Arkansas Supreme Court Throws Out Ruling On Birth Certificate Law

Dec 8, 2016

File photo of Marisa Pavan, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit to allow her spouse to be listed on her daughter's birth certificate, showing the amended certificate she received Dec. 2, 2015.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' highest court has thrown out a judge's ruling that could have allowed married same-sex couples to get the names of both spouses on their children's birth certificates without a court order.

A split Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox went too far when he found the birth certificate law unconstitutional last year.

Justices sided with the state, which said Arkansas has a vested interest in listing biological parents on birth certificates. The court said it doesn't violate equal protection "to acknowledge basic biological truths."

In a dissent, Justice Paul Danielson wrote that listing a parent's name on a birth certificate is a benefit associated with marriage that should be extended to same-sex couples under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.