A same-sex couple in Maryland has filed a lawsuit against the US State Department with the help of LAMBDA Legal, Immigration Equality, and a pro bono counsel. The State Department is claiming that the couple’s child is not a US citizen. Both fathers, Roee and Adiel Kiviti, are US Citizens. According to a press release sent out earlier today by LAMBDA and Immigration Equality,
Because only Adiel has a biological connection to Kessem, the State Department is disregarding Roee and Adiel’s marriage and treating Kessem as “born out of wedlock,” meaning she must have a biological relationship to a U.S. citizen parent who has resided in the U.S. for five years.
According to LAMBDA Legal, and Immigration Equality:The Immigration and Nationality Act states that children of married U.S. citizens born abroad are U.S. citizens from birth so long as one of their parents has resided in the U.S. at some point, but the State Department routinely denies that right to same-sex couples and their children. While different-sex couples are automatically presumed to both be parents of their children, same-sex couples are subjected to invasive questioning about how they brought their child into their family.
So, this is a clear hurdle for same-sex couples that heterosexual couples don’t have to deal with. Claiming the daughter was born out of wedlock, when there are clearly two committed, loving parents, is an obvious blow to LGBT people, and yet another example of the current administration using their hate and prejudice to directly hurt the lives of US citizens.If you’d like to get involved, both Lambda Legal and Immigration Equality have ‘Get Involved’ sections on their websites, which you can access here: LAMBDA LEGAL IMMIGRATION EQUALITY911