Monday, August 06, 2007

For once, Utah's law is not unconstitutional (same-sex adoptions from other states)

In many states (but not Utah, of course), same-sex couples can legally adopt children. As in Utah, adoptive parents receive a judgment or decree, which they can use to request amended birth certificates for the child. Feeling superior to its sister states, Oklahoma passed a law that refused to recognize "an adoption by more than one individual of the same sex from any other state or foreign jurisdiction." Gay adoptive parents? Not only are you going to hell, but your child can't have an amended birth certificate either. So there.

On Friday, the Tenth Circuit (the federal appeals court that covers Utah and other states) invalidated Oklahoma's statute, holding it unconstitutional under the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution. Article 4, Section 1 of that divinely inspired document provides: "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State." For a century or two, the Supreme Court has held that (duh) this clause requires individual states to (duh) recognize lawfully entered judgments from other states. That means you, Okiehomie.

After reading the opinion, we figured that Utah had some similar anti-gay statute that prevented the issuance of amended birth certificates to same-sex adoptive parents in other states. Lo and behold, we were wrong. Utah's statute says:

26-2-10. Supplementary certificate of birth.
(1) Any person born in this state who is legitimized by the subsequent marriage of his natural parents, or whose parentage has been determined by any U.S. state court or Canadian provincial court having jurisdiction, or who has been legally adopted under the law of this or any other state or any province of Canada, may request the state registrar to register a supplementary certificate of birth on the basis of that status.
So, Utah law already recognizes adoption decrees lawfully entered in other states. Wow. What are we going to do with all that money we usually spend defending our unconstitutional statutes? Lobby other states to loosen their marriage laws, maybe. After all, a lot of states don't allow first cousins to marry as Utah does (if they're over 55 and can't reproduce), and don't recognize marriages that would be illegal in their own state. So your granny may be allowed to marry Uncle Tim in Utah, but in other states she's just a big ol' slut.


Misty Fowler said...

Don't tell 'em! They'll rush out to change it!

Voice of Utah said...

But then they would be enacting a law that they already know is unconstitutional . . . oh . . .

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