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Pavan v. Smith

United States Supreme Court
137 S. Ct. 2075 (2017)


Terrah Pavan and Marisa Pavan (plaintiffs) were married and conceived a child through anonymous sperm donation. Terrah was the birth mother of the child. In filling out the child’s birth certificate, the Pavans listed both spouses as parents. The Arkansas Department of Health issued a birth certificate with only Terrah’s name as the parent. An Arkansas state law required that, subject to certain exceptions, when a woman is married at the time of conception or birth, the woman’s husband’s name must be listed as the father on the child’s birth certificate. The Pavans brought suit against the state (defendant), claiming that the state’s implementation of the law violated the Constitution under the holding of Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015), which granted same-sex couples the right to marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples. The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld the law. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

Dissent (Gorsuch, J.)

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