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Louisiana Fights to Bar Gay Dads off Birth Certificate


Two gay dads who successfully sued the state of Louisiana for refusing to put both fathers' names on the birth certificate of their adopted son are now fighting an appeal by the state to overturn the ruling.

Lambda Legal attorney Kenneth Upton (pictured) argued before a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. circuit court of appeals Wednesday on behalf of the couple, Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith, whose son was born in Shreveport, La., in 2005 and later adopted in New York in 2006. The family now lives in San Diego, Calif.

Though Louisiana issues birth certificates for children adopted by out-of-state parents, the state's Registrar of Vital Statistics only allows a single person or a married couple to be listed on the certificate. Upton argued that a refusal to recognize both parents in the New York adoption is in violation of the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution.

In December, a U.S. district judge ruled in favor of Lambda and ordered the registrar to honor the adoption by including both men's names on the birth certificate. The Louisiana attorney general's office appealed the decision.

Louisiana attorney general appellate chief Kyle Duncan argued that the state should not be forced to issue a birth certificate that violates Louisiana adoption law, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

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