Biden Announces Two Lesbian Nominees to Federal Judiciary

Biden lesbian nominees

Judicial nominations announced Thursday by President Joe Biden include two lesbian nominees with long records of human rights work.

The first of the Biden lesbian nominees is Beth Robinson, the first out justice on the Vermont Supreme Court, is a nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first out lesbian to serve on any federal circuit court. The second of the Biden lesbian nominees is Charlotte Sweeney, a Denver-based attorney specializing in employee rights, is a nominee for the U.S. District Court for Colorado. She would be the first out federal judge in the state and the first woman from the LGBTQ+ community to be a federal district court judge in any state west of the Mississippi.Biden lesbian nominees

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Robinson, as an attorney, was co-counsel in Baker v. State, the case that resulted in the 1999 Vermont Supreme Court ruling that the state must grant same-sex couples the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex ones. Because of that ruling, Vermont became the first state to adopt a civil union law. Then in 2009, the state legalized same-sex marriage, making it the fourth state with marriage equality and the first to enact it by legislation rather than a court ruling. Robinson advocated for that law as head of Vermont Freedom to Marry.

She was appointed to Vermont’s high court by Gov. Peter Shumlin in 2011. Before that, she spent a year as counsel to the governor, following 18 years as an attorney with Langrock Sperry & Wool. Previously, she was an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Washington, D.C., and a law clerk for Judge David B. Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago Law School.

Sweeney is currently a partner at Sweeney & Bechtold, where she has practiced since 2008. Her law practice is devoted to representing individuals in employment law cases, dealing with discrimination, wrongful termination, and other issues. She was a partner with LaFond & Sweeney from 1999 to 2008 and LaFond & Bove from 1997 from 1999. She began her career as an associate with LaFond & Clausen in 1995 and was named a partner at the firm in 1998.

She is a graduate of California Lutheran University and University of Denver College of Law. She is a member of the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s board of directors.

Biden also announced the nominations of two other judges: Mary Katherine Dimke for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington and John P. Howard III for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

All the nominees are “extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution,” says a White House press release. “These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds.”

Advocete.com by Trudy Ring, August 5, 2021

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Israel’s high court opens the way for same-sex couples to have children via surrogacy

Israel's high court

A decision by Israel’s high court Sunday paved the way for same-sex couples to have children through surrogacy, capping a decade-old legal battle in what activist groups hailed as a major advance for LGBTQ rights in Israel.

Restrictions on surrogacy for same-sex couples and single fathers in Israel must be lifted within six months, Israel’s high court ruled, giving authorities time to prepare for the change while making clear that it is a definitive one.Israel's high court

“We won! And now it’s final,” the petitioners said in a statement, the Times of Israel reported. “This is a big step toward equality, not only for LGBT in Israel, but for everyone in Israel.”

Surrogacy was already permitted for heterosexual couples and single women. The law excluded same-sex couples, however, and some who couldn’t have kids with surrogate mothers in Israel turned to surrogates overseas.

The legal fight to widen access to surrogacy in Israel has stretched on since 2010, when a male same-sex couple first appealed to the court to overturn restrictions. Their first petition was unsuccessful, but they followed it with a new one in 2015 along with LGBTQ rights groups. A law passed in 2018 extended eligibility for surrogacy to single women, but it sparked protests because LGBTQ people were left out.

Israel’s high court ruled in February 2020 that the restrictions against gay couples “disproportionately harmed the right to equality and the right to parenthood of these groups and are illegal.” But it left them intact for up to a year, setting a March 2021 deadline for Israel’s parliament to change the law.

The deadline was later extended to September, but the government last week asked the court to decide on the issue because amending the law would be “unfeasible” in the current political situation, according to the Times of Israel.

In the year since the supreme court ruling, ultra-Orthodox lawmakers blocked a proposal to expand surrogacy access, according to Agence France-Presse. And Israel’s new governing coalition, which took power last month and holds only a slim majority, consists of an eclectic mix of parties that span the political spectrum — and diverge on LGBTQ issues. The Islamist Ra’am party opposes gay rights, while Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz — a member of a leftist party in the coalition — is openly gay.

Horowitz hailed the ruling on Twitter, writing that “discrimination against same-sex couples and single fathers has come to an end.” He said his ministry is preparing to uphold the ruling.

WashongtonPost.com, July 11, 2021, by Claire Parker

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Parentage Orders New York

Parentage Orders New York

Parentage Orders in New York have just become an easier option for lesbian families.

Parentage orders in New York are a reality after the passage of the Child Parent Security Act, a long-awaited statute that acknowledges how gay and lesbian couples and individuals have families and offers a direct course to legal parentage.  As of February 15, 2021, New York has joined the legion of states that not only legalize gestational surrogacy, but also recognize how gay and lesbian couples and individuals have families and assist them in protecting those families with a direct pathway to parenthood.parentage orders New York

Parentage Orders in New York are now a reality.  Before February 15, 2021, the only clear way of establishing parentage in New York was through second or step-parent adoption.  Many couples still choose to establish parentage through the adoption process because it is the gold standard of parentage.  There is Supreme Court precedent for the recognition of adoption orders when the court refused to hear a case challenging the validity of an adoption order for a gay couple.  There are still specific indications when adoption is preferred over a parentage order, however, if you are not a couple that travels Internationally or if you have no plans to move to a gay-unfriendly state, the New York statute will provide the protection your family deserves.

The process for a parentage order differs slightly between Counties, but there is some regularity that you can count on.  First, the question of jurisdiction remains one that hinges on the cost of the process.  If you choose to file in Supreme Court, you will receive an Order from that court that will most likely result without a court appearance.  There are some costs associated with this method.  When you file in Supreme Court, one of the procedural elements is the filing of a Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI), which comes with the cost of a $350.00 filing fee.  When you file in Family Court, the case is heard by a Support Magistrate.  There is no filing fee, however, there may be an appearance required. 

parentage orders new yorkIf COVID-19 restrictions apply, appearances are virtual.  This means that you will not have to go to court but log in to a virtual hearing online.  COVID-19 will at some point in the future be an issue of the past.   Families will have to weigh the costs of filing and the costs of appearing in court. 

The specifics of filing will include a Petition, which collects the necessary information the court needs to process the request.  The court also wants to hear from either the clinic that facilitated the pregnancy, the anonymous provider of sperm or the petitioners if they used home insemination to get pregnant.  The Court wants to make sure that all Parties who should be notified of the proceeding are accounted for.   The Petition verifies that the petitioning couple has lived in the State of New York for the last six months, that they consented to the Assisted Reproduction, the proposed name of the child and when the child is due to be born, or when they were born. 

For couples who have their families with the assistance of an anonymous sperm donor, the court will require a letter from the sperm provider to affirm that the donor was indeed anonymous and has no legal parentage rights to the child.  For couples who work with a known, or directed, donor, the court will view a Known Donor Agreement as proof that the donor does not intend to be a parent.  If there is no Agreement in place, your Attorney will have to draft an Affidavit that the Donor would sign to affirm their intentions to the court.  The Support Magistrate hearing the case may also request that your donor appear at your hearing.

Parentage Orders New York

The fact that we now have Parentage Orders in New York is a huge step forward for LGBTQ families.  While some couples will still choose to create legal parentage through second or stepparent adoption, we have another, lower cost option.  Parentage Orders in New York are a simple, straightforward way to affirm a family’s legal status and are available in many States across the Country.  Thanks to The Child Parent Security Act, our families are more secure and the Courts are learning more about how we have our families and protect them from challenge.

 

By Anthony M. Brown, June 1, 2021. www.TimeForFamilies.com

 

 

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Connecticut Looks To Ensure Parentage Rights For LGBTQ Couples

Connecticut lgbtq

Connecticut lawmakers will consider a bill that would extend parental status to non-biological, unmarried and LGBTQ couples for the children under their care.

Proponents told the state judiciary committee that the Connecticut Parentage Act would fill the gaps in the existing state law and ensure equal protection for these LGBTQ parents to have custody, parenting time, and legal and medical decision making. It also ensures that children are connected to their parents’ healthcare.Connecticut lgbtq

Advocates argue that the current law is outdated and unconstitutional.

“Even though I was not legally the child of one of my fathers, even though many treated us with disgust and disdain, I am certain that my life and the moment I was born has brought my fathers deep and abiding joy,” said Malina Simard-Halm, a New Haven resident and member of LGBTQ+ family advocacy organization COLAGE. “And because of my dads, I have grown up in a family that has shown me the meaning of love, that supported me so much that now I am lucky enough to be here advocating so that people don’t have to go through what they did.”

On Monday, state lawmakers on the judiciary committee heard testimony from Simard-Halm and other advocates for the bill, including members of non-traditional families, doctors, lawmakers, lawyers and nonprofit organizations. 

Simard-Halm said her fathers used a surrogate mother to have her and fought through what she described as a “hostile legal system” to raise her.

“Exclusive parentage law sends a message that children like me do not belong,” she said. “When I was growing up, laws like Connecticut’s gave authority to the schoolyard bullying and kindled my own insecurities. At times, it led me to feel ashamed of the people who loved me and fought for me the most,” she said.

Douglas NeJaime, a professor of family and constitutional law at Yale Law School, helped draft the bill and has pushed for its passage since it was introduced in 2019.

“The Connecticut Parentage Act solves the problems in our parentage law,” NeJaime said. “It satisfies constitutional requirements. It reflects the diversity of families in our state. It protects children who are vulnerable under current law. It brings order to an area where there is uncertainty. It updates law that is outdated and it reflects best practices.”

A 2019 version of the bill was reintroduced this year with input and revisions from state courts and agencies.

wshu.org, March 9, 2021 by Alek Lewis

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Three dads, a baby and the legal battle to get their names added to a birth certificate

three dads

Meet the three dads: Ian Jenkins and his partners, Alan and Jeremy.

They’re a “throuple”: a committed polyamorous relationship involving three people.birth certificate
 
And after a complicated and expensive court battle to all become legal parents, the trio are raising two toddlers in Southern California — and proving how families come in all forms.
 
They’re part of a unique and very modern family that includes three dads, two surrogates and one egg donor. In a new book, “Three Dads and a Baby,” Jenkins chronicles their search for potential egg donors and a surrogate, and a fight to change a medical and legal system geared toward heterosexual couples.
 
The three men have all been together for more than eight years. Jenkins says they fought to get all three of their names listed on the birth certificates to protect their parental rights and the rights of their children. The process was emotionally grueling.
“But we are hopeful that other people benefit from the experience we had,” he told CNN in a recent interview, “and that it’s easier, less expensive and less stressful for them.”
 
As a gay teenager in Virginia, Jenkins says he faced death threats after coming out and couldn’t imagine he’d ever be able to openly love another man.
 
“I was completely isolated. I didn’t know a single gay person when I was in high school,” he says. “I thought I’d never be able to live an authentic life.
 
“It never occurred to me that people could even have two partners.”
He met Alan while they were doing their medical residencies in Boston.
“He was smarter than the other students. It was obvious, even though he wasn’t straining to show off his medical knowledge, like half of them were,” Jenkins says.
 
cnn.com, 3/6/2021 by Faith Karimi
 
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Couple Forced to Adopt Their Own Children After a Surrogate Pregnancy

New York surrogacy

Tammy and Jordan Myers will have to adopt their twins after two Michigan judges denied them parental rights because the children had been carried by a surrogate.

The nursery in the home of Jordan and Tammy Myers in Grand Rapids, Mich., is painted in shades of gray, white and midnight blue for the couple’s newborn twins. Their 8-year-old daughter, Corryn, can’t stop talking about how excited she is to finally be a big sister.compensated gestational surrogacy

But before the state of Michigan will recognize the couple as the babies’ legal parents, the Myerses will have to adopt them.

That’s because the babies were not carried by Ms. Myers, and Michigan law does not automatically recognize babies born to surrogates as the legal children of their biological parents. As a result, the birth certificates for the twins, a boy named Eames and a girl named Ellison, list the surrogate and her husband as the parents, not Jordan and Tammy Myers.

Twice, judges have denied their requests to be declared the legal parents of the twins, even though a fertility doctor said in an affidavit that the babies are the couple’s biological children. In separate affidavits, the surrogate and her husband have agreed that the Myerses are the parents of the twins.

The Myerses have started the adoption process, which will entail home visits from a social worker, personal questions about their upbringing and their approach to parenting, and criminal background checks. They said they have already submitted their fingerprints.

Being forced to prove they are fit to adopt their own children is “offensive,” said Mr. Myers, 38.

“We have successfully raised a loving and caring 8-year-old child and that’s not taken into account when you’re going through this process,” he said.

Instead of looking forward to leaving the hospital with the twins, who were born eight weeks premature on Jan. 11, the couple must get reference letters to send to the state. Ms. Myers said they needed “temporary permission” from the surrogate, Lauren Vermilye, to bring the babies home.

NYTimes.com, by Maria Cramer, January 31, 2021

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As Biden Lifts a Ban, Transgender People Get a Long-Sought Chance to Enlist

transgender ban

The president’s order, reversing a Trump administration policy – the Transgender ban, creates opportunities for young people whose dreams of serving in the military had been sidetracked.

Nic Talbott has wanted for years to be an Army intelligence officer. Instead, he has been a Walmart shelf stocker, an Amazon delivery driver, a substitute gym teacher and currently, a night-shift courier for a veterinary lab — all because he is transgender and therefore was banned from serving in the military.Trump LGBT

But as he has driven his shift through the dark hills of Appalachia, he has wondered if years of deferring his dreams might end after former President Donald J. Trump left office.

“All I want is a chance,” he said.

Mr. Talbott, 27, has been trying to join the military for much of his adult life. He has a college degree, top physical scores, a spotless record and everything else that would make him an enticing candidate. “The only thing keeping me from serving my country is one word on my medical record,” he said, shaking his head.

That changed on Monday when President Biden signed an executive order reversing the ban on transgender troops that was imposed by the Trump administration. Mr. Biden’s order also called an immediate halt to involuntary discharges of transgender troops who were already serving, and for the Pentagon to review the files of any troops forced out under the ban in recent years. The order requires the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security to report on progress within 60 days.

“Simply put, it’s the right thing to do, and is in our national interest,” the White House said in a statement.

The president’s signature clears the way for a generation of young transgender Americans like Mr. Talbott who have spent years waiting out the ban, faithful that in a nation that is increasingly tolerant, the ban would be overturned in court or reversed by a new administration. That has often meant putting life on hold, delaying careers, education and other commitments.

Because regulations created during the Obama administration can simply be reinstated, the move could mean that transgender recruits will be able to join up within weeks, according to Aaron Belkin, director of The Palm Center, a think tank that advocates for L.G.B.T.Q. policies in the military.

“Basically, you just have to flip a switch,” Mr. Belkin said. He described Mr. Biden’s order as an overdue recognition that no one who can meet the standards should be barred from military service. “Today, those who believe in fact-based public policy and a strong, smart national defense have reason to be proud.”

NYTimes.com, by Dave Phillips, January 25, 2021

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Falsely claiming someone is gay is no longer defamation per se, N.Y. court rules

gay defamation

Gay Defamation?  The “profound and notable transformation of cultural attitudes” toward LGBTQ people affected the court’s decision.

Falsely accusing someone of being gay is no longer considered defamation per se, a New York appeals court ruled recently.

Defamation is a false statement that damages someone’s reputation. To win a defamation suit in most cases, plaintiffs must be able to show that the statement against them is false and that it caused them to suffer damages or harm, such as losing their job. Defamation per se is a false accusation that is so damaging that plaintiffs don’t have to prove that they suffered damages.gay defamation

Under New York law, examples of defamation per se include falsely accusing someone of a heinous crime or having a “loathsome disease.” Falsely claiming that someone is homosexual had also been lumped in.

“It meant that it was so shameful and such a disgrace that it was just assumed that obviously your reputation has been injured and you don’t have to prove that element” of damages, Eric Lesh, executive director of the LGBT Bar Association of New York, told NBC News.

In late December, however, the Supreme Court of the State of New York’s Second Department — one court below the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court — overturned that decades-old precedent when it ruled that a false claim of homosexuality is no longer defamation per se. Such a false claim can still be considered defamatory, but plaintiffs will have to prove that they’ve been damaged by it.

The case, Laguerre v. Maurice, began in 2017, when Jean Renald Maurice, a pastor at the Gethsemane Seventh Day Adventist Church in Brooklyn, publicly claimed at a church meeting of 300 people that a church elder, Pierre Delor Laguerre, “was a homosexual” and that he “disrespected the church by viewing gay pornography on the church’s computer,” according to the court opinion. The allegation led to Laguerre being relieved of his responsibilities and thrown out as a member of the church.

The Second Department court ultimately dismissed Laguerre’s defamation claim, citing Yonaty v. Mincolla, a 2012 ruling by the Supreme Court’s Third Department that found that previous decisions labeling false claims of homosexuality as defamation per se were “inconsistent with current public policy and should no longer be followed.” That decision also ruled that “it cannot be said that current public opinion supports a rule that would equate statements imputing homosexuality with accusations of serious criminal conduct or insinuations that an individual has a loathsome disease.”

The Second Department agreed, writing that the “profound and notable transformation of cultural attitudes and governmental protective laws” for LGBTQ people influenced its decision. The court cited a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Lawrence v. Texas, which found that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct were unconstitutional, and the court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges establishing the right to same-sex marriage throughout the country.

January 14, 2021, NBCNews.com by Jo Yurcaba

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Will Obergefell Survive The New Supreme Court?

Will Obergefell survive the new Supreme Court

Will Obergefell survive the new Supreme Court?

This is the greatest concern / fear of many in the LGBTQ community.  From the moment we learned of the heartbreaking death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this question became the most frequently asked by scholars, activists, lawyers and members of the LGBTQ community.  What started as a hypothetical question became real on Monday, November 23, 2020.Will Obergefell survive the new Supreme Court

What happened? 

The Attorney General for the state of Indiana petitioned The Supreme Court in the case of Box v. Henderson, which poses the question, “Does a married same-sex parent have the same rights as a heterosexual married parent in regards to the presumption of parentage which attaches to marriage?”  The presumption of parentage is the rule of law that creates a legal relationship between the spouse of a woman who gives birth to a child and the child to the spouse of the birth mother.  How does this effect the Obergefell decision, which made marriage equality the law of the land in June of 2015?  The answer to that question poses serious issues of equality and judicial conduct that we are just beginning to understand.

What did Obergefell say?

Will Obergefell survive the new Supreme Court?  First, we need to understand exactly what Obergefell said.  In the Obergefell decision, the court stated not only that all states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, that other states must recognize same-sex marriage licenses and that same-sex couples are entitled to marriage, “on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples.”  That means that all protections, including the marital presumption of parentage, shall redound to same-sex married couples. 

Judicial bias?

The arrival of Box v. Henderson at The. Supreme Court is questionable for a few reasons.  First, the case was last heard in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, where a conservative three judge panel unanimously upheld the protections conferred in Obergefell to the 8 plaintiff married couples who are the heart of this case.  But, they waited 3 years to issue an opinion.  The average time between when this court hears a case and when it issues its decision is 3 months.  If this case was handled in the normal time frame, it would have been before a Supreme Court that had already decided this issue twice before in favor of extending all marriage rights to same-sex couples.  But now the court make-up is different, which leads me to the second issue that raises concern: the current Supreme Court requested that the Indiana Attorney General make the Writ of Certiorari, the petition to hear the case, directly.  Why would a court that has twice decided an issue ask to rehear that same issue?

Will Obergefell survive the new Supreme CourtThe court first decided this issue in Obergefell, and then again in 2017 in the case, Pavan v. Smith.  In Pavan, the court held that states must issue birth certificates to same-sex couples in the same manner they issue them to opposite-sex couples.  This means that the presumption of parentage (once referred to as the presumption of paternity) would make the father of a child born to his wife, even if that child was conceived with donor sperm, the legal parent of that child.  The 8 plaintiff couples in the Box case are asking the court to have the presumption apply to their marriages the same way it applies to heterosexual married couples, even when there is not a biological connection between the spouse of the mother and the child. 

To answer the question, “will Obergefell survive the new Supreme Court?”, we must look to the strained strategy of the Indiana Attorney General, Curtis Hill.  Hill is falsely declaring that a state should have the ability to acknowledge the, “biological distinction between males and females.”  He is inferring that because only a man and a woman can biologically have a child together, only an opposite-sex married couple should have the protections that the martial presumption of parentage applies.  Furthermore, one plaintiff couple in the Box case includes a woman who donated her egg to her partner who then gave birth.  Both parents are “related” to the child under the law. 

States rights

This insidious “state’s rights” approach gives the new conservative majority on the Supreme Court, the ones who asked for this case to be heard in the first place, the ability to drive a wedge directly into the heart of marriage equality.  If the conservative Supreme Court sides with Indiana in Box, it will allow other states the ability to make distinctions between same-sex marriage and opposite-sex marriage.  It would mandate that same-sex parents go through a costly and invasive adoption process to secure their legal right as a family.  What the court would fail to realize is that the children would be the victims of this strategy.  Leaving a child in legal limbo only serves to create insecurity in that child’s family. 

Will Obergefell survive the new Supreme Court?  We will soon get a clue.  The new Supreme Court recently heard the case of Fulton v. The City of Philadelphia, which asked whether, among other questions, the government violates the First Amendment by defining a religious agency’s ability to participate in the state sponsored foster-care system mandating the inclusion of same-sex couples as foster parents.  This religious liberty approach to equality, I fear, will be the first sign of the new Supreme Court’s willingness to strip the rights of same-sex couples away. 

What can we do?

If there is anything to learn from this potentially disturbing road that the court appears to be heading down, it is to fight at your local level to ensure that protections are in place and that equality in marriage is preserved.  Do everything you can now to prepare for the worst: get your estate plan in place, petition for a step-parent adoption or birth order if your state allows and start telling all of your friends and family about what is going on. While we may have thought that battle was a thing of the past, we are still warriors.  We have always had to fight to protect our relationships and families, we know how to do it. 

Anthony M. Brown, Esq. – www.timeforfamilies.com November 28, 2020

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Indiana Asks the Supreme Court to Let It Strip Equal Parenting Rights From Same-Sex Parents

Indiana strip equal parenting rights

The justices have shown interest in an Indiana case that could begin the rollback of marriage equality and Strip equal parenting rights from Same-Sex Parents

On Monday, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill asked the Supreme Court to strip equal parenting rights from same-sex parents. He did so at the request of the court, which is considering taking up his case. Hill implored the new conservative majority to rule that states may deny married same-sex couples the right to be recognized as parents of their own children. The case gives SCOTUS an opportunity to start chipping away at Obergefell v. Hodges by allowing states to withhold marital privileges from same-sex spouses. If the majority wants to begin eroding Obergefell, they will probably start here.Indiana strip equal parenting rights

What’s strange about this case, Box v. Henderson, is that it poses a question the Supreme Court has already answered—twice. The plaintiffs are eight married lesbian couples in Indiana who used a sperm donor to conceive. When a married opposite-sex couple uses a sperm donor, Indiana recognizes the birth mother’s husband as the child’s parent. When a married same-sex couple does the same thing, however, the state refuses to list the birth mother’s wife as the child’s parent. In both instances, the second parent has no biological connection to the child; Indiana’s decision to extend parental rights to the nonbiological husbands of birth mothers, but not the wives of birth mothers, is sheer discrimination.

On two different occasions, the Supreme Court prohibited this kind of mistreatment. In Obergefell v. Hodges, the court held that the Constitution entitles same-sex couples to marriage “on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples.” Most courts understood that this requirement compelled them to provide the equal benefits to married same-sex parents. In Florida, for instance, a federal judge held that Obergefell “plainly requires” the state to list married lesbian couples as the parents of a child conceived with a sperm donor, since the state grants this right to married opposite-sex couples. (Florida’s Republican attorney general settled the case in apparent recognition that an appeal would be doomed.) When the Arkansas Supreme Court kept a birth mother’s wife off their child’s birth certificate, SCOTUS shot it down without even bothering to hear oral arguments. In 2017’s Pavan v. Smith, the court unequivocally ruled that states must issue birth certificates on equal terms to same-sex and opposite-sex couples. It announced a rule: If a state lists a birth mother’s husband as a parent despite his lack of biological connection, it must list a birth mother’s wife as a parent, too.

Slate.com by Mark Joseph Stern, November 24, 2020

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