A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Federal judge orders South Carolina to list both same-sex parents on birth certificate

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of South Carolina [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that the state must place the names of both same-sex parents on their children's birth certificates. Judge Mary Geiger Lewis determined that the state's act preventing the placement of both parents' names went against the Supreme Court [official website] decision in Obergefell v. Hodges [JURIST report]. The case centered around [Washington Blade report] a lesbian couple, Casy and Jacqueline Carson, who had twins. South Carolina placed Jacqueline's name on the birth certifications as the birth mother but refused to include Casy's name. Lewis granted summary judgment in favor of the couple, finding that the state's actions violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights as well as their "fundamental right to marriage and other protected liberties."

The rights of same-sex couples remains an ongoing issue after the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision. In December the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a law [JURIST report] that places only the biological parents on the birth certificate, finding that equal protection was not violated by "acknowledging basic biological truths." In August New York's top court expanded the definition of "parent" to better accommodate same-sex couples. In May the Alabama Supreme Court vacated [JURIST report] its prior ruling refusing to recognize same-sex adoption from other states. In April a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi struck down [JURIST report] Mississippi's ban on adoption by same-sex partners.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.