A federal judge 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 marriage equality.
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.
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.
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.
The Utah case could have an effect on other pending cases, though the parental rights of same-sex couples will depend on what state laws are already on the books for heterosexual couples.