US support for gay marriage has surged

Andrew Cummings
June 27, 2017

Mississippi, for example, has passed a law - now the subject of litigation in federal court - that would let businesses and government workers deny some services to gay and lesbian couples.

In this undated photo provided by Jana and Leigh Jacobs, the Jacobses pose with their sons Finch, left, and Yogi.

The case, Pavan v. Smith, was brought by two lesbian couples who had sued over the exclusion of the non-biological mother from the child's birth certificate. It was released Monday, the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's historic ruling on same-sex marriage.

Under Arkansas law, when a married couple has a child, the spouse of the birth mother is automatically listed on the birth certificate as the child's parent, regardless of how the couple conceived the child or whether the spouse is genetically related to the child. The supreme court of Arkansas ruled that same-sex partners of mothers can not be named on a birth certificate because "In the situation involving the female spouse of a biological mother, the female spouse does not have the same biological nexus to the child that the biological mother or the biological father has". "The statute in question establishes a set of rules created to ensure that the biological parents of a child are listed on the child's birth certificate".

She added that she "will continue to review today's decision to determine the appropriate next steps upon remand to the Arkansas Supreme Court to ensure that the law is followed properly".

During the confirmation process for Neil Gorsuch, who now occupies a seat on the Supreme Court that Republicans held open for more than a year until Donald Trump could fill it, the New York Times ran a piece headlined "Gorsuch Not Easy to Pigeonhole on Gay Rights, Friends Say".

Monday's ruling sent the case back to the state Supreme Court. In the dissenting opinion, Gorsuch wrote that "nothing in Obergefell indicates that a birth registration regime based on biology, one no doubt with many analogues across the country and throughout history, offends the Constitution". Both couples received the birth certificates they wanted when they won in trial court. The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled "it does not violate equal protection to acknowledge basic biological truths", according to The New York Times. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a Republican, said she disagreed with the court's ruling.

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