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He said SB 1476 would do nothing but create confusion by diluting responsibility for a child’s well-being among more and more individuals.

The bill could open a “Pandora’s Box of conflicting laws and legal contracts,” he said, and is “fundamentally contrary to the laws of nature, science and tradition.”

Mr. Howard said opponents were “framing the debate without reading the bill.”

He challenged opponents’ notions of history, saying there was no historical justification for hurting children simply because opponents fail to recognize a child’s mother and father.

Three other states offer similar exceptions. Pennsylvania and Maine have defined parenthood through state court opinions and Delaware has a legislated statute allowing the practice.

The bill overwhelmingly passed the Democrat-controlled Senate 24-13 on a party-line vote in May and faces its next hurdle in early August as the bill makes its way through the committee process in the Democrat-controlled lower chamber.