Utah's highest court stops adoption for same-sex couples, saying that it "prevents further confusion"

Last Friday, the Utah Supreme Court issued a stay on ruling in a current adoption case involving same-sex couples, which effectively barred the Utah Department of Health from issuing birth certificates to same sex parents. After the District Court’s ruling in Kitchen v. Herbert, over 1,300 same sex couples were wed and received full federal benefits. State protections including adoption, however, are limited based on the state’s recognition of marriage. Because Kitchen is in the appellate process, the state does not recognize the couples’ marital status and as a result, limits the rights of those who expected to be recognized, including the right of same-sex couples do adopt.

The stay was defended by the state on the grounds that it would help avoid confusion. In an official statement, the Attorney General says,

The stay prevents further confusion as the district court order required the Department to list same-sex parents as the legal parents of an adoptive child. The Department sought clarification because the court orders appear to conflict with Utah law currently in effect, which prohibits the state and any state entities from recognizing same-sex marriages.

The problem with the confusion-avoided argument is that it leaves same sex couples guessing what their rights are. Instead of a decrease in confusion, there was merely a shift that could cause substantial confusion and detriment to LGBT families.

Read the full story at Buzzfeed.

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