Arkansas rejected a bill to allow gay parents to be listed on their kids' birth certificates

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The Arkansas state legislature has rejected a bill that would have given same-sex parents the right to have their names listed on their children's birth certificates.

The state's senate judiciary committee voted by voice on Monday to strike down the bill, The Associated Press reports.

The move means that children born to LGBTQ parents via artificial insemination or surrogacy will continue to only have their biological parents' names on their birth certificates.


In December last year, the state's supreme court overturned a ruling that allowed LGBTQ parents to have their names listed on birth certificates.

“We cannot say that naming the nonbiological spouse on the birth certificate of the child is an interest of the person so fundamental that the State must accord the interest its respect under either statute,” the justices wrote in their decision.

Lawyers for the two Arkansas couples involved in that case have asked the Supreme Court of the United States to review the ruling, arguing that it constitutes a violation of LGBTQ parents' rights and runs contrary to SCOTUS' 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationally.

"Allowing the decision below to stand would open the door for other courts to pursue a similarly blatant path of denying same-sex couples important marital rights and protections on equally specious grounds," the attorneys said in their filing to SCOTUS.


Arkansas has the most restrictive laws in the nation for LGBTQ parents, according to the Movement Advancement Project, with no clear way for both parents in a same-sex couple to establish legal ties to their children. Laws in other states offer parents legal avenues that create those ties even if they don't allow adoptive parents to be listed on birth certificates.

Birth certificate laws vary state by state, but increasingly, in the wake of the SCOTUS marriage equality decision, federal court judges are ordering states (most recently South Carolina and Indiana) to allow LGBTQ parents to be included on the documents.

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