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Supreme Court hands LGBTQ+ families victory in birth certificate case

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Story at a glance

  • A federal court struck down an Indiana law that refused to acknowledge same-sex spouses on birth certificates.
  • The Supreme Court denied a petition to appeal the decision made by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • LGBTQ+ advocates and same-sex couples are celebrating the decision.

Indiana will be required to recognize both spouses in same-sex unions as parents of their children on birth certificates after the Supreme Court denied a petition to appeal a lower court decision. 


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“It’s a major victory that is going to keep the same-sex families together and the children born to these marriages will have two parents to love and protect them,” Karen Celestino-Horseman, the attorney for the plaintiffs, told The Indianapolis Star.

Ashlee and Ruby Henderson, a same-sex couple from Lafayette, Ind., are those two parents for their child, conceived through artificial insemination. After county officials refused to list both of them as parents on the birth certificate, the Hendersons and several other couples won both the initial lawsuit, granting a permanent injunction enforcing the decision, as well as an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.   


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But the state petitioned the Supreme Court, saying that the decision required them “either to require genetic testing of all new parents or else abandon the biological foundation for allocating parental rights altogether—as happens when both a birth mother and her wife are ‘presumed’ to be parents.” The Supreme Court, in denying the petition, has determined that will be the case. 

LGBTQ+ advocates, including GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis, praised the decision upholding the rights of same-sex couples.

 

 

Indiana Solicitor General Tom Fisher told the Indianapolis Star, “We are disappointed the Court declined to take up the case.”


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