Utah agrees to end same-sex parent birth certificate lawsuit

Posted at 2:23 PM, Oct 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-18 16:23:36-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A new court filing reveals the state of Utah has agreed to end a lawsuit filed by a married lesbian couple who sued to get one of the mothers’ names on the birth certificate for their child.

In a joint agreement filed with in U.S. District Court and obtained by FOX 13 on Sunday, the ACLU of Utah and the Utah Attorney General’s Office acknowledged that Kami and Angie Roe had received a birth certificate that included Angie Roe’s name as a parent of their child, Lucy. Lawyers for the two sides also agreed to make the judge’s injunction permanent, effectively ending the case.

The joint stipulation could also apply to other same-sex couples in Utah, noting:

“The Court further ordered that if Defendants continue to enforce Utah Code Ann §§ 78B-15-201(2)(e), 78B-15-703 and § 78B-15-704, with respect to male spouses of women who give birth through assisted reproduction with donor sperm, they must also apply the statute equally to female spouses of women who give birth through assisted reproduction with donor sperm.”

Kami and Angie Roe speak to reporters outside U.S. District Court on July 15, 2015 after a judge ordered their names to be put on their child’s birth certificate. (Photo by Ben Winslow)

The Roes sued the state of Utah after the state health department refused to list Angie as a parent of their child. The couple married after Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage was overturned. While Kami is the birth mother, Angie Roe said she went through the exact steps a man would if his wife used assisted reproductive services, like a sperm donor, including filling out the same paperwork.

The Utah Department of Health refused to issue a birth certificate with Kami and Angie Roe’s names, until after a federal judge ordered them to. At a hearing in July, U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage and said it appeared Utah was discriminating against the Roe family.

As a part of the joint stipulation, the Utah Attorney General’s Office said the state has agreed to pay the ACLU $24,302 in legal fees. The stipulation requires the judge’s signature to be made permanent.

Read the joint stipulation here: