Arizona Supreme Court Unanimously Affirms the Equal Rights of Same-Sex Parents

Cindy Best

By Mark Joseph Stern

“On Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court issued a highly anticipated decision unanimously affirming the equal rights of same-sex parents in the state. The ruling will require Arizona to extend the same presumptions of parentage to same-sex and opposite-sex couples, ensuring that the state cannot use the pretext of biology to discriminate against gay residents. It is an important confirmation of Obergefell v. Hodges at a time when marriage equality is under increasing assault by both state and federal judges.

Tuesday’s ruling in McLaughlin v. McLaughlin involves an Arizona statute that creates a “presumption of paternity” in opposite-sex relationships. Under the law, the husband of a birth mother is presumed to be the child’s legal parent—even if the birth mother conceived through artificial insemination. But what about married lesbians who conceive via artificial insemination? Two lower courts grappled with that question and reached different conclusions in light of Obergefell. One held that Obergefell required the birth mother’s wife to receive the same presumption of parentage that a husband would. The other held that it did not….”

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