California bill would let birth certificates reflect same-sex parents

Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:07pm EDT

Jason Howe, 48, and Adrian Perez (L), 48, who were married in Spain, and again in California, hold their one-year-old twin daughters Clara (R) and Olivia at a playground in West Hollywood, California after the United States Supreme court ruled on California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, June 26, 2013.   REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Jason Howe, 48, and Adrian Perez (L), 48, who were married in Spain, and again in California, hold their one-year-old twin daughters Clara (R) and Olivia at a playground in West Hollywood, California after the United States Supreme court ruled on California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, June 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

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(Reuters) - Birth certificates in California would be changed to more accurately reflect families in which parents are of the same gender under a bill passed by the legislature on Wednesday.

The bill, which now goes to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, would allow parents to identify themselves as father, mother or parent when a child is born, a nuanced change from the current birth certificate that backers say is more reflective of growing rights and acceptance for same-sex couples.

"This bill seems subtle but I think it’s going to make a profound impact on how people view each other," said the bill's author, Democratic Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles.

The measure, if signed by Brown, would be the latest in a spate of actions taken by states to recognize the rights of same-sex couples.

In March, a baby in Tennessee became the first child in that state to have two women listed on her birth certificate, although one was in the spot marked "father."

In Florida last year, a judge approved an adoption of a baby girl that listed three people as parents on her birth certificate: a lesbian couple and a gay man, who was the sperm donor for the baby but sought a bigger role in his daughter’s life.

California already allows same-sex couples to put their names on a child's birth certificate, offering the choices of Mother/Parent and Father/Parent, Gomez said.

The applications for the new birth certificates, which will be available in 2016, allow both parents to choose any of the three ways to identify themselves - as mother, father or simply as a parent.

"It’s a recognition that families come in different compositions now," Gomez said.

The bill, backed by the LGBT advocacy organization Equality California, passed the state assembly on a vote of 58 to 15. Six members did not vote.

There were more than 15,000 same-sex couples with children in California in 2010, according to the U.S. Census.

(Additional reporting and writing by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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Comments (18)
aacme wrote:
Sorry. I am as lefty as they come, but this bill defies biology. It may not take two sexes to get married, but it still takes two sexes to have a baby. To deny that is BS, unfair to the child and the left out parent, and a simple denial of reality. Has that really become necessary. I hope Brown vetoes it.

Aug 20, 2014 10:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
b93950 wrote:
Let us get realistic here, as the same sex parents cannot be maternal parents as one would be an adoptive parent.

Aug 21, 2014 2:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Brown and his crownies in Kalifornia have gone off the deep end. Anxiously awaiting for the day the state falls into the ocean.

Aug 21, 2014 7:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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