The Supreme Court on Monday struck down
an Arkansas law that denies birth certificates for same-sex married
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.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs, two lesbian
couples, argued that Arkansas' law undermines the court's landmark
2015 decision in Obergefell, which found that gay and lesbian
couples have a constitutional right to marry.
The Obergefell decision singled
out “birth and death certificates” as “aspects of marital
status” that must be administered by states equally to married
couples regardless of gender, the lawyers argued in petitioning the
court to take the case.
The justices agreed. The law denies
“married same-sex couples access to the 'constellation of benefits
that the state has linked to marriage,'” the court wrote, quoting
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito
and Neil Gorsuch dissented.