Thursday, August 13, 2015

Florida Denies Birth Certificates

Cathy Pareto & Karla Arguello the first lesbian couple to be married in Florida celebrated the birth of their twin son & daughter but the couple’s joy was soon mixed with fear & frustration when the hospital denied Cathy the right to add her name to the children’s birth certificates. Almost a year since Florida’s marriage ban was declared unconstitutional the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics is still refusing to allow hospitals to list both same gender parents on their baby’s birth certificate. Today Cathy& Karla who were lead plaintiffs in Florida’s marriage lawsuit are joining two other married lesbian couples in a federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s refusal to issue them accurate birth certificates listing both spouses as parents of their children. Equality Florida, the largest organization representing lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender Floridians is also a plaintiff in the case. Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida stated, “Attorney General Pam Bondi could have avoided yet another costly lawsuit by directing all state agencies to simply comply with the law. Instead she turned her back on repeated requests to take action. Birth certificates are the first official document that represent a new born baby's family. Having an inaccurate birth certificate hinders parents’ ability to take care of their child & access important legal benefits and protections. Denying our families this is not only spiteful & harmful, it is illegal.” The other couples in the lawsuit are Debbie & Kari Chin of St. Petersburg & Yadira Arenas & Alma Vezquez of Winter Haven. The plaintiffs are represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) & Florida attorneys Mary Meeks and Elizabeth Schwartz.
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Anonymous Marilyn Rosen said...

For such a bright sunny state, it's very very dark in its blatant continuing discriminatory policies.

August 13, 2015 at 2:11 PM  

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