A federal judge in Georgia this week ordered the Trump administration to recognize the citizenship of the British-born daughter of a married gay U.S. couple.
Immigration Equality reports: “The U.S. State Department had refused to recognize Simone as a U.S. citizen, even though both of her parents, Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg, are U.S. citizens and children born abroad to heterosexual married U.S. citizens are automatically considered U.S. citizens themselves. The lawsuit, filed in 2019 by Immigration Equality and Lambda Legal, sought to challenge the U.S. State Department’s policy that treats the children of same-sex married couples born abroad as ‘born out of wedlock,’ denying that they are citizens since birth in clear violation of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.”
“The State Department insisted on treating baby Simone as an immigrant because she was born abroad and is not related biologically to both parents, even though the Immigration and Nationality Act confers citizenship to the children of married U.S. citizen couples automatically,” added Immigration Equality. “Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg are a same-sex couple who married in New York in 2015. They had their daughter Simone via surrogacy in England in 2018, and both fathers are listed on her birth certificate. When they applied for recognition of her U.S. citizenship, the U.S. consulate in London rejected their application. Because only one of Simone’s fathers has a biological connection to her, the State Department disregarded Jonathan and Derek’s marriage and treated Simone as though she was born out of wedlock, a classification which requires more stringent requirements for recognition of her citizenship.”
Said Mize: “We are so relieved that the court has recognized our daughter, Simone, as the U.S. citizen she has been since the day she was born. When we brought Simone into this world, as married, same-sex parents, we never anticipated our own government would disrespect our family and refuse to recognize our daughter as a U.S. citizen. As a result of the State Department’s discriminatory actions, we have undertaken a long journey to have our daughter recognized as a U.S. citizen. But today, that journey is complete, and we are overcome with gratitude, for our lawyers and for the Court, for recognizing us as a family that is simply trying to give our daughter the best possible start, which all children deserve.”
Read the full report at Immigration Equality.