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Rumor questions Obama's birth certificate

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Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama campaigns at Oceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida on October 29, 2008. (UPI Photo/Michael Bush) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/cd5db91287c1af6f56c6f996d77a69ef/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama campaigns at Oceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida on October 29, 2008. (UPI Photo/Michael Bush) | License Photo

HONOLULU, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A rumor kept alive by opponents of Barack Obama has raised questions about the authenticity of the Democratic presidential candidate's birth certificate.

A conservative Web site suggested -- but offered no evidence -- that Obama may have been born beyond of U.S. borders and isn't a "natural born citizen," a presidency requirement, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

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The Obama campaign released an electronic copy of the certificate bearing the seal of the state's Department of Health and showing Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, to Stanley Ann Dunham in Honolulu.

When a person is born outside the United States, courts have ruled any child born to at least one U.S. citizen is a U.S. citizen, said University of California Los Angeles law professor Eugene Volokh. If this becomes an issue in a post-election eligibility challenge, the argument would be the legal definition in 1961 of how parents could be called U.S. citizens, Volokh said.

Hawaii Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo told the Tribune state privacy laws and attorney general guidance barred her from confirming the certificate's authenticity.

But, "It looks exactly the same as my own birth certificate," Okubo said.

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Republican candidate John McCain faced, and overcame, similar questions because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone while his father was stationed there in the U.S. Navy.

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