Federal Judge rules Wisconsin lesbian couple discriminated against on birth certificate


When same-sex marriage became legal in Wisconsin in 2014, officials didn’t work quickly enough to make documents more inclusive. According to a ruling made Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, officials were “dragging their feet” on making forms more inclusive for same-sex couples.

A lesbian couple was discriminated against by the state by refusing to list both mothers on the birth certificate of their child who was conceived through artificial insemination and born in 2015.

The Huffington Post reports:

A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Wisconsin officials discriminated against a married lesbian couple by refusing to list the name of the non-biological mother on their child’s birth certificate.

The couple, Chelsea Torres and Jessamy Torres, had married in New York in 2013 and conceived through artificial insemination in 2014 ― the same year same-sex marriage became legal in Wisconsin.

But when their son was born in 2015, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services denied them a birth certificate listing both of their names ― as the birth mother, only Chelsea was listed in the document.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb said on Wednesday that this practice ― which Wisconsin enforced by law against same-sex couples but not different-sex couples ― is unconstitutional, and ordered the state to read its artificial insemination rules in “gender-neutral terms.”

“Same-sex marriage has been legal in Wisconsin since 2014, so there is little excuse for the department to be dragging its feet so long,” wrote Crabb in her ruling, which also warned the state it could be subject to future liability if it doesn’t amend its forms and procedures to avoid future discrimination.

At the time the mothers applied for a birth certificate, the state form used the words “father” or “husband” for all references to the second parent. The couple filled out the form anyway, but the hospital didn’t input Jessamy’s name into the state records system ― resulting in a birth certificate that listed Chelsea as the sole parent.

For more on this story, visit Huffington Post.