The State Department is attempting to block citizenship for the child of a same-sex couple, on a basis that would never be used against a different-sex couple. It’s discrimination, and a Federal Judge has said as much.
The U.S. State Dept. lost a federal court ruling that found it was discriminating against a legally-married same-sex couple. And now it’s appealing that ruling, hoping to block that couple’s child from being granted U.S. citizenship.
At issue: one of two twins. The twins are the biological children of Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks, who married in 2010. Andrew is an American citizen, Elad is not.
Were Andrew and Elan a different-sex couple, the State Dept. would not be trying to block granting U.S. citizenship to one of their two twin boys, Aiden and Ethan Dvash-Banks.
The Daily Beast reports “the State Department has held the Dvash-Bankses to a different standard, requiring the family to undergo DNA testing to establish that Aiden—but not Ethan—was the biological son of a U.S. citizen.”
A biological link is not necessary to confer citizenship to children of different-sex couples.
It’s discrimination, pure and simple, and a federal judge agreed.
“The basis for the State Department’s imposition of a biological requirement is its strained interpretation” of existing immigration law, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter wrote, as The Daily Beast noted.
Aaron C. Morris, executive director of Immigration Equality says previous decisions in other cases have already established precedent. That would make the State Dept.’s argument unlawful.
“This is settled law in the Ninth Circuit, which has already established that citizenship may pass from a married parent to a child regardless of whether or not they have a biological relationship,” Morris says.
“We’re outraged that the State Department is so intent on harming our family and the LGBTQ community,” Andrew and Elad said in a statement. “The fight is not over, and we will not rest until our family is treated fairly and equally. Nothing can tear us apart. The four of us are unbreakable.”
Here’s a video from Immigration Equality about the couple’s case:
Written by David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement. Photo via NCRM/Immigration Equality