Supreme Court Rules That States Must Put Same-Sex Parents on Birth Certificates; Gorsuch Dissents

Known as Pavan v. Smith, the case was centered on a state law that automatically listed an opposite sex spouse on a birth certificate even if they were not the biological parent. This was not done for same-sex couples.

In an unsigned order issued Monday, the high court ruled that the Arkansas law unjustly treated same-sex couples differently.

“… same-sex parents in Arkansas lack the same right as opposite-sex parents to be listed on a child’s birth certificate, a document often used for important transactions like making medical decisions for a child or enrolling a child in school,” read the opinion.

“In considering those challenges, we held the relevant state laws unconstitutional to the extent they treated same-sex couples differently from opposite-sex couples.”

The order came on the two-year anniversary of the landmark 5-4 decision Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Supreme Court declared all state-level gay marriage bans unconstitutional. Monday’s decision cited the case in justifying their ruling.

Obergefell proscribes such disparate treatment. As we explained there, a State may not ‘exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples’,” continued the opinion, affirming its earlier decision.

“Indeed, in listing those terms and conditions — the ‘rights, benefits, and responsibilities’ to which same-sex couples, no less than opposite-sex couples, must have access — we expressly identified ‘birth and death certificates.'”

In July 2015, one month after the Obergefell decision, a group of lesbian couples filed suit against Arkansas over the state’s § 20-18-401, which dealt with birth registration.

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Source: Christian Post

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