It’s time for everyone to get together and give a high-five, a fist-bump, and maybe a little hip-bump to U.S. District Judge Dee Benson, who just told Utah in no uncertain terms that it had to put both parents on a baby’s birth certificate, even if they are both women.
According to Yahoo Parenting, this is the first ruling dealing with same-sex parents and assisted reproduction since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. This case was brought by Angie and Kami Roe of West Jordan, Utah, a married lesbian couple who had a baby in February. Their hospital refused to list both parents on the birth certificate and said that one of them would have to adopt the baby on the grounds that both women could not be biologically related to the baby. However, Utah has had no problem issuing birth certificates with the mother and father’s name on them in cases where a sperm or egg donor is used and the baby is not biologically related to one of those parents. The Roes argued that their situation was the same, and Judge Benson agreed.
“The state has failed to demonstrate any legitimate reason, actually any reason at all, for not treating a female spouse in a same-sex marriage the same as a male spouse in an opposite-sex marriage,” Benson said in his ruling.
Yahoo Parenting points out that this ruling will require Utah to list both parents on the birth certificate, but it specifically applies to married couples where both partners are women and one of them bears and delivers the baby. It does not necessarily apply to male couples who use surrogates.
This is the first such ruling to come down since gay marriage became legal in all 50 U.S. states, and it could have an effect on similar cases that have already been filed in other states. Honestly, I’m starting to feel a little like everything is going too well with the equal marriage fight. Am I being lulled into a false sense of complacency before California falls into the ocean or zombie dinosaurs dig themselves out of the ground and start eating us?