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Arkansas Court Upholds Law To Keep Two Same-Sex Parents Off Birth Certificates

Arkansas Court Upholds Law To Keep Two Same-Sex Parents Off Birth Certificates


Parents will need a court order if they want both spouses listed on the document. 

What began as a common sense complaint after the Supreme Court passed national marriage equality was decided in a court case that made it all the way to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

According to ABC, Arkansas' highest court overturned a ruling that would have allowed the names of both spouses in a same-sex married couple to appear on their children's birth certificates without a court order. The court justified its reasoning by saying it doesn't violate equal protection "to acknowledge basic biological truths."

Judge Tim Fox was the one who made the ruling that struck down the birth certificate law, citing that the decision by the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage should award same-sex couples the basic things that straight married couples are privy to - like having both names listed on their children's birth certificates.

"What is before this court is a narrow issue of whether the birth-certificate statute as written deny the appellees due process," Justice Josephine Linker Hart wrote in the Arkansas Supreme Court's majority opinion, "... in the situation involving the female spouse of a biological mother, the female spouse does not have the same biological nexus to the child that the biological mother or biological father has. It does not violate equal protection to acknowledge biological truths."

ABC reports that Cheryl Mapes, who sued on behalf of three same-sex couples, hasn't decided if she'll appeal to the Supreme Court yet. "There's no requirement that DNA be given or that there be a biological relationship to a child to get on a birth certificate for a father, for the non-birth parent," she said. "All you have to do is legitimize the child and you're entitled, if you're heterosexual. This is wrong."

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