In spite of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in 2015 that gay couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples, there are still states and lawmakers who are resistant to this idea. However, many judges, especially here in New York, are choosing to support the constitution when granting a same-sex divorce. One court took another step when it granted a woman the legal designation as husband and father.
The case involved two women from another state. At the time of their marriage in 2014, their state did not yet recognize these unions as legal. In 2015, the couple had a child through artificial insemination. By early 2016, the couple was in the divorce process. As the divorce was progressing, law makers in the state were attempting to pass a law that would hold the definition of husband and wife to their ‘natural’ definition as the one spouse’s attorney argued that her spouse was a female and therefore could not be considered the husband.
At the same time, the other woman’s representative argued that the laws were outdated and did not reflect the rights of same-sex couples. The courts were encouraged to view the definitions without bias towards gender. The judge in this particular case made that determination and ruled that the one spouse did meet the legal definition of husband and father for the former couple’s child.
The woman designated as the legal father will have the same rights and responsibilities, including paying child support. Some Tennessee lawmakers are challenging the ruling on the grounds that it violates the normal gender definition. New York families who are in the midst of a same-sex divorce and are struggling to resolve similar issues are entitled to consult with a family law professional for guidance.
Source: USA Today, “Lesbian granted rights of ‘husband’ in same-sex divorce“, Jamie Satterfield, May 10, 2017