Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court chose not to review a case, Box v. Henderson, which sought to allow the state of Indiana to refuse to place two mothers on their child’s birth certificate. In denying the case, the court left in place the lower court ruling, that decided in favor of the mothers.
Advocates breathed a bit easier thanks to this pro-LGBTQ decision from an increasingly conservative Supreme Court.
"Today’s Supreme Court decision once again affirms that marriage equality under Obergefell v. Hodges means that married same-sex couples are entitled to be treated equally under the law," said Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign. "We refuse to allow our love to be treated any differently under law, and will fight to make sure skim-milk marriage never becomes the law of the land."
Sarah Kate Ellis of GLAAD praised the decision as well, while also reminding us of how "fragile" our hard-fought for rights truly are:
Though encouraging, there is no way to know how many justices voted with the pro-LGBTQ majority. It takes at least four justices to agree to take up a case — so up to three could have been willing to hear the case.
If the Court had taken up the case, it could have called into question the landmark 2015 Obergefell decision, which found that LGBTQ couples are deserving of all the same rights of marriage as straight people — including issuing birth certificates for their children. This specific issue was further backed up by the Court in a 2017 decision, in Pavan v. Smith, which again found the right of same-sex parents to be listed on birth certificates.
Though LGBTQ advocates welcomed this decision, they are also anxiously looking forward to another parenting case that may not go our way — many assume the Court will soon force localities to provide public funds to foster care and adoption agencies that openly discriminate against prospective parents.