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Arkansas reverses decision in favour of same-sex parents for birth certificates

Joseph McCormick December 11, 2015
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The Supreme Court of Arkansas has blocked an order which allowed same-sex parents to be listed on birth certificates.

A Little Rock court had previously ruled that three lesbian couples should have both partners listed on the birth certificates of their children.

They had challenged the Health Department Vital Statistics Bureau after the Department refused to identify the three couples as the parents of their children.

Circuit Judge Tim Fox had later issued a secondary decision which extended the decision across the state.

The state had appealed the decision, saying it created a legal uncertainty for registrars, and that it conflicted with Arkansas laws.

On Thursday the state’s Supreme Court ruled that “the best course of action is to preserve the status quo with regard to the statutory provisions while we consider the circuit court’s ruling.”

Writing in his decision on 1 December, Judge Fox had noted the US Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of same-sex marriage in June, saying the Arkansas law was unconstitutional in light of that.

The “decision affords the plaintiffs, as same-sex couples, the same constitutional rights with respect to the issuance of birth certificates and amended birth certificates as opposite-sex couples,” Fox wrote earlier this month.

An for the plaintiffs, Cheryl Maples, at the time said it was “a wonderful decision”, and that it was what they had been aiming for.

Related topics: adoption, Arkansas, US

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