A ruling that upholds an Arkansas law
that denies birth certificates for same-sex married couples has been
appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Arkansas Supreme Court in December
upheld the state law that requires the Department of Health to list
the biological parents on a child's birth certificate, even if the
child is subsequently adopted by a gay or lesbian couple. The law
means that a lesbian mother's spouse is not listed on the birth
certificate of their child.
The high court's decision overturned a
lower court's finding that the law violated the constitutional due
process rights of adoptive gay couples.
In their petition to the Supreme Court,
lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that the law undermines the court's
landmark 2015 decision in Obergefell, which found that gay
couples have a constitutional right to marry.
“The issue is of critical importance
to families across the country,” the petition reads in part.
“Arkansas’s discriminatory Birth Certificate Law is far from an
outlier. Many states have statutes that have not been updated to
reflect the impact of Obergefell and thus continue to use
gendered terms when directing the issuance of birth certificates to
children born to married couples.”
The Obergefell decision singled
out “birth and death certificates” as “aspects of marital
status” that must be administered by states equality to married
couples regardless of gender, the petition notes.
The lawyers argue that the law violates
the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.