The Iowa Supreme Court is considering a legal challenge brought by a married lesbian couple denied the right for both to be listed on their child's birth certificate.

In a landmark 2009 decision, the state's highest court unanimously struck down the state's law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

However, the Iowa Department of Public Health has refused to issue birth certificates listing married spouses of the same gender as the legal parents of newborn children.

Heather and Melissa Gartner are one such couple. Despite being married, only Heather Gartner, their daughter's biological mother, is listed on the birth certificate.

“When you have somebody tell you that your marriage is not equal to your counterparts, because of who you're married to, you can't be a parent to this child – it's very hurtful,” Melissa Gartner told CNN Radio. “I mean, honestly, when the first birth certificate came, it felt like someone had smacked you.”

In presenting its case in December to the Iowa Supreme Court, the Department of Public Health argued that it is required by law to provide an accurate birth certificate that records a child's biological parents.

“Every state that has addressed this issue has allowed both parents to be put on the birth certificate,” said Angela Onwuachi-Willig, professor of law at the University of Iowa. “We have no reason to believe that there's any marriage equality state that is doing anything like what the Iowa Department of Public Health is doing.”

A lower court ruled in favor of the Gartners.