Dallas’ Ken Upton, Lambda Legal appeal La. birth certificate case to U.S. Supreme Court

Ken Upton
Ken Upton

Big D’s own Ken Upton, a senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal, is hopefully about to get his first opportunity to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Lambda Legal today asked the high court to hear the case of a same-sex couple — Oren Adar and Mickey Smith — seeking an accurate birth certificate for their Louisiana-born son whom they adopted in New York. Louisiana has refused to recognize the adoption and issue a birth certificate listing both fathers as the boy’s parents.

Upton, who serves as lead counsel in the case, said the following in Lambda Legal’s press release:

“By treating adopted children whose parents are unmarried worse than other adopted children, Louisiana violates two well-established federal constitutional protections, both of which embody principles of equal treatment and unify us as a nation. First, the constitution mandates that Louisiana, like every other state, must treat all out-of-state adoption judgments equally. Second, Louisiana may not treat adopted children themselves differently based on the marital status of their legal parents. We have long since abandoned the notion that the government can punish children to express disapproval of their parents or their families. The state of Louisiana cannot withhold a birth certificate for this child simply because it doesn’t like who his parents are.”

Read Lambda Legal’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari here.

Upton has said that he’s also interested in challenging Texas’ statute, which says the adoptive parents listed on an amended birth certificate must be a man and a woman. State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, introduced a bill this year that would have allowed same-sex couples to have both their names on adoptive birth certificates, but the bill didn’t make it out of committee.

—  John Wright