the present time, can refuse forced fatherhood, by abstaining from sex until he is ready, willing, and able to be financially and personally responsible for a child.
    The woman can refuse motherhood by remaining abstinate also.
    However, the woman does not have to remain abstinate. She can have unprotected sex with whomever she pleases, and she has the legal right to as many abortions as she pleases. Why should the man be made to remain abstinate for fear of getting a woman pregnant, when the woman could have made the choice to back away after the man informed her he had no desire to become a father?


    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlett44 View Post
    3) For a man who wants children in the future, but who is not willing to abstain from sex in the present, there is a third way to refuse forced fatherhood.
    He must use a condom EACH AND EVERY TIME he has sex with a woman, AND ALSO sign a notarized, legal agreement with said woman, BEFORE he has sex with her, in which he relinquishes ALL OF HIS PARENTAL RIGHTS to any child he may conceive with her.
    If only such documents would hold up in court - not a bad idea, given it would protect the man from being roped into fatherhood against his wishes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlett44 View Post
    A father cannot voluntarily relinquish his parental rights, by himself, without the mother's consent.
    Only because the woman possesses the uterus and he must go along with whatever she decides.
    The woman is able to relinquish her parental rights without the permission of the father, so I believe the man should have the same right.
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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Either remove the woman's ability to abort the pregnancy
    Which is unfair to the woman


    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    or give the man the option to abort his own incipient parental obligations to the child.
    which is unfair to the child.

    So you have nor given a solution to make things fair - only shifted who is treated unfairly - and even more unfairly than the man is treated originally.

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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Which is unfair to the woman




    which is unfair to the child.

    So you have nor given a solution to make things fair - only shifted who is treated unfairly - and even more unfairly than the man is treated originally.

    Agreed..that goes too far. I would limit the argument to what happens AFTER the birth.

    Which is sufficient. Simply, give each party an equal chance to either walk away or stay. Doubt anyone can prove this to be an unfair way to play it.
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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Which is unfair to the woman

    which is unfair to the child.
    Mican, why are you only focusing on two people here? There are three people to consider - the woman, the unborn baby, and the father of that baby.
    You claim that two things are eithor unfair to mother or child, but you forget that both are unfair to the male. The male has to rights in this, he deserves rights - at the very least he deserves the right to choose in much the same way the woman can.
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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    There are two ways to look at this.
    1) The unborn is a person.
    In which case, the mother has the opportunity to kill the child while the father does not. Which is unfair to the the father in one sense, and unfair to the child in both.

    2) The unborn is not a person but is in fact a part of the womans body. (This is what I believe is the premise of the thread. )

    So from #2
    A) As the unborn is not a child, then it is 100% the womans responsibility at that time, because it is literally and extension of her body. It is like arguing that the man should have an equal option to the woman having her wisdom teeth pulled (with a man who has no wisdom..... teeth that is) It is first an apples and oranges comparison between man and woman. It is not unfair to the man in any way to deny him rights over the womans body.

    B) When it is born, then the mother can no more "abort" her parenting rights than the father can. There is a difference in the adoption option. I am sure the mother can give the child away while the father has no say. This is the last part of inequality between men and woman. I view this as a right given up by the man by not marrying her before having sex.

    The only remedy is to require consent from both parents on adoption issues.

    Look at abortion as though it is dealing with a fathers child, is an insane contradiction in terms. For if it is the CHILD of the father, then it should be impossible to have an abortion in the first place.
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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarja Turunen View Post
    Mican, why are you only focusing on two people here?
    Because they are the two people you seem to be ignoring. It's clear you are not considering the impact of your proposal on them - you are only focusing on the father.

    The father has been gone over plenty already so it's redundant to bring it up again - we are all very aware of that situation.

    What IS being ignored (until now) is that fact the your solution is not fair to the other two people in the situation (mother and child).


    Quote Originally Posted by Tarja Turunen View Post
    There are three people to consider - the woman, the unborn baby, and the father of that baby.
    Right. And since the unfairness of your solution to two of them (you have only concentrated on one of the three) has not really been brought up, I'm doing so now.

    Again, we've all read PLENTY about unfairness the father - now let's address the unfairness of your solution to the mother and/or child. To ignore it is to ignore a fatal flaw in your argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tarja Turunen View Post
    You claim that two things are eithor unfair to mother or child, but you forget that both are unfair to the male.
    Believe me, I did not forget that, unless you think I forgot the post I'm responding to.

    As I've said, the situation is inherently unfair (only one gender being capable of carrying a fetus is unfair) and cannot be made fair.

    So at least as far as this forum goes, there is no proposed solution to make the situation fair. Certainly allowing the father to skip out on his parental obligations is not fair. It is less fair to the child than enforcing custody is to the father.

    And the father being able to force the mother to have an abortion is less fair to the mother than enforcing custody is to the father.

    Now, if you have a truly fair solution to the situation, I'd love to hear it. But just shifting the unfairness to someone else to an even greater degree than it originally is now for the father is certainly not a fair solution.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tarja Turunen View Post
    The male has to rights in this, he deserves rights - at the very least he deserves the right to choose in much the same way the woman can.
    He has the same right the woman has before the baby is born. He has the right to his own body and to decide what happens to it. He cannot be forced against his will to have an abortion or be denied the right to an abortion (the fact that he has no need for an abortion does not remove the fact that he has the right to one, just like a woman).

    He DOES NOT have the right to control the woman's body the same way that she does not have the right to control his.

    And he does not have the right to avoid his obligations to the children he sires, regardless of the status of abortion laws.

    I would not say it's entirely fair to him but again, but then there is no fair solution - or at least one has not been presented here yet. A fair solution is fair to father AND mother AND child.

    A man being allowed to skip out on his family obligations is not a fair solution. And I don't think there is a fair solution. There's only "unfair" and "more unfair". What we have now is "unfair" and what you propose is "more unfair".
    Last edited by mican333; August 9th, 2008 at 12:00 PM.

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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix
    So the question is this: Are you proposing a hypothetical, or are you telling me that this is something that occurs where you live?
    There has never been such a contract, as I described in the OP, drawn up anywhere that I know of.

    But biological fathers DO voluntarily relinquish their parental rights, legally, on a routine basis, for other reasons.

    One common reason is for the purposes of placing the child for adoption.
    In order to place a child for adoption, the biological mother, and the biological father, if his identity is known, must BOTH relinquish their parental rights.

    Another common reason that a biological father relinquishes his parental rights, is by request of the child's mother.

    So, theoretically, such a contract as I suggested could work, but there's no way to find out for sure, until someone puts it to the test.
    .
    Last edited by Scarlett44; August 9th, 2008 at 11:20 AM.
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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlett44 View Post
    One common reason is for the purposes of placing the child for adoption.
    In order to place a child for adoption, the biological mother, and the biological father, if his identity is known, must BOTH relinquish their parental rights.

    Another common reason that a biological father relinquishes his parental rights, is by request of the child's mother.

    So, theoretically, such a contract as I suggested could work, but there's no way to find out for sure, until someone puts it to the test.
    .
    But both of those require the consent of the mother. Without consent of the mother, I don't think a father can relinquish his responsibility to the child.

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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarja Turunen View Post
    Why can't the woman refuse motherhood in the same way by simply keeping her legs shut?
    I never said a woman wasn't capable of abstaining from sex.....She is perfectly capable of doing so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarja Turunen
    Why should a man be made to put himself through surgery for fear some woman would rope him into fatherhood against his will?
    If a man never wants children, a vasectomy prevents him from ever conceiving any, which is a much simpler, and more ethical solution, than taking the chance of creating a child that would be unwanted by his/her biological father.

    By the way, a vasectomy is a very simple, outpatient procedure, that can be done in a doctor's office.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarja Tarunen
    If he doesn't want a child, he tells her. If she gets pregnant, too bad. He can walk away, the woman can deal with the pregnancy herself.
    So....telling someone you don't want something to happen, absolves you from all responsibility if it DOES happen?

    Saying "I want to have sex with you, but I don't want you to get pregnant, and have a child", is like saying "I want to drive downtown today, but I don't want to have a car accident on the way."

    If someone doesn't want to be in an accident while driving, does that absolve them from all responsibility if they cause an accident?

    I think we all know the answer to that question.

    The same thing can be said about sex and pregnancy.

    If a man doesn't want to conceive a child while having sex, does that absolve him from all responsibility if he does conceive a child?

    No.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But both of those require the consent of the mother. Without consent of the mother, I don't think a father can relinquish his responsibility to the child.
    True......

    And that's the reason I proposed (in the OP) that a man and woman, could sign a legal contract together, before they have sex, in which the woman CONSENTS to the man relinquishing all of his parental rights to any child he might conceive with her.

    If the woman doesn't want to sign such an agreement, then the man shouldn't have sex with her.
    .
    Last edited by Scarlett44; August 9th, 2008 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlett44 View Post
    And that's the reason I proposed (in the OP) that a man and woman, could sign a legal contract together, before they have sex, in which the woman CONSENTS to the man relinquishing all of his parental rights to any child he might conceive with her.
    But again, his obligations are not to the mother, but to the child.

    So if the mother decides that he should be caring for his child (at least financially), then a previous contract she signed saying otherwise would be annulled. The child is entitled to the money and therefore any previous agreement that says he's not would not stand up.

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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    I would also mention that signing a document to relinquish your parental rights does not mean that you cannot be held liable for child support. You still can. (At least in the state of Texas.)

    Also, many states have a registry that a man can get on if he thinks he's the father of a baby. Even if the mother doesn't list him as the father on the birth certificate, he has legal recourse if she tries give the baby up for adoption or deny him other rights. I do not believe being on this registry can do anything for you if your partner decides to abort however.

    Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.

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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by AliceLiddell View Post
    I do not believe being on this registry can do anything for you if your partner decides to abort however.
    I would guess you can't be on the registry until the baby is born.

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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    First, as an FYI, your choice of typeface is beyond irritating. I hate trying to read it and the only reason I'm even going through the effort now is because Stoic repped you, and I find his rep wanting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarja Turunen View Post
    Why can't the woman refuse motherhood in the same way by simply keeping her legs shut? (I am in no way pro life, but I'm trying to argue this along the same lines)
    She most certainly can. However, if you don't take into consideration that it takes two to have sex (with the exception of rape), then you give license to one party (or in this case, one gender) to act wholly irresponsibly by passing it all off on the woman.

    Why should a man be made to put himself through surgery for fear some woman would rope him into fatherhood against his will?
    If he doesn't want a child, he tells her. If she gets pregnant, too bad. He can walk away, the woman can deal with the pregnancy herself. Don't forget the woman has a choice to sleep with a man who has already made it clear he was no wish for a child. She is also at fault, and should accept the consequences.
    You know, I think I can sympathize with this, to an extent. However, again, you're leaving the door open for people to act with negligence and have total immunity from consequences. That's poor form. You also fail to address the fact that no matter how "safe" people are when having "protected" sex, there are plenty of instances where pregnancy results. People can do everything right, and still get pregnant. In that instance, by this line of logic, because the man didn't want to become a father, he should still be held harmless... like he wasn't aware of the fact that birth control, even used correctly, can still fail.

    The woman can refuse motherhood by remaining abstinate also.
    Sure she can remain abstinent.

    However, the woman does not have to remain abstinate. She can have unprotected sex with whomever she pleases, and she has the legal right to as many abortions as she pleases. Why should the man be made to remain abstinate for fear of getting a woman pregnant, when the woman could have made the choice to back away after the man informed her he had no desire to become a father?
    The man should remain abstinent for exactly the same reason the woman should. Because every single person, regardless of their gender, or their role in pregnancy, should be responsible for their own actions as they affect others. No one should be held harmless just because they "bear children" or because they "can walk away." If you have sex and a child results, tough, you knew it could happen. Be an adult and own up to it. It's not the fault of the child. "Oh, but she could have chosen to have an abortion," but he could have just as easily communicated with the girl he was about to diddle and ask her if she'd abort a child of his. Both parties have a responsibility to communicate about these things before hand. If they don't, it's not your business or mine how they deal with it. But it's also not your responsibility or mine. It's theirs.

    If only such documents would hold up in court - not a bad idea, given it would protect the man from being roped into fatherhood against his wishes.
    Yeah, women are just evil like that, right? Men should never be held responsible for putting their johnson's where they know they shouldn't be putting them, just because they have no desire ot deal with the consequences? That sounds like a great plan.

    Only because the woman possesses the uterus and he must go along with whatever she decides.

    The woman is able to relinquish her parental rights without the permission of the father, so I believe the man should have the same right.
    Perhaps if men were able to bear children, that argument might work. The situation itself is inherently inequitable, therefore the solution will never be equitable.

    Again, what you suggest doesn't do anything to make BOTH PARTIES behave responsibly. All it does is give men a free ride. Not to mention, this whole thing, on both sides, depends upon honesty. I could easly tell a man that I would abort a child of his and then not do so. Or he could tell me he would be willing to support a child if it was created and then choose to walk away. Either way, I think making both parties face the music of their decision to have sex would ultimately be the best course, rather than trying to excuse one party or another.
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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    The child is entitled to the money and therefore any previous agreement that says he's not would not stand up.
    True....

    I have done a little legal research, and found that such a contract as I proposed in the OP would NOT hold up in court.

    This is an interesting case from 2007, "Dubay v. Wells", in which the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a man's claim for relief from involuntary fatherhood.

    Matt Dubay claimed that his girlfriend (Wells) lied to him, about being unable to become pregnant, and also lied to him about being on birth control.
    She became pregnant three months into the relationship, and gave birth to a daughter.
    As the biological father, Dubay was ordered to pay child support of $500.00 a month.

    Dubay claimed that he should not be deemed the baby's father, because he had relied on his girlfriend's false assurances that she was unable to get pregnant, and that she was on birth control.
    He also claims that he told her explicitly, before they began a sexual relationship, that he was not interested in becoming a father.

    The Court considered one basic question: Does the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause prevent a state from making men support children whom they did not desire to create?

    Dubay claimed that he was treated unequally, as compared with women (mothers), saying that women have the ability to disclaim motherhood through abortion, while men do not have such an ability to disclaim fatherhood, and that this constitutes sex discrimination.

    The Court rejected Dubay's claim, on the grounds that it relied on a "false analogy"--comparing a woman's legal right to an abortion, with the unwilling father's right to avoid paying child support for the child, after the child's birth.

    Prior to a child's birth, a woman's right to abort, or not to abort her child, derives from her right to bodily integrity and privacy, and there is no comparable right for men.

    Although the Supreme Court has found that a number of rights relating to contraception, reproduction, and parenting are fundamental, the right to disclaim fatherhood after a child is conceived, or born, is not a fundamental right.

    In this case, the U.S. Court of Appeals concluded that "It is not a fundamental right of any parent, male or female, to sever his or her financial resopnsibilities to the child, after the child is born."

    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/grossman/20071127.html

    In summary, the legal right of a woman to abort, or not abort her child, before birth, cannot be compared to the financial obligations of male or female parents, after birth.

    Men, let this be a lesson to all of you.
    Even if a woman tells you her uterus has been removed, be responsible and use protection anyway, if you don't want children.

    If you create a child, you're responsible for the financial support of that child.

    A man can still avoid forced fatherhood, but he must avoid it by taking precautions BEFORE he creates a child, because he cannot legally walk away, once a child has been conceived or born.
    .
    "As long as I have a voice, I will speak for those who have none".

  21. #20
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    Re: A Man CAN Refuse Forced Fatherhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlett44 View Post
    This is an interesting case from 2007, "Dubay v. Wells", in which the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a man's claim for relief from involuntary fatherhood.
    Apparently I have to spread my reps around so I can't give you one right now, but good job on doing some research and really showing the legal status of this debate.

    This is the kind of post that if brought forward at the beginning of the thread might have made it a very short thread.

 

 
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