EP 35 | Making Legal History with Christopher Uric Brecht-Smith
Written by Tracy Spears on June 20, 2023
Christopher Uric Brecht-Smith is a trailblazer in championing equality, and his passion for playing a bigger game has led him to make legal history… not once, but twice! Chris studied journalism at Oklahoma State University before shifting gears to pursue a juris doctorate from the University of Tulsa… and this shift would have a MASSIVE, reverberating impact for his community.
Chris now practices family, guardianship, and adoption law as a partner at McDaniel Acord in south Tulsa. In 2019, he and his husband, Michael, obtained an appeal from the Supreme Court of Oklahoma that recognizes and acknowledges the parental rights of nonbiological same-sex parents on the same basis as their biological parental counterparts. Two years later, he obtained the first nonbinary birth certificate ever issued in the State of Oklahoma.
In this episode of Shift Out Loud, Chris and I talk about his family’s reaction to his coming out, the importance of paying heed to your internal voice, and his unexpected shift into practicing groundbreaking constitutional law.
Listen now to discover:
- How he won a paradigm-shifting, landmark appeal as a new lawyer
- The unfortunate human cost of his history-making case
- A step-by-step overview of the civil rights lawsuit that led Oklahoma to issue a nonbinary birth certificate
Guest bio: Christopher Uric Brecht-Smith is an Oklahoma boy through and through. Born in Edmond, Oklahoma, Chris attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater for journalism and earned a juris doctorate from the University of Tulsa. His law practice heavily emphasizes LGBTQ+ representation. He lives in Tulsa with his husband Michael Brecht-Smith, also an attorney, and their two fur babies.
03:40 Meet Christopher Uric Brecht-Smith
10:07 Shift from journalism to law
16:01 Edmond & OSU
18:39 Coming out to family
28:18 Figuring it out & moving on
35:15 Being present & gracious
43:15 Nonbiological same-sex parental rights
51:53 Shift to diversity
55:47 Nonbinary birth certificate case
1:04:44 Equality gala
Christopher Uric Brecht-Smith