Judge orders Utah to put 2 moms on birth certificate

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the state of Utah to list the names of a lesbian couple on a birth certificate as the mothers of their new baby in a ruling that lawyers said was the first of its kind since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage.

Angie, left, and Kami Roe of West Jordan leave the federal courthouse Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Salt Lake City. A federal judge has ordered the state of Utah to list the names of the lesbian couple on a birth certificate as the mothers of their new baby. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson said Wednesday the case wasn't hard to decide in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Salt Lake City, July 15, 2015 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News
Angie Roe, left, and Kami Roe, of West Jordan, leave the federal courthouse Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Salt Lake City. A federal judge has ordered the state of Utah to list the names of the lesbian couple on a birth certificate as the mothers of their new baby. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson said Wednesday the case wasn’t hard to decide in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Salt Lake City, July 15, 2015 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson said the assisted reproduction case wasn’t hard to decide.

“The state has failed to demonstrate 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,” Benson said in his ruling from the bench.

Lawyer Joshua Block with the American Civil Liberties Union said it was the first ruling in an assisted reproduction case since the June decision from the high court, though several similar cases have been filed around the country.

Angie and Kami Roe, of West Jordan, said in their lawsuit on the issue that the state should treat wedded lesbian couples the same as heterosexual couples who use sperm donors to have children.

State law automatically recognizes a husband who agrees to assisted reproduction as a father, but the Utah Attorney General’s Office contended that doesn’t extend to same-sex couples because childbearing is legally different from marriage.

Angie and Kami Roe of West Jordan hold hands after leaving the federal courthouse Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Salt Lake City. A federal judge has ordered the state of Utah to list the names of the lesbian couple on a birth certificate as the mothers of their new baby. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson said Wednesday the case wasn't hard to decide in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Salt Lake City, July 15, 2015 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News
Angie and Kami Roe, of West Jordan, hold hands after leaving the federal courthouse Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Salt Lake City. A federal judge has ordered the state of Utah to list the names of the lesbian couple on a birth certificate as the mothers of their new baby. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson said Wednesday the case wasn’t hard to decide in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Salt Lake City, July 15, 2015 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

“It is a fact that a non-biologically related female spouse can never be the biological father of a child,” state attorneys wrote in court documents. “It is a biological impossibility for a woman who does not give birth to a child to establish paternity of a child through the act of birth.”

Parker Douglas with the Utah Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday that listing nonbiological parents on a birth certificate could throw off state record-keeping and disrupt the ability of authorities to identify public health trends.

The judge, however, pointed out that the same problem could apply when married heterosexual couples use sperm donors.

Douglas declined to comment on whether the state would appeal the ruling.

The Roes sued after hospital staff members refused to take their birth certificate paperwork shortly after Kami Roe gave birth in February. Utah officials told the couple that one mother must adopt the baby as a stepparent, a process the Roes say is costly, invasive and unfair.

Angie, right, and Kami Roe of West Jordan, leave the federal courthouse Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Salt Lake City. A federal judge has ordered the state of Utah to list the names of the lesbian couple on a birth certificate as the mothers of their new baby. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson said Wednesday the case wasn't hard to decide in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Salt Lake City, July 14, 2015 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News
Angie Roe, right, and Kami Roe, of West Jordan, leave the federal courthouse Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Salt Lake City. A federal judge has ordered the state of Utah to list the names of the lesbian couple on a birth certificate as the mothers of their new baby. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson said Wednesday the case wasn’t hard to decide in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Salt Lake City, July 14, 2015 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

The ruling requires Utah to declare married lesbian parents to be legal moms from birth, but it doesn’t apply to male same-sex couples because they typically use a surrogate.

Similar cases have come up in Iowa and Arkansas, said family law expert Douglas NeJamie. He expects to see more, especially in states that had sought to keep laws banning same-sex marriage on the books. Utah spent $1.2 million to defend its ban on same-sex marriage, state officials have said.

Many states have similar laws governing artificial insemination that previously had not applied to same-sex unions because the rules were specific to married couples, said NeJamie, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“This is an easy way to actually try and discriminate against same-sex couples,” he said.

Story by Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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13 Comments

  • Simone July 15, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    *looks up at the sky to see if it has fallen yet….

    Nope! Still good. 😀

  • Simone July 15, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Congratulations ladies! ♥

  • native born new mexican July 15, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Here we go. It didn’t and isn’t stopping with them being allowed to so “call marry each other” They really want to destroy the whole structure and definition of the family. No one including the child ( as an adult)is going to be fooled by this ridiculous birth certificate. It takes a man to have a baby. That child and all of society know it has a father and guess what at some point the child will want it’s father GUARANTEED!! Two women do not a mother and a FATHER make. Which one of them contributed the Male sperm?? There is a God and there will be a horrible price to pay for this kind of out right wickedness!! Call me all the names you want to. I do not care. Again I do not care about your name calling!! Enough is enough..This is evil and wrong and I am being very clear about it. People need to start standing up and saying no to this stuff. That starts with me here and now.

  • fun bag July 16, 2015 at 12:00 am

    anonymous sperm donors, baby in a test tube. disgusting… more selfish lesbianism…

  • Real Life July 16, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Ding. Cuckoo.

  • Ronnie Keith July 16, 2015 at 4:56 am

    So they ban the term husband and wife. Whats next mother and father? This PC-BS has to stop somewhere. It is to the point of being ridiculous now, how much farther can they take it? I can already here the haters calling me a homophobe bigot, but I am just being real. But the PC rainbow flag waving democrats, have already trampled under foot my right to free speach. Declaring anything they don’t like racist, hateful, or bigoted. Yet all the vile hateful racist bigoted crap that spews from their mouths is OK! Enough is enough lets try some common sense and forget this common core crap. That has brought about all this selfish entitlement mentality.

    • KarenS July 16, 2015 at 9:16 am

      Let’s get the facts out about common core. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an educational initiative in the United States that details what K–12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and seeks to establish consistent educational standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing courses at two- or four-year college programs or to enter the workforce. There is some critical content for all students – classic myths and stories from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, seminal works of American literature, and the writings of Shakespeare – but the rest is left up to the states and the districts. Let’s not blame common core for society’s perceived ills.

  • mrsmith July 16, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Whining about it on these message boards is not going to change or prevent the freight train of bs that is coming. You need to get off your couch and go to the town halls and beat down the doors of your city government and heaven forbid, GET OUT AND VOTE if you want to change anything. Otherwise the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

  • Brian July 16, 2015 at 9:16 am

    I’m pretty sure nature has a law against this…

  • Hugh Jass July 16, 2015 at 9:48 am

    A case from real life:
    A lesbian couple has a baby. One pays for the sperm donation the other carries the pregnancy. When the marriage ends, both claim to have a greater “right” to the child – one as the “owner” of the sperm, one as the “owner” of the egg.
    Everyone knows that men and women fight differently. Face it – women can be catty and MEAN! When these marriages start breaking up, the gloves will come off and the big losers will be the children.
    It will be interesting to see how adjusted (or not) children from homosexual marriages are…

    • fun bag July 16, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      It’s just a perversion of nature isn’t it..

  • ladybugavenger July 16, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    It uh takes what I learned in biology and abolishes it. Where do babies come from was clear when I was a child. You throw in test tube, serogacy, 2 women on a birth certificate, gay marriage……the world is going to hell in a hand basket, people wanting to play God? They may not know Jesus, but they all will one day.

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