Des Moines Register: ACLU files friend-of-court brief in birth certificate case

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May 23, 2012

The Des Moines Register reports on Gartner v. Newtonour lawsuit on behalf of MacKenzie Gartner and her married parents, Heather and Melissa. The lawsuit is challenging the state of Iowa's refusal to issue an accurate birth certificate to MacKenzie that lists both of her mothers as parents. In January, the Iowa District Cour for Polk County ordered the Iowa Department of Public Health to issue an accurate birth certificate, but the state has appealed.

The article reports:

Iowa’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday joined three other organizations who have filed friend-of-the-court briefs weighing in on whether same-sex spouses should be entitled to equal recognition on their children’s birth certificates.

...A 79-page brief that also was filed Tuesday by Lamda Legal, an advocacy organization that is representing the Gartners, cites a long list of reasons why it’s discriminatory to follow a different rule for same-sex couples. For instance, “if a couple does not have the benefit of the spousal presumption of parentage, the non-biological parent may not be able to make medical decisions if the birth mother is incapacitated during childbirth, and the child needs care. Additionally… it is discriminatory to require a lesbian non-biological parent to adopt her own child – the child she jointly planned and saved for and achieved with her spouse using reproductive technology — when a different-sex spouse using the same technology need not.”

Read the article in the Des Moines Register

Read more about the case, Gartner v. Newton

Read more about Varnum v. Brien, our landmark victory securing marriage equality in Iowa