March 4, 2013

In Iowa, gay couples have been able to get legally married since 2009, when the state’s supreme court upheld a lower court ruling striking down a gay marriage ban. But the Iowa Department of Public Health has refused to grant birth certificates that list both spouses in a gay marriage as the legal parents of newborn children. That decision has left families in legal limbo, and it led to a lawsuit that has thrust the gay rights debate right back to the state’s supreme court. The couple involved in the supreme court case are Heather and Melissa Gartner. Even though they are legally married, Melissa Gartner’s name was erased from their daughter’s birth certificate.