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Assembly Bill Seeks to Modernize Birth Certificates

birth certificates
The Los Angeles City Council will vote on whether to support AB 1951, which, if made into law, would alter birth certificates to accommodate same-sex couples in the “parents” section. (Thinkstock)

A proposed law could soon alter birth certificates in California to reflect a person’s parents are of the same gender. The bill could also be gaining the support of the Los Angeles City Council, courtesy of a resolution introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz.

Assembly Bill 1951 (AB 1951), introduced by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, proposes to modify all birth certificates issued within the State to include a “gender-neutral ‘parent’ option,” according to Koretz’s resolution.

An option would still exist for the parents to be identified as “mother” and “father,” the resolution added about AB 1951.

“Under existing law, birth certificates currently limit the choice of parent to birth mother and father which forces some same-sex parents to inaccurately place a partner’s name in the “father” and “mother” field,” Koretz’s resolution stated. “The passage of AB 1951 … will protect children by accurately reflecting the identity of each of his or her parents and ensure that parents have the ability to make decisions on their child’s education, healthcare, and other critical needs.”

Koretz’s resolution added AB 1951 “is consistent with existing City policies and practices to provide recognition and protection to same-sex couples and their families.”

Los Angeles’ council members will be voting on the resolution and whether to extend its support to AB 1951 at their April 29 meeting in City Hall.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell co-sponsored the resolution.

The resolution cited 2010 Census statistics indicating there are almost 600,000 same-sex couple households within California, with children living in an estimated 115,000 of those households.

“The establishment of marriage equality in’ California has created a great need to modernize birth certificates to accurately reflect all families in the state,” Koretz’s resolution added.

Koretz represents Council District 5, which includes a significant chunk of Westside communities such as Bel Air, Century City, Cheviot Hills, and Westwood.

In Sacramento, Gomez represents several communities surrounding Downtown Los Angeles, including Chinatown, Eagle Rock, East Los Angeles, Echo Park, Highland Park, and Silver Lake.

AB 1951 is reportedly sponsored by Equality California.

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