The U.S. State Department on Monday withdrew its appeal in Kiviti v. Pompeo and elected not to appeal Mize-Gregg v. Pompeo. In both cases, the State Dept. challenged the citizenship of children born abroad to married gay, U.S. citizen couples.
Lambda Legal reports: “In Kiviti v. Pompeo, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland held that Kessem Kiviti, the daughter of same-sex married couple Roee and Adiel Kiviti, had been a U.S. citizen since birth. In the lower court’s June 17, 2020 decision, the court held that for the children of married parents, the law required no biological connection to a parent in order for the child to be born a citizen. The court also expressed concern that treating the marital children of same-sex couples as if they were born out of wedlock raised serious constitutional issues. With the withdraw of the appeal, the district court decision is now final.”
“In a similar case, the State Department on Monday elected not to appeal Mize-Gregg v. Pompeo,” Lambda Legal adds. “As such, the August 27, 2020 decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia will also stand. In Mize-Gregg, Simone Mize-Gregg, daughter of Derek and Jonathan Mize-Gregg, was declared to be a U.S. citizen from birth after the court found the U.S. Department of State’s policy raised serious constitutional questions.”
Said Rose Kiviti: “We are very relieved, on behalf of our daughter, on behalf of our family, and on behalf of LGBT families across this great country of ours. The law was always clear. We knew it, the courts knew it, and now the State Department knows it, too.”
Said Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg: “We are extremely grateful that this fight is over and won. All we ever wanted was for Simone to be treated fairly. This process has reaffirmed for us that standing up for equal treatment is always right, no matter how difficult it is or long it may take.”
The two families were represented by Aaron C. Morris for Immigration Equality; Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Karen Loewy, and Tara Borelli for Lambda Legal; and lawyers from the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.