Iowa judge orders change in death certification policy

Published On: Dec 18 2012 06:45:22 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 18 2012 06:45:00 AM CST
Gay marriage, same-sex marriage
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.