Arkansas judge approves same-sex partners’ names on birth certificates

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The state of Arkansas must issue birth certificates with both names of same-sex partners, a judge ruled on Tuesday.

A ruling was made by Little Rock Circuit Judge Tim Fox, who said it should be applied state-wide.

Fox had previously ruled more specifically about three married lesbian couples, but extended his ruling to be more general.

He stated that a law across Arkansas which restricted the names able to be listed on a birth certificate to opposite-sex couples was unconstitutional.

The judge also noted the recent Supreme Court ruling in favour of same-sex marriage.

The “decision affords the plaintiffs, as same-sex couples, the same constitutional rights with respect to the issuance of birth certificates and amended birth certificates as opposite-sex couples,” Fox wrote.

The Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is yet to comment on the ruling.

An attorney for the plaintiffs, Cheryl Maples, said it was “a wonderful decision”, and that it was what they had been aiming for.

The state had previously argued against issuing birth certificates with same-sex partners, stating that the regulations were established by the state Health Board and Legislature, and would need approval from both to change.

The previous ruling made by Fox meant that the state was forced to record the names of three married lesbian couples on their children’s birth certificates.