Here is a guide to understanding LGBT terms.
Sara Snyder, USA TODAY
A dispute in a custody battle between a same-sex couple could impact thousands of Arizona children born via artificial insemination — regardless of the sexual orientation of their parents.
The case before the Arizona Supreme Court — and numerous others making nearly identical arguments in Arizona and nationwide — is part of ongoing efforts to reinterpret Arizona laws following U.S. Supreme Court rulings granting same-sex couples the right to marry.
“Anytime the U.S. Supreme Court does something, they leave these open-ended statements and ideas and the lower courts have to fill in the blanks,” said Keith Berkshire, a Phoenix attorney representing a biological mother in one of the custody cases. “There’s this second wave of litigation.”
Broadly, the debate is whether the U.S. Supreme Court ruling two years ago legalizing marriage for same-sex couples required states to interpret all laws relating to marriage — from divorce and child custody to taxes and property ownership — in a gender-neutral way.
In some states, that has played out in legal challenges over states refusing to put both spouses on a birth certificate or to allow them to jointly adopt.
In Arizona, the conflict is over parental rights and whether the state’s so-called “paternity” statute is about a marriage certificate or biology.
There are still hundreds of statutes on the books in Arizona that mention husband and wife or define marriage as between a man and a woman,including the statute establishing parentage.
The Republican-controlled state Legislature has had no interest in changing those, despite efforts from some Democratic lawmakers.
As a result, it’s up to the courts.
And the outcome could have impacts far beyond the rights of same-sex couples.
“Any married man who is raising a…