You might have seen that last week, US District Judge Dee Benson ruled that treating same-sex parents differently than opposite-sex parents when it comes to birth certificates is gender-based discrimination.
Well, in rather happy piece of news, the state of Utah is not going to appeal the decision. This ruling came about due to a lesbian couple, Angela and Kami Roe, suing the state of Utah after the state health department refused to issue a birth certificate that listed them both as the legal parents.
As I mentioned, US District Judge Dee Benson ruled that the state must halt this practice, because it violates the couple’s rights to due process and equal protection guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
Benson’s ruling from the bench was as such: “The state has failed to show 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.”
I think many people were preparing for this ruling to be challenged, however Utah Attorney General spokeswoman Missy Larsen confirmed that they would not be doing so.
The decision made by Benson, which sadly does not extend to to gay men who have a child via a surrogate, requires the state to issue a birth certificate to the Roes as soon as possible.
The spokesperson for the health department, Tom Hudachko, had this to say: “We’re prepared to immediately issue the amended birth certificate once the [judge’s ]order is filed. As of earlier [Monday] that had not happened yet.”