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Married N.Y. same-sex couples get new right

SHARE Married N.Y. same-sex couples get new right

NEW YORK (AP) — State officials will now let married same-sex couples list both their names on their children's birth certificates in a policy shift deeply important to many gays and lesbians.

The decision, which echoes similar provisions in states that allow gay marriages or civil unions, is one of many changes since Gov. David Paterson ordered state agencies in May to respect out-of-state gay marriages.

The state Health Department said Friday it had agreed to the change, which came after a lesbian couple who are expecting a baby filed a lawsuit. The change would apply statewide except in New York City, which is considering revamping its own birth certificate forms to accommodate same-sex couples.

Under state law, a woman's husband is automatically deemed a parent of a child the pair conceives through artificial insemination, whether or not he is the genetic father. Gay couples have complained about having to jump through legal hoops to secure equivalent parental rights.