Supreme Court sides with same-sex couples in Arkansas suit

Druid City Pride board members at Saturday's anniversary event Credit Alex Au Buchon  APR

Under the law, married lesbian couples had to get a court order to have both spouses listed as parents on their children's birth certificates. But, according to the ruling, the state requires a married woman's male spouse to be listed on her child's birth certificate regardless of the man's biological relationship to the child, which is why the same-sex marriage decision applies. The same-sex couples want the same presumption applied to the married partner of a woman who gives birth to a child. The decision bolsters the landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 case in which the court concluded that same-sex couple are entitled to marriage "on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples". The state Supreme Court in December reversed that judge's decision, but the US high court said that ruling conflicts with its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide. The newspaper spun the judicial branch's move in the lead sentence of its Monday article: "The Supreme Court agreed Monday to reopen the national debate over same-sex marriage".

Correspondent Richard Wolf explained in his write-up, "Supreme Court will hear religious liberty challenge to gay weddings", that "the court will hear a challenge from a Colorado baker who had lost lower court battles over his refusal to create a wedding cake for a gay couple".

"Today is a step forward for not just civil rights, but female rights", said Johnson, who volunteers with the Northwest Arkansas Center for Equality. "The statute in question establishes a set of rules created to ensure that the biological parents of a child are listed on the child's birth certificate".




Justice Neil Gorsuch dissented, along with Justices Samuel Alto and Clarence Thomas, arguing that the state's rationale for listing only biological parents was justified.

"Echoing the court below, the State defends its birth certificate law on the ground that being named on a child's birth certificate is not a benefit that attends marriage". In the dissenting opinion, Gorsuch wrote that "nothing in Obergefell indicates that a birth registration regime based on biology, one no doubt with many analogues across the country and throughout history, offends the Constitution". It overturns the Arkansas Supreme Court's December ruling that "it does not violate equal protection to acknowledge basic biological truths".

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