Gay adoption case reaches Court

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July 12, 2011

"A series of major constitutional disputes over the rights of gays and lesbians are developing in federal courts, and now the first of that new wave of cases has reached the Supreme Court: a significant test case on whether the Constitution protects same-sex couples’ rights as parents. The case, Adar v. Smith, State Registrar (docket 11-46), was filed at the Court Monday by lawyers for a California couple seeking to be listed as parents on a birth certificate for a five-year-old Louisiana boy they have adopted. State officials refused, because of a policy against adoption by unmarried couples — in this case, a gay couple.

"...The ruling by the Fifth Circuit, the new petition argued, treats children differently on the basis of the marital status of their adoptive parents. “This Court,” it said, “has made clear that government discrimination against children based on disapproval of their parents requires careful scrutiny and strong justification.” Moreover, the petition asserted, the Fifth Circuit has cleared the way for state legislatures and executive officers to disregard out-of-state legal judgments “based on policy assessments about the merits of those judgments.” The case is being pursued by a gay rights advocacy group, Lambda Legal."