On Monday, the Supreme Court declared that birth certificates were no longer designed to list the biological parents of children, and ordered that states must now grant same-sex couples the ability to place their names on birth certificates. This, of course, defeats the purpose of having a birth certificate — why not just have a certificate of legal parentage? — but according to the Court, everyone must be made to feel like a biological parent, even where there’s no biological connection to the child.
The case, Pavan v. Smith, pit the state of Arkansas against two lesbian couples who had children through artificial insemination. The state law already provided that in cases of artificial insemination, non-biological parents who were spouses could be listed on the birth certificate. But the couples instead wanted the actual, general birth certificate statute applied to them.
The state of Arkansas rightly pointed out that the state of Arkansas had already “issued valid birth certificates listing each child’s biological mother and her spouse” and that the artificial insemination statute applied to same-sex couples. But that wasn’t enough for the lesbian couples, who wanted to overthrow the basic purpose of birth certificates in non-artificial insemination cases: listing the biological parents of a child.
Arkansas, based on the rules of human biology, determined that heterosexual spouses were typically the biological parents of their children. In fact, in Arkansas, “where a court determines that someone [besides the spouse] is a child’s father, or alternatively, the mother, husband, and putative father attest that the putative father is a child’s biological father, that putative biological father must be listed on a child’s birth certificate.”
As Arkansas pointed out, accuracy in birth certificates is “in the child’s best interest ‘because a child may need to access information about biological parentage for health-related reasons.’” The Arkansas Supreme Court agreed with this rather obvious logic.
The Supreme Court did not. In an unsigned opinion by the leftists on the court, joined apparently by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court declared that Arkansas had to issue birth certificates to same-sex spouses regardless of biological parentage — not under the artificial insemination statute, but under the general birth certificate statute. So birth certificates are no longer anything but a second marriage certificate with a child’s name on it, or a documentation of legal guardianship, rather than an attestation to biological parentage. Justices Gorsuch, Alito, and Thomas dissented.
This is asinine. Biology obviously matters when it comes to parentage. But it might hurt the feelings of same-sex couples to have to use the artificial insemination provision of Arkansas law to obtain a birth certificate or revised birth certificate, so now we must pretend that children are universally the product of sexual unions that cannot biologically produce children.
Just more idiocy from our esteemed Supreme Court.