Same-sex spouses in Florida ask federal judge for relief in birth certificate case | Arkansas Blog

Same-sex spouses in Florida ask federal judge for relief in birth certificate case


The Advocate reports on an unfolding federal lawsuit in Florida over that state's reluctance to assign birth certificates containing both parents'  names for the children of same-sex couples.

The case has implications for Arkansas, where the state Supreme Court last week stayed a portion of a lower court's ruling that effectively allowed the inclusion of the names of two same-sex parents on their children's birth certificates.

The Arkansas Supreme Court allowed Circuit Judge Tim Fox's order on the case to stand in regards only to the three specific plaintiffs who filed suit, while staying the more general application of Fox's judgment to encompass other same-sex Arkansans in the same situation. If the court drags its heels on the issue, other parents seeking relief in Arkansas might themselves have to sue. 

In Florida, plaintiffs have gone the federal route. The Advocate:

The couples and Equality Florida filed suit in August, but last week they added a request for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida to make the order to the state without a trial, according to a press release from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which is representing them along with Florida attorneys.

“There is no justification for Florida’s refusal to treat same-sex spouses equally,” said NCLR senior staff attorney Amy Whelan in the press release. “The Supreme Court has already ruled that same-sex spouses and their children have a constitutional right to have their family relationships respected in every state.”

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