The first gay couple to be issued a
marriage license in Florida has filed a lawsuit seeking to list both
parents on birth certificates.
Cathy Pareto and Karla Arguello of
Miami were the first same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license
after a federal judge struck down Florida's ban on gay marriage.
The women joined two other married gay
couples on Thursday in suing Florida over the Bureau of Vital
Statistics' policy prohibiting hospitals from listing both parents on
Pareto and Arguello had twins on August
“Karla and I made the decision to
expand our family together,” Pareto told the
AP. “We went through the whole fertility process together.
The whole thing has been a unified front as a married couple. To
then be told I couldn't be on my own children's birth certificate?
It was degrading.”
“The state's refusal to recognize
that [my children] have two parents and to list both of us on the
birth certificate is demeaning and hurtful,” said Arguello. “My
children have two parents, and we should both be listed on their
The other couples involved in the
lawsuit are Debbie and Kari Chin of St. Petersburg and Yadira Arenas
and Alma Vezquez of Winter Haven.
Arenas and Vezquez married in New York
in 2013. When Vezquez gave birth to the couple's first child in
March, they were not allowed to list Arenas on the birth certificate
as a parent, and Vequez was told that she had to be listed as
“single” on the form.
Plaintiffs are being represented by the
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Florida attorneys Mary
Meeks and Elizabeth Schwartz.
Without being listed on a child's birth
certificate, parents cannot sign up for daycare, enroll in government
programs and make medical decisions, said NCLR.