ACLU Arkansas Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Birth Certificate Rights of Same-Sex Parents

Affiliate: ACLU of Arkansas
June 26, 2017 3:00 pm

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ACLU of Arkansas
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas today hailed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirming the rights of same-sex parents to amend their children’s birth certificates to include the names of both parents. The decision overturns a prior ruling by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

“This is a decisive victory for LGBT parents and their children,” said Rita Sklar, ACLU of Arkansas executive director. “Coming two years to the day after the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, this ruling is another victory for equal protection and the rights of children and LGBT parents. The ACLU of Arkansas is grateful to these courageous families and all those who continue to fight discrimination in all its forms.”

Same-sex couples who had children before marriage equality was the law of the land filed suit in state court in July 2015 in order to amend their children’s birth certificates to include the names of both parents without having to procure a court order, as the state was requiring, although non-biological fathers in opposite-sex marriages are added to Arkansas birth certificates upon request and without a court order.

After a lower court ruled that the Department of Health’s refusal to amend the birth certificates violated the couples’ rights to equal protection, the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned that ruling.

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