Same-Sex Marriage in Arkansas

Stefano Bolognini

Organizations in Arkansas from both ends of the political spectrum are finding things to celebrate from a ruling Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a 7-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple on the grounds that it violated his religious beliefs.

Jerry Cox, president of the Family Council, a conservative education and research group in Arkansas, sees the ruling as a win.

Marissa Marisa Pavan Birth Certificate certificates same-sex marrriage
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

For a few hours Friday the Arkansas Department of Health did not issue any birth certificates, per a judge’s order. Gov. Asa Hutchinson eventually issued a directive that the department treat married lesbian couples the same as married heterosexual couples and to include the names of both spouses on birth certificates.

Pulaski County Judge Tim Fox took the action Friday morning, suggesting the state was delaying making a fix to the state’s birth certificate law, which the nation’s highest court said was unjust.

Marissa Marisa Pavan Birth Certificate certificates same-sex marrriage
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An Arkansas judge has halted the state from issuing new birth certificates until officials are able to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said the state's birth certificate law illegally favors heterosexual parents.

File photo. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' attorney general is asking the state's highest court to lift a judge's order that the state go into mediation with three same-sex couples over how to change a birth certificate law that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled illegally favors heterosexual parents.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge asked the state Supreme Court Wednesday to vacate Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox's orders requiring mediation on how to change the birth certificate law. Rutledge also challenges Fox's order that she personally attend the mediation, scheduled for Saturday.

Marissa Marisa Pavan Birth Certificate certificates same-sex marrriage
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An Arkansas judge is threatening to block the state from issuing new birth certificates if attorneys don't quickly fix a birth certificate law that the U.S. Supreme Court says illegally favors heterosexual parents.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox on Monday gave attorneys for the state and three same-sex couples until Jan. 5 to find language that should be stricken from the state's law.

The U.S. Supreme Court in June sided with Fox's 2015 ruling that struck down part of the law defining parents by gender. That overturned a decision by the state Supreme Court.

Marissa Marisa Pavan Birth Certificate certificates same-sex marrriage
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' highest court has thrown out a judge's ruling that could have allowed married same-sex couples to get the names of both spouses on their children's birth certificates without a court order.

A split Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox went too far when he found the birth certificate law unconstitutional last year.

Marissa Marisa Pavan Birth Certificate certificates same-sex marrriage
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Supreme Court justices are questioning whether it's up to them or the Legislature to rewrite the state's birth certificate laws following the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide.

Marissa Marisa Pavan Birth Certificate certificates same-sex marrriage
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' highest court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit over whether married same-sex couples can have the names of both spouses on their children's birth certificate without a court order.

Marissa Marisa Pavan Birth Certificate certificates same-sex marrriage
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Supreme Court has issued a temporary halt on Pulaski County Judge Tim Fox's order striking down part of the state’s birth certificate law. Justices did however allow three same sex couples involved in a lawsuit to keep both spouses' names on the amended birth certificates of their children.

 

Since last Friday, the Arkansas Health Department has allowed both parent’s names on birth certificates as long as the couple could prove they we married before the child was born. Health Department spokeswoman Meg Mirivel says they've now reversed that policy.

 

Marissa Marisa Pavan Birth Certificate certificates same-sex marrriage
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Health Department has decided to issue amended birth certificates for children of same-sex couples who can prove they were married before the child was born.

Health Department spokeswoman Meg Mirivel said Monday that the department reviewed an order from Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox and decided to amend those specific birth certificates starting last Friday. Fox issued a ruling striking down a portion of the state's birth certificate law and said Arkansas must amend the birth certificates, listing both spouses as parents.

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