The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Thursday that Louisiana must, in the case of a child adopted by a same-sex couple, issue a new birth certificate listing the couple as parents. The ruling comes despite the fact that state law does not permit adoption by non-married couples.
The case was advanced by Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith, a homosexual couple living in Connecticut, who adopted a Louisiana-born child in 2005 through a New York court. New York state law permits adoption by unmarried, same-sex couples.
The two requested that Louisiana issue a new birth certificate reflecting the adoptive child’s new name and “parents,” as is typically given after adoptions.
Louisiana state registrar Darlene Smith denied their request for a new birth certificate, citing Louisiana state law which states that only single adults or married couples may adopt. Smith was supported by a statement from the Louisiana Attorney General, who argued that Louisiana does not need to recognize New York adoption judgment that conflicts with Louisiana’s own laws.
Shortly afterwards, Adar and Smith filed suit against Louisiana, claiming that Smith’s refusal violated the constitutional requirement that each state give “full faith and credit” to the acts of other states. They also argued that Smith’s refusal violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution, and alleged that not having a new birth certificate could threaten the boy’s enrollment in a health care plan.
A 2008 District Court decision supported Adar and Smith; the current case upheld that decision, and ordered the registrar to issue a new birth certificate.
Oren Adar was pleased at the Court’s decision.
“We’re pleased our son will finally have a birth certificate where he sees both his parents included,” he said. “A birth certificate is more than a piece of paper. It’s at the heart of your identity.”
Ken Upton, Senior Staff Attorney for the homosexualist Lambda Legal, pointed out that “even our opponents have said this is a landmark case.”
Gene Mills, president of the Louisiana Family Forum, said that the technique of attaining birth certificates is a “political tool of choice amongst same-sex advocates, who want to redefine marriage, family, adoption and even state sovereignty.”
Defenders of traditional marriage have previously warned that homosexual activists will use the full faith and credit clause of the constitution to import homosexualist policies from one state to another.
In a 2004 speech supporting a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, President George W. Bush pointed out that “those who want to change the meaning of marriage will claim that [the full faith and credit clause] requires all states and cities to recognize same-sex marriages performed anywhere in America.”
In a similar case in 2007, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Oklahoma could not refuse to issue altered birth certificates to children adopted by same-sex couples.