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Indiana AG Files Opening Brief In Same-Sex Birth Certificate Case

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill filed the state's opening brief, appealing a federal judge's order that the state list both spouses in lesbian marriages as parents on their children's birth certificates.

In June, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled in favor of eight lesbian couples who sued the state and some county health departments. They are challenging a state law that means only the birth mother and father are listed on birth certificates.

Hill writes in the brief the ruling contradicts Indiana's laws regarding legal parentage.

"Under Indiana law, legal parentage is derived from one of two sources: a biological relationship to a child or the legal adoption of a child," Hill says in a statement. "In this particular case, the federal district court suggests there is a third source – a marital relationship with a legal parent. The fundamental problem with this decision is that Indiana statutes do not in fact bestow parental rights based on the mere fact of a marital relationship. This is true for both opposite- and same-sex couples."

An attorney for the couples, Karen Celestino-Horseman, previously said she believes U.S. Supreme Court rulings give same-sex couples the same protections as heterosexual couples.

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