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Arizona Supreme Court Mulls Parental Rights In Same-Sex Divorce

A lawyer for a gay woman getting divorced told the Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday that his client is entitled to the same rights of parenthood to a child born during the marriage as if she were a man.

Attorney Shannon Minter said, according to state law, the husband of a woman who gives birth within 10 months of a marriage is presumed to be the parent — regardless of how the child is conceived.

“I can't stress enough that we are asking for exactly the same substantive legal treatment as would apply to an opposite-sex married couple using artificial insemination to have a child,” Minter said.

He said his client, Suzan McLaughlin, should have the same parental rights to the son born in 2011 as the boy’s biological mother, which a lower court agreed with last year.

But the boy’s biological mother, Kimberly McLaughlin, is appealing that verdict. Kimberly McLaughlin’s lawyer says Arizona law does not establish any rights in artificial insemination cases —if the non-biological parent is the same sex.

When senior field correspondent Stina Sieg was 22, she moved to the desert. She hasn’t been the same since. At the time, the Northern California native had just graduated from college and was hankering for wide-open spaces. So she took a leap and wrote to nearly every newspaper in New Mexico until one offered her a job. That’s how she became the photographer for a daily paper in the small town of Silver City. And that’s when she realized how much she loved storytelling. In the years since, the beauty of having people open up and share their stories — and trust her to tell them — has never gotten old to Sieg. Before coming to KJZZ, Sieg was also a writer and photographer at newspapers in Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Moab, Utah; and the Smoky Mountains town of Waynesville, North Carolina. She always had her hand in public radio, too, including hosting Morning Edition on a fill-in basis at WNCW in North Carolina. It’s still the best music station she’s found. When she’s not reporting, chances are Sieg is running, baking, knitting or driving to some far-flung town deep in the desert — just to see what it looks like.