The bill, which now goes to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, would
allow parents to identify themselves as father, mother or parent
when a child is born, a nuanced change from the current birth
certificate that backers say is more reflective of growing rights
and acceptance for same-sex couples.
"This bill seems subtle but I think itís going to make a profound
impact on how people view each other," said the bill's author,
Democratic Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles.
The measure, if signed by Brown, would be the latest in a spate of
actions taken by states to recognize the rights of same-sex couples.
In March, a baby in Tennessee became the first child in that state
to have two women listed on her birth certificate, although one was
in the spot marked "father."
In Florida last year, a judge approved an adoption of a baby girl
that listed three people as parents on her birth certificate: a
lesbian couple and a gay man, who was the sperm donor for the baby
but sought a bigger role in his daughterís life.
California already allows same-sex couples to put their names on a
child's birth certificate, offering the choices of Mother/Parent and
Father/Parent, Gomez said.
The applications for the new birth certificates, which will be
available in 2016, allow both parents to choose any of the three
ways to identify themselves - as mother, father or simply as a
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"Itís a recognition that families come in different compositions
now," Gomez said.
The bill, backed by the LGBT advocacy organization Equality
California, passed the state assembly on a vote of 58 to 15. Six
members did not vote.
There were more than 15,000 same-sex couples with children in
California in 2010, according to the U.S. Census.
(Additional reporting and writing by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento;
Editing by Eric Walsh)
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