The Supreme Court on Monday refused to
hear a case that sought to undermine the rights of same-sex couples.
The high court's decision not to hear
Box v. Henderson leaves in place a lower court's ruling that
found Indiana must place both mothers on their child's birth
The justices rejected the case without
In its petition to the court, Indiana
argued that listing two mothers on a birth certificate undermines a
“biological father's” rights and obligations to the child.
“In the vast majority of cases, a
birth mother’s husband will, in fact, be the biological father of
the child, with all the rights and obligations attendant thereto,”
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill wrote. “But a birth mother’s
wife will never be the biological father of the child, meaning that,
whenever a birth-mother’s wife gains presumptive ‘parentage’
status, a biological father’s rights and obligations to the child
have necessarily been undermined without proper adjudication.”
In Obergefell, the 2015 landmark
marriage equality case, the Supreme Court found that gay and lesbian
couples are entitled to the “constellation of benefits” of
marriage. Two years later, in Pavan v. Smith, the court
affirmed that these rights extend to birth certificates.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, applauded Monday's decision.
“Today’s Supreme Court decision
once again affirms that marriage equality under Obergefell v.
Hodges means that married same-sex couples are entitled to be
treated equally under the law,” HRC President Alphonso David said
in a statement. “By refusing to hear this case, the Court
effectively reaffirms its ruling in Pavan v. Smith that
unequivocally ruled states must issue birth certificates on equal
terms to same-sex parents.”
“We refuse to allow our love to be
treated any differently under law, and will fight to make sure
skim-milk marriage never becomes the law of the land,” he added.