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Gay Parents Want Both Names on Birth Certificates
CINCINNATI (Larry Davis) -- Cincinnati once again finds itself as a battleground over gay rights.
A group of same-sex parents are filing suit, demanding that the names of both parents be allowed on the birth certificates of their children.
The couples have filed suit in cincinnati federal court asking for a temporary restraining order. Their attorney says, gay or straight, a marriage is a marriage and that's why the names of both parents should be on their child's birth certificate. As some of their children played nearby four same-sex couples, three of whom are expecting babies in June, explained why they are taking their cases to court.
In the suit, they explain how they want to be treated the same as married opposite-sex couples who have the names of both parents on birth certificates. In Ohio, in the case of same-sex couples, only the name of one parent is allowed. The couples claim the treatment is not equal and unconstitutional.
Plaintiff L.B. Rogers said, "We're having a baby boy in June, we plan on putting him in school and I don't want to be recognized as a stranger in the state of Ohio. If my wife is not available then I want to be recognized as a second mother."
The plaintiffs are being represented by attorney Al Gerhardstein, who filed suit last year on behalf of James Obergefell and John Arthur. Obergefell wanted to be listed as the surviving spouse on Arthur's death certificate. The couple married in Maryland before Arthur died from ALS a federal court ruled in the couple's favor.
Pam and Nicole Yorksmith are the parents of a three-year-old boy. Only Nicole's name is on the birth certificate.
"With me not listed on that birth certificate I cannot apply for a social security card for him, I couldn't apply for a passport for him. It's hard to enroll him in school, she has to be there. If there is a medical emergency I have to carry around a packet of paperwork," Pam Yorksmith said.
The couples filing the suit say same-sex marriages should be granted the same status as those of the opposite-sex.
"When you're looking at heterosexual couples that go through the same exact situation using artificial insemination and using a donor, they're able to get that non-bio father's name on the birth certificate. How are we any different? We're married."
Pam Yorksmith says Nicole's parents have more legal rights to her son than she does even though she went through the whole process of planning a family and raising their son. She says it's demeaning and hurtful to their family unit.
All of the gay couples filing the legal action have children born, or will be born, in Ohio. Those currently expecting will have their babies delivered in Cincinnati. The case involving same-sex spouse's names on death certificates is currently on appeal in federal court.