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State Department LGBTQ Policy Change

By Charlotte Robinson, May 19, 2021

The U.S. Department of State has announced that it will update its policies under Section 301 of the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) to start recognizing the U.S. citizenship of children born abroad to parents which at least one is a U.S. citizen & who are married to each other at the time of the birth. This change will positively impact married gay & lesbian parents & their children following two court decisions last year in lawsuits brought by Lambda Legal & Immigration Equality that resulted in courts finding the prior policy of refusing to recognize the citizenship of children born abroad to married gay & lesbian couples to be unlawful. Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Senior Counsel from Lambda Legal & one of the families’ attorneys stated, “Lambda Legal applauds the State Department’s decision in response to change its policy & start recognizing the U.S. citizenship of children of married same-sex couples born abroad…We are pleased to see this resolution, as this welcome change respects the marriages & families of same-sex couples as is required by our laws & constitution.” Derek Mize & Jonathan Gregg, plaintiffs in Mize-Gregg v. Pompeo concluded, “We are extremely pleased to see the State Department take this long-overdue step. We are so happy that children like our daughter will no longer be denied recognition of their U.S. citizenship at birth because their parents are of the same-sex or they were born through surrogacy…We are humbled that our fight, as well those forged by other families, was able to play a part in bringing about this change & thankful to Lambda Legal & Immigration Equality for having taken on our case.”

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