The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a Des Moines area lesbian couple can both be listed on their child’s birth certificate.
Heather and Melissa Gartner are a married lesbian couple that was issued a birth certificate with only one name on it. Heather is calling the decision a victory.
“Immediately I started crying, it has been an emotion roller coaster, Heather says. “We were relieved.”
The decision will require the Iowa Department of Public Health provide a two-parent birth certificate for all children of married lesbian couples if one of the women gives birth to the child.
The legal team who represented the family, Lambda Legal says the ruling today will affect hundreds of children across Iowa.
“The Iowa Supreme Court said we meant what we said, equal means equal, these kids deserve just security as the kids born to married different sex couples,” Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director of Lambda Legal says.
Local couple, Rosie Hurtte and Mandy Harvey says the decision gives them reassurance.
“It does give us a sense of security that their rights will never be trampled upon,” Harvey says. “We will both be recognized as the parents and that is really important.”
Hurtte and Harvey plan to get married next year and would like to start a family of their own.
“We are really proud of being in Iowa where our rights are being recognized more,” Harvey says.
The couple says a birth certificate will allow them to have all the same rights as any other married couple. But they say they plan to provide what that paper can’t.
“We will give our child security, love and hopefully everything they need,” Harvey explains.