Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lambda Legal Celebrates Oklahoma Decision Not to Appeal 10th Circuit Court Gay Parent Adoption Decision

From the Gay News Blog:


August 17, 2007

'This is a monumental decision, not just for the couples involved in the case, but for lesbian and gay parents nationwide.'

(New York, NY) ---- Lambda Legal is applauding the Oklahoma Health Department's announcement that it will not appeal a federal appeals court ruling earlier this month that struck down a state law refusing Oklahoma birth certificates to children adopted by out-of-state same-sex couples.

"This is a monumental decision, not just for the couples involved in the case, but for lesbian and gay parents and their children nationwide," said Jon Davidson, Legal Director of Lambda Legal. "It means that when same-sex couples have an adoption decree recognizing both of them as parents, the adoption, and their status as their child's parents, must be honored no matter where they go."

The Adoption Invalidation Law, hastily passed at the end of the 2004 Oklahoma legislative session, had said that Oklahoma "shall not recognize an adoption by more than one individual of the same sex from any other state or foreign jurisdiction." In a 35-page decision on August 3, a panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit rejected the Oklahoma Department of Health's challenge to a lower court decision striking down the law, so extreme that it threatened to make children adopted by same-sex couples in other states legal orphans if the families traveled or moved to Oklahoma.

Lambda Legal argued that the law was unconstitutional based on the United States Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process, as well as the Full Faith and Credit Clause, which requires that court orders (including adoption decrees) from one state must be respected and enforced in another. The 10th Circuit decision upheld a ruling by the U.S. Court for the Western District of Oklahoma that agreed with these challenges and held that the statute indeed violates the United States Constitution by refusing to honor adoption decrees obtained in other states.

In addition to same-sex couples raising children in Oklahoma, the ruling benefits same-sex couples and their families in other states, including two of the couples who brought suit, Heather Finstuen and Anne Magro , now living in Houston, and Ed Swaya and Greg Hampel of Seattle, by ensuring they can travel in Oklahoma without fear their children will be rendered legal orphans.

Ken Upton, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's South Central Regional Office in Dallas, was lead attorney on the case, with assistance from Senior Staff Attorney Brian Chase. Sandy Ingraham of Ingraham & Associates, P.L.L.C. in McLoud, Oklahoma, served as cooperating attorney in Finstuen et al v. Edmondson et al.


One question, since the majority of Oklahomans support Oklahoma's DOMA and other laws restricting "gay rights" in family law WHY WAS THERE NO APPEAL TO SCOTUS?


Post a Comment

<< Home