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California Supreme Court Gives Parental Rights to Same-Sex Couples

Earlier in the week, the California Supreme Court ruled in three lesbian parenting cases, that parents who make the decision to raise a child have to abide by custody and child support laws, which wil
( [email protected] ) Aug 24, 2005 10:20 PM EDT

The California Supreme Court ruled on Monday that parents who make the decision to raise a child have to abide by custody and child support laws, which in the past only applied to estranged fathers, but now it will include same-sex couples of both genders.

In three different lesbian parenting cases, the high court ruled that same-sex couples are the same as heterosexual couples in terms of the responsibilities regarding the children they raise.

The Supreme Court said, "We perceive no reason why both parents of a child cannot be women," and declared that in California, a child can have two mothers.

The cases included a request for child support, for parental rights, and for two mothers to be placed on the birth certificate of an unborn child.

"The court is now protecting the children of same sex parents in gay families in the same way children are protected with heterosexual couples in heterosexual families," said Jill Hersh, who argued in the case of a Marin County woman who was granted the right to be the second mother on the certificate after the birth mother moved out of state, according to AP.

However, groups that support the traditional family have responded to this unexpected ruling by saying that it "defies logic and common sense by saying that children can have two moms," which "establishes that moms and dads as a unit are irrelevant when it comes to raising children," Matthew Staver of Liberty Counsel said.

Just last month, the justices ruled in a case concerning California's domestic partner law, and granted same-sex couples, who register with the state, many rights afforded to married couples, but will not allow them to marry.

Right now, there are two initiatives that hope to declare on the upcoming statewide vote in 2006 that marriage can only be defined as the union between one man and one woman.

Protect Marriage is an initiative that will protect traditional marriage, but will recognize legal unions between same-sex couples. While the other initiative Vote Yes Marriage will also protect the definition of traditional marriage but they will prohibit legal unions.