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IA Judge Orders Change In Death Certificate Policy

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP)—A Polk County judge has ordered the state to change the way it handles child death certificates for same-sex parents.

The Des Moines Register reports that District Judge Robert Hutchison issued the ruling on Friday. The ruling came in a lawsuit brought a same-sex couple suing state health officials for omitting the name of one parent on the death certificate for their child.

The judge found that “a mother’s wife is identical to a mother’s husband in every common and ordinary sense except for biology.” He also said the Iowa Department of Public Health’s policy of refusing to register a mother’s wife on a death certificate violates the state’s equal-protection laws.

The gay rights group Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit on behalf of Jenny and Jessica Buntemeyer of Davenport.

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