Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Supreme Court Sides With Same-Sex Couples in Arkansas Suit

Two years after SCOTUS gay marriage ruling long road to sexual freedom still remains Getty Images
Kelvin Reese | 27 June, 2017, 05:16

Gorsuch criticized the majority's decision striking down Arkansas's practice, relying on a narrow interpretation of the Supreme Court's landmark marriage equality decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

When a married woman gives birth in Arkansas, the state law generally requires the name of the husband appear on the birth certificate regardless of whether he's the biological father of the child. The couple challenged an Arkansas birth-certificate policy that defined parents by gender.

But such acts of resistance have largely faded way, and same-sex marriage is now treated as a routine occurrence across the U.S. According to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, there are now more than 547,000 same-sex married couples in the U.S., including at least 157,000 couples who married in the past two years.

Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, one of the lawyers to successfully persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex marriage, said upholding the Arkansas law would let states, "once again relegate same-sex couples and their families to the stigma, injury and inequality of "second-tier" status".

Almost two-thirds of Americans say they support same-sex marriage, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Monday. "It makes things for my family and all Arkansas LGBT families much better going forward". Today's decision guarantees that the family we love will be respected and protected in the home we love'.

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When Leigh Jacobs gave birth to the couple's son in 2015, the couple was issued a birth certificate naming only Leigh as a parent despite listing both parents on the application.

Conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented, saying the lower court decision should not have been reversed.

It's helpful in other cases where states might try to say that they are allowing same-sex couples to marry but they still want to deny some of the rights of marriage to same-sex couples. The short dissenting opinion does some hand-waving around how men who are not biological fathers are routinely named on babies' birth certificates, but doesn't address the point since it really is proof that the state does not have a "biology based registration regime".

In a statement, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also criticized the court's overturning of the law "without briefing or argument on the merits".

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