Bill adds 'parent' box to birth certificates

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The California Legislature has approved a bill that will modify birth certificates to accommodate same-sex couples who become parents.

AB1951 by Democratic Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles passed the Senate Thursday on a 26-4 vote, but not before generating criticism from a Republican senator.

Under the bill, birth certificates in California will have three check boxes for parents starting in January 2016: mother, father and parent.

Republican Sen. Jim Nielsen of Gerber voted against it, saying the change "removes the dignity of the term husband and wife, mother and father."

In response, Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco says there is nothing offensive in the legislation and that it seeks to treat all couples equally.

AB1951 will return to the Assembly for a final vote on technical amendments before going to the governor.

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