Wednesday, May 31, 2017
IFI Staff
Indiana's Federal Judges Warring Over Biology

The past ten days in the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals – which includes Indiana – have been quite tumultuous. In two separate cases, two different panels of 7th Circuit Court judges have weighed in on what used to be a relatively settled matter: biology.

The difference in worldview is on very clear display.


The first case deals predominantly with the appeal of same-sex couples to be listed as parents on birth certificates in Indiana. Currently, the State of Indiana requires that the actual biological parents of a child are listed as such on a birth certificate, which disqualifies two men or two women from being listed as the parents due to biological realities.


“You can’t overcome biology,” Judge Diane Sykes said during oral arguments. “If the state defines parenthood by virtue of biology, no argument under the Equal Protection Clause or the substantive due process clause can overcome that."


When lawyers responded that parenthood was no longer defined by biology, Judge Sykes responded again. “That's a policy argument to take to the legislature," she said.


While the court hasn’t yet ruled in this case, and may not issue a ruling at all, the standard that it has used so far to deliberate in the case is brilliant: states have the authority to keep records as they see fit, and activism should not be able to influence the rule of law.


The panel in the second case, led by Clinton-appointed Judge Ann Claire Williams, however, recorded a significantly different approach to biology when it issued a ruling on Tuesday allowing a biologically female student into male facilities at school, such as locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms. Consequentially, the court likely set a precedent for the opposite as well – it will no longer be possible for schools to keep males out of the female locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms, so long as they claim to identify as female.


These cases have a direct impact on the Hoosier State. We must continue to stand together to ensure that biology isn’t relegated to the dustbin of misguided activism.


Biology isn’t bigotry – it’s an important cornerstone of a strong society. Will you stand with IFI as we work on your behalf to put common sense back into the policy realm? Your contribution will be put to work immediately to make sure Hoosiers are on the same page when it comes to these issues.

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