NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER: Same-sex couple in Georgia fights the State Department for failing to recognize the citizenship of their daughter.
Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg's daughter, Simone Mize-Gregg, was born via surrogacy in England in 2018. After applying for a U.S. social security number for Simone, the couple was told they needed additional evidence of her U.S. citizenship. According to a press release from Lambda Legal, which is representing the Georgia couple in a lawsuit against the State Department, because "only one of Simone's fathers has a biological connection to her, the State Department is disregarding Jonathan and Derek's marriage and is treating Simone as though she was born out of wedlock."
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, children of married U.S. citizens born abroad are American citizens from birth as long as one of their parents has lived in the United States at some point-but the State Department routinely denies that right to same-sex couples and their children, according to Lambda Legal.
After returning to London only to have their requests for help denied there, the U.S. government told them it did not recognize Mize as a father and treated the couple's marriage as invalid, according to their suit.
"The State Department's policy is not only cruel, it is unconstitutional. The government refuses to recognize Jonathan and Derek's marriage and all of Simone's rights as a U.S. citizen," said Aaron C. Morris, executive director of Immigration Equality, who is also working on the case. "The fight for marriage equality is not over, and we will not stand down until the State Department changes its unlawful policy."
Caption: Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg with their adorable daughter Simone Mize-Gregg. Their case proves that the fight for marriage equality isn't actually over for parents.
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|Title Annotation:||FAMILY: EQUALITY|
|Publication:||The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2019|
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