The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Arkansas must put the names of same-sex couples on children’s birth certificates, a decision David Fowler, president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, said reflects the high court “again eroding the rights of the states.”
Justice Neil Gorsuch dissented in an opinion joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.
The decision reversed an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling that upheld a state law defining the other spouse as the woman’s husband and presumed father. Alabama’s highest court had said “it does not violate equal protection to acknowledge basic biological truths.”
The plaintiffs in the case before the U.S. Supreme Court were two married lesbian couples who had children through anonymous sperm donation. One woman in each couple gave birth and wanted her partner to be listed as her spouse, but the state would only issue certificates with the birth mother’s name.
The presumption of motherhood for lesbian partners is “irrational, illogical and impossible,” Fowler told The Tennessee Star.
Fowler said that when the high court moved to “deconstruct marriage” in a 2015 ruling that struck down state bans on same-sex marriage, it “started the process of deconstructing the family as a whole.”
Birth certificates have traditionally recognized a reality already in place that was then recognized by government, Fowler said. “We have lost the notion that the law simply acknowledges existing realities to a belief that the law creates those realities.”
The unfolding redefinition of the family brushes aside the unique attributes that men and women individually bring to raising their children together, and deprives children of the chance to know their biological parents, Fowler said.
“We act like children are just things to have to fulfill the lives of adults,” he said.
Fowler also said Monday’s decision was “astounding” in that the high court did not allow for the filing of briefs or oral arguments in the case. That should have happened because parenting issues were not specifically addressed in the 2015 ruling on same-sex marriage, he said.