(UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to overturn an Arizona Supreme Court ruling that says gay couples are entitled to the same parenting rights as heterosexuals when they get divorced.
The case was previously ruled by the Arizona Supreme Court, which said the custody battle between Suzan McLaughlin and Kimberly McLaughlin would be treated like any other family law case. After that ruling, Kimberly McLaughlin appealed.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to review the case means that the child custody battle between the McLaughlins will be treated like any other family law case. The couple conceived the child through artificial insemination while they were married.
In 2008, shortly after the two women married in California, Suzan McLaughlin began artificial insemination with an anonymous sperm donor. After that procedure proved unsuccessful, Kimberly McLaughlin began the process and became pregnant in 2010.
When the couple moved to Arizona, they signed a co-parenting agreement that gave both equal rights, responsibilities and obligations of the child.
Before the child’s second birthday, marital problems led to Kimberly McLaughlin moving out of the home, taking the child and cutting off all contact with her spouse while petitioning for a divorce, according to a court document.
Arizona’s presumption of paternity law, which has never been applied to a same-sex couple, states a man is presumed to be the father of a child if he and child’s mother “were married at any time in the ten months immediately preceding the birth.”
The case will now go to Arizona family courts for custody arguments.
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