Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Fifth Circuit says no to allowing gay parents on birth certificates
The Jurist reports that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Louisiana is free to refuse to issue birth certificates to gay couples from other states who lawfully adopt a child from Louisiana. This comes on the heels of Arkansas and Florida state high courts striking down laws preventing gay adoption. It should be noted that the fifth circuit viewed this as a state's rights issue, not a gay rights issue, writing that full faith and credit clause of the constitution was not intended to apply to birth certificates. This is patently ridiculous, as no state could use a birth certificate as way to accomplish some otherwise unconstitutional goal (such as discriminating based on race). The dissent points this out, and also states Lousiana has disregarded its own laws regarding who can be on a birth certificate, and also thoughtfully notes that the Tenth Circuit has come to the exact opposite conclusion, meaning that there may be may well be Supreme Court jurisprudence on this issue in the coming years.