Nebraska judge: Birth certificates can’t name 2 mothers

Sep 15, 2022, 10:14 PM | Updated: Sep 16, 2022, 11:10 am
Erin Porterfield, back left, and Kristin Williams, back right, along with their children, Cameron P...

Erin Porterfield, back left, and Kristin Williams, back right, along with their children, Cameron Porter Williams, 16, front left, and Kadin Porter Williams, 18, pose for a photograph at Omaha family law firm Koenig | Dunne in Omaha, Nebraska, on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021 in Omaha, Neb. A Nebraska judge has rejected a lawsuit filed by the two Omaha women who sought to have both their names listed as parents on their children's birth certificates. (Photo by Rebecca S. Gratz for ACLU of Nebraska via AP).

(Photo by Rebecca S. Gratz for ACLU of Nebraska via AP)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska judge has rejected a lawsuit filed by two Omaha women who sought to have both their names listed as parents on their children’s birth certificates, saying the request conflicts with state law.

Lancaster County District Judge Ryan Post said in his ruling last month dismissing the lawsuit that state law requires birth certificates to acknowledge paternity. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services policy also requires that parents listed on birth certificates be the biological parents of the child, he said.

The Nebraska chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state last year on behalf of Erin Porterfield and Kristin Williams. They said the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services repeatedly denied their request to amend one son’s birth certificate in their effort to get full legal recognition as parents of both their sons — one born to each woman conceived through a sperm donor.

Porterfield and Williams were in a romantic partnership from 2000 to 2013 — two years before same-sex marriage was legalized in Nebraska. Porterfield gave birth to their first son in 2002, and Williams gave birth to their second son in 2005 before their romantic relationship ended in 2013. But both women continue to share parenting duties.

In their lawsuit, the women said that state officials treat unmarried, same-sex couples differently than unmarried, opposite-sex couples, violating their due process and equal protection rights.

The women argued in their lawsuit that listing them both is critical because it could affect their children’s eligibility for government benefits, should something happen to one of them. They also accused the state of sexual discrimination because it allows men to voluntarily acknowledge that they are parents to get onto a birth certificate, but doesn’t allow women to do so.

“Our sons are our entire world and we want to make sure we’re doing right by them,” Porterfield said when the lawsuit was filed. “Our boys have a right to the security of having both parents on their birth certificates, a required document in so many life changes and decisions. That’s why this matters to us.”

But Judge Post said the women failed to identify “a single court that has adopted their constitutional arguments.”

“The court certainly understands why plaintiffs seek a policy change,” Post wrote. “But that policy decision is for the Legislature, not this court.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Lesotho polls to elect leader to tackle unemployment, crime

MASERU, Lesotho (AP) — Voters across the picturesque mountain kingdom of Lesotho are heading to the polls Friday to elect a leader to find solutions to high unemployment and crime. The southern African country of 2.1 million people has more than 60 registered political parties but the election is expected to be a three-way contest. […]
1 day ago
FILE - A logo of Toyota Motor Corp. at a dealer Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Tokyo. Toyota said Thur...
Associated Press

Japan’s Toyota finds wheel, airbag fixes for recalled EVs

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s top automaker Toyota said Thursday that it has identified how to fix its 2023 model year bZ4X crossover electric vehicles after recalling 2,700 of them in June out of concern wheel bolts might become loose, risking a crash. The fix will enable Toyota Motor Corp. to resume making and selling the […]
1 day ago
FILE - Loretta Lynn performs at the BBC Music Showcase during South By Southwest on March 17, 2016,...
Associated Press

Loretta Lynn’s songs resonate anew amid abortion debate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Loretta Lynn, the Grammy-winning country music icon who died Tuesday at 90, lived through — and sang about — decades of advancements for women’s social movements, achievements now endangered. A mother multiple times over by the end of her teens, she gave voice to those who had historically had little control […]
1 day ago
Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari smiles during an interview with the Associated Pr...
Associated Press

Pakistani FM says water receded 50% in flood-ravaged Sindh

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s foreign minister on Thursday said that about 50% of the water has receded in the country’s worst-hit southern Sindh province, raising hopes that farmers will be able to sow wheat in a first step toward returning to a normal life. “We are utilizing all of our resources for draining the remaining […]
1 day ago
Pope Francis on a wheelchair attends his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at The Vatic...
Associated Press

Pope Bahrain trip blends Muslim outreach, Catholic ministry

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Bahrain blends three of his top priorities as pope: Ministering to a tiny Catholic community, promoting dialogue with the Muslim world and fostering relations with other Christian communities, according to details released Thursday by the Vatican. The Nov. 3-6 visit will mark Francis’ second trip to the […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Official: Germans using too much gas to avoid energy crisis

BERLIN (AP) — Germans are using too much gas to avoid a potential energy “emergency” this winter, the head of Germany’s national network regulator warned Thursday. “Gas consumption increased by too much last week,” said Klaus Mueller, head of Germany’s network agency. With the reduction in natural gas flows from Russia amid the war in […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Nebraska judge: Birth certificates can’t name 2 mothers