Tennessee courts reverse 'ludicrous' ban on words 'mother,' 'father' in parenting forms

A message printed on a placard carried by a protester carries the words “mother” and “father” during a rally against same-sex marriage in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington D.C.Reuters

Can you imagine accomplishing parenting forms not by filling out spaces for "mother" and "father," but with identifiers like "Parent 1" and "Parent 2"?

Tennessee briefly turned this unimaginable idea into reality on Tuesday but quickly reversed on the same day a controversial decision requiring gender-neutral terms on court documents.

Following the Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriages across the United States, the Tennessee Office of Courts revised its documents, replacing the terms "Mother" and "Father" into "Parent 1" and "Parent 2" on Tuesday morning.

The court's spokesman did provide an explanation for the move, but it is apparently to accommodate homosexual couples.

Kendra Armstrong, a family law attorney in Memphis, deplored the court's move.

"Why are heterosexual parents having their rights violated? So now it's improper and inappropriate in a court of law to refer to a parent as a mother and a father?" Armstrong said.

She also pointed out that the labels "Parent 1" and "Parent 2" are more offensive, because they imply a certain kind of ranking.

"It's absolutely ludicrous to make the term mother and father obsolete... "This is political correctness gone absolutely amuck," Armstrong said.

After receiving criticism like Armstrong's, the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) announced later on Tuesday that they were reversing this policy, thus making the words "father" and "mother" permissible again.

"After receiving feedback regarding a recent change made to the permanent parenting plan form, the AOC has reviewed the procedures and determined that, before making any changes to the form, the AOC should consult with the Domestic Committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference. We have reverted to the previous form and the Committee has been notified," the AOC explained in a statement.

This announcement comes as good news to heterosexual family advocates like Tennesseee Rep. Dan Howell, saying the redefinition of marriage in his state has been prevented.

"I was dumbfounded. I thought: 'how could this happen in a state that has voted by more than 80 percent to define marriage as between one man and one woman'?" Howell said.