The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday ruled that gay couples have a right to be listed on a child's birth certificate.

The case involves a married lesbian couple denied the right for both to be listed on their daughter'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.

Despite being married, Heather Gartner's wife, Melissa, is not listed on their daughter's 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.”

Justices ruled 6-0 in favor of the plaintiffs, ordering that the Iowa Department of Public Health begin listing both married parents on a newborn child's birth certificate.

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.

In rejecting that argument, the court noted that the state currently keeps no records of biological parentage in cases where heterosexual couples use anonymous sperm donors.

“It is important for our laws to recognize that married lesbian couples who have children enjoy the same benefits and burdens as married opposite-sex couples who have children,” states the opinion, written by Justice David Wiggins. “By naming the nonbirthing spouse on the birth certificate of a married lesbian couple's child, the child is ensured support from that parent and the parent establishes fundamental legal rights at the moment of birth. Therefore, the only explanation for not listing the nonbirthing lesbian spouse on the birth certificate is stereotype or prejudice.”