A federal judge has ordered the State Department to issue a U. S. passport to the daughter of a married gay couple whom the Trump administration had argued in court was ineligible for birthright citizenship.
Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg are both U. S. citizens. Their daughter, Simone, was born in July 2018 via a gestational surrogate in the United Kingdom using one father’s sperm and an anonymously donated egg.
As has recently been the case for other children of same-sex couples where one biological parent was not a U. S. citizen, the State Department denied Simone’s passport application, arguing that she was, like children born out of wedlock, not eligible for automatic birthright citizenship and subject to additional steps for naturalization.
The fathers first filed suit in July 2019, arguing that denying Simone birthright citizenship and a passport violated the law and their constitutional rights. They asked that a federal court declare their child a citizen and order the State Department to issue her a passport. On Thursday, U. S. District Judge Michael L. Brown issued a summary judgment declaring that Simone Mize-Gregg has been a U. S. citizen since birth and ordered the U. S. State Department to issue her a passport.
“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, ” Derek Mize said in a statement, describing the family's journey as “complete” having received a judgment that Simone has been a citizen at birth.
Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, who worked on the case, said in a press released that the group is “very pleased the court found that the agency’s policy was irreconcilable with the law and our Constitution’s guarantee to equality because it treated the children of married, same-sex parents differently from the children of other married parents. ”
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