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Gay couples sue Florida over names on birth certificates

August 13, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) — The first couple to be issued a same-sex marriage license in Florida sued the state Thursday, saying that the statistics bureau still won’t allow hospitals to list both same-sex parents on birth certificates.

Cathy Pareto and Karla Arguello of Miami, who had twins last week, filed the lawsuit in court in Tallahassee, Florida. Two other married, same-sex couples also are part of the lawsuit.

In the hours after giving birth, Pareto said she and her wife were told by the hospital records manager that both of their names couldn’t be on the birth certificate.

“We went through the whole fertility process together,” Pareto said. “The whole thing has been a unified front as a married couple. To then be told I couldn’t be on my own children’s birth certificate? It was degrading.”

Pareto and Aruguello were the first same-sex couple to legally wed in the state.

Nadine Smith of Equality Florida, an LGBT advocacy group, called the inability to put both names of a couple on a baby’s certificate “wrong and mean-spirited” and said that most other states have already done it.

“Florida’s going to waste time, waste money and leave parents who should be celebrating the birth of their child in uncertainty because both parents aren’t included on the birth certificate,” Smith said.

The state Department of Health says it does not generally comment on pending litigation.

Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage ended in January. The U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the country in June.


Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamaralush

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