Late this afternoon, the attorney general’s office released a letter to the Arkansas Supreme Court suggesting a path for the state of Arkansas to move forward to end discrimination against same-sex couples in issuing birth certificates.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the state’s refusal to list both parents of a same-sex couple on a birth certificate — while giving presumptive parenthood to both parents in an opposite sex couple regardless of means of conception — was unconstitutional.
A letter from Lee Rudofsky,
The letter acknowledged that the state used the birth certificate as more than a biological record (unlike the Arkansas Supreme Court had contended.) Instead, it uses the certificate for other forms of legal recognition not equally available to same-sex married couples. A critical paragraph:
Rudofsky said the solution is a “gender neutral” reading of assisted reproduction statutes. (This could
Simple: Married parents should be listed as parents on a birth certificate. Opposite sex couples aren’t questioned about egg and sperm donors or, God forbid, whether a milkman intervened in the process.
The question is whether the resistant Arkansas Supreme Court can be persuaded to resolve this question without taking a summer vacation first. And if a remedy arises, will the
Rudofsky suggested asking views of all parties to help the Arkansas Supreme Court make a “reasoned, informed and reflective” judgment.
Rutledge couldn’t resist noting a “divided” Supreme Court in the case. It was divided in the opinion only on whether Arkansas should be summarily rebuffed. Three judges — the