Same-sex couple petitions Iowa Supreme Court
A married same-sex Iowa couple has petitioned the state supreme court to hear their arguments that both of their names should be on their baby’s birth certificate.
Heather and Melissa Gartner say the Iowa Department of Health refused to allow Melissa to be listed on their daughter’s birth certificate because she is not the child’s biological parent.
The outcome of that case could affect a same-sex couple from Davenport who have filed a different petition asking that both of their names be included in the death certificate for their stillborn son.
Jenny and Jessica Buntemeyer filed a lawsuit after they discovered Jenny’s name was missing from the death certificate of their son, Brayden, after the baby was stillborn in October 2011. The couple claims both of their names were on the death certificate when it was filed with the Iowa Department of Public Health.
In an answer filed in April 2012, the IDPH denied deleting Jenny’s name but confirms it issued the death certificate bearing only Jessica’s name as the baby’s parent.
The Buntemeyers are asking for a corrected death certificate for baby Brayden that includes both parents’ names.
Lambda Legal, which represents the Gartners, says a proof brief and request for oral argument was filed with the Iowa Supreme Court Monday, May 21, 2012.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa submitted an amicus brief in support of the Gartners, saying the IDPH refusal to include Melissa was “based on a literal reading of an Iowa statute that was adopted decades ago, before same-sex marriage was recognized in Iowa.”