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Federal Court Victory For Gay Family

By Charlotte Robinson, June 18, 2020
A federal court in Maryland has ordered the U.S. State Department to recognize the U.S. citizenship & issue a U.S. passport to one year old Kessem Kiviti who was born abroad to a gay married couple & was refused recognition as a U.S. citizen from the moment of her birth by the Trump Administration who ignored federal law giving her that right. The State Department insisted on treating Kessem as an immigrant because she was born abroad & is not related biologically to both parents. Kessem’s parents, Roee & Adiel Kiviti stated, “We are tremendously relieved that the court recognized what we always knew: that our daughter was a U.S. citizen by birth. We are proud we taught our little girl to stand up for what’s right even before she could crawl. No child should be denied her rights because her parents are LGBT & no family should have to endure the indignity we did.” Lambda Legal, Immigration Equality & pro bono counsel Morgan Lewis brought the lawsuit on behalf of the Kivitis. Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Senior Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal & one of the lawyers of the family added, “The law provides for the recognition of citizenship to the children born abroad of married couples who are U.S. citizens. This provision applies equally to all couples regardless of whether the parents have a biological relationship with their children. It was callous & discriminatory for the State Department to refuse to recognize baby Kessem as the U.S. citizen she is. Today’s victory shows how unlawful the Department of State’s actions really were.” Aaron C. Morris, Executive Director of Immigration Equality concluded, “This is a huge victory for the Kiviti family…We will continue to fight this battle until the State Department ends its discriminatory policy.”
For More Info: lambdalegal.org
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