It was a long journey. But it is finally over. Hopefully. After a 32-month long battle the Court of Appeals is finally on the table. What is it about and why it is worth attention? Well, first of all, because justice should prevail regardless of who you are. This time a huge step to equality for the same-sex couples has been done in Indiana. According to the ruling of the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals same-sex couples got the right to be listed as parents in their children’s birth certificate. The case was originally brought to the court by eight lesbian mothers including Crystal and Noell Allen.
For Allens the ruling is especially decisive as they had lost their newborn twins and only were allowed to be listed as parents in death but not birth certificate. Thus for them winning the case was a matter of principle and universal justice. The twins cannot resurrect but “are doing their happy dance” as Allen’s 10-year old daughter put it. What is especially sad, for opposite-sex couples the husband still be listed as a father in a birth certificate even if the donor was used. It has no principal difference in case of same-sex couple but the law interpreted it differently. Luckily, an ambiguous situation is finally over. At least, for the state.
Unfortunately, there are lots of concerns left. First of all, the case targeted lesbian couples specifically leaving the question open for gay couples. What if two dads would like to be mentioned in the birth certificate? It looks like they will have to go through lengthy and painful hearings again and again to get their rights being granted. Attorney general Hill was dissatisfied by the ruling of the Court of Appeals that upheld the decision of the lower court. Thus it is highly possible that the attorney general may bring the case to the Supreme Court so that the same-sex couples will be suspended again in their rights.
Right now the plaintiffs are however delighted according to their lawyers. "This takes a lot of weight off their shoulders. They've been living as families and wondering if this was going to tear them apart," said Karen Celestino-Horseman, one of the lawyers involved in the case. The battle of being a parent is still going on. Nobody knows when it is gonna end. Except, probably, the Supreme Court.