The Supreme Court quickly weighed in Monday morning to reaffirm the legality of same-sex relationships and adoption rights, issuing a summary decision reversing the Alabama Supreme Court, which had repeatedly refused to recognize a same-sex’s couples legal adoption from a different state.
The decision was seen as a matter of legal housekeeping, addressing conflicts arising from the inconsistency of marriage/adoption laws across state lines in the aftermath of SCOTUS’ landmark Obergefell decision, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. This particular case, E.L. v. V.L., was in regards to two women who had raised three children together and then separated. To ensure continued legal protection of their family in the face of Alabama’s ban on same-sex adoption, the coupled rented a house in Georgia and secured legal adoption rights in 2007.
Upon separation, E.L., who was the biological mother, sought to have V.L.’s visitation rights suppressed. Last September, over two months after Obergefell, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in E.L.’s favor, declaring that Alabama never would have recognized Georgia’s adoption ruling.
The US Supreme Court’s decision swiftly corrected this injustice. Citing the “Full Faith and Credit Clause” of the Constitution, requiring states to respect the records/proceedings from other states, SCOTUS ruled that under this provision, Alabama had a legal obligation to recognize the decision made by a Georgia state court.
There were, thankfully, no dissenting justices on the Court’s decision.
Of additional note is that the ruling comes after a seemingly juvenile statement from the Alabama Supreme Court conceding to the Obergefell decision and marriage equality.
In a 170 page statement, the Alabama Court said that even though the Supreme Court’s Obergefell majority were “tyrants,” the Court admitted that marriage equality as a result of a Supreme Court ruling is now the law of the land in Alabama as much as the rest of the country and that they “would not start a civil war over the issue.”