A bill that would provide accurate supplemental birth certificates to same-sex couples came under fire last night by Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz.
Under the impression that the bill would mandate a change in all birth certificates in the states, Saenz suggested that his three children would have to have theirs changed. But the bill would only apply to adopted children of same-sex couples, allowing both parents to have their names on the certificate. Texas law currently only allows one man and one woman to be listed on birth certificates.
“In the state of Texas, homosexual adoption is allowed, so that’s not the issue here. The issue is that you have a small group of people that want to change a birth certificate for everybody else,” Saenz said. “This is an issue about what is natural and what is common sense. You have a mother and a father.”
Saenz continued to say that the bill would grant gay couples special rights and suggested certificates would allow two or three fathers to be listed on the certificates in cases of polygamy.
Mentioning that the bill has been filed before and never got out of committee, Saenz said it has no chance of passing when the session begins Jan. 8. He also argued that changing the law for birth certificates would impact at least 31 other sections of the family law.
“This type of change would essentially eviscerate the family law as we know it,” he said.
Equality Texas Executive Director Chuck Smith also spoke to Fox 7, highlighting that inaccurate birth certificates make it harder for children to get a passport or register for school.
“The current law, as it’s written, is forcing thousands of Texas children not to be able to get a supplemental birth certificate that shows who their legal, adoptive parents are,” Smith said
Following the news report and Saenz’s comments, Smith posted the following fact check about HB 201 on Equality Texas’ website.
Mr. Saenz apparently had not actually read HB 201 because his on-air statements were factually incorrect.
Saenz: “This change in the law would affect everyone’s birth certificate.” He even alludes that HB201 would affect the birth certificates of his 3 biological children.
HB 201 only applies to the Supplementary Birth Certificate of an adopted child. Such a certificate is only issued upon the finalization of a court-ordered adoption ruling. The Supplementary Birth Certificate replaces the original certificate issued at birth. It removes the names of parents who have relinquished their parental rights and replaces them with the child’s legally adoptive parents. It has absolutely no effect on the birth certificates of non-adopted children.
HB 201 merely allows the Supplementary Birth Certificate to reflect the court-ordered legal adoptive parents, regardless of gender. That would also include a child adopted by a grandparent and relative of the same gender (This occurs in situations where biological parents may relinquish parental rights due to issues like substance abuse or incarceration.)
HB 201 only applies to a Supplementary Birth Certificate issued on or after the effective date of the bill. It is not retroactive.
I don’t know about you, but as a fifth generation Texan, my “Texas Values” include telling the truth and working to support the health and well being of all Texas families. And yes, that literally means ALL TEXAS FAMILIES! Please support HB 201.
Watch the newscast below.