A federal court in Georgia on Thursday
ordered the Trump administration to recognize the U.S. citizenship of
the two-year-old daughter of a married same-sex couple.
The State Department had refused to
recognize Simone Mize-Gregg, the daughter of Derek Mize and Jonathan
Gregg, both U.S. citizens, as a U.S. citizen, arguing that she was
“born out of wedlock” because she was not born in the United
States and is not biologically related to both her parents. The
children of heterosexual married U.S. citizens born abroad are
automatically considered U.S. citizens.
The couple married in 2015 in New York.
Simone was born via surrogacy in England in 2018. Both men are listed
on her birth certificate.
The couple and their daughter are
represented by Lambda Legal and Immigration Equality.
“As a result of the State
Department’s discriminatory actions, we have undertaken a long
journey to have our daughter recognized as a U.S. citizen,” said
Derek Mize in a statement released by Lambda Legal. “But today,
that journey is complete, and we are overcome with gratitude, for our
lawyers and for the Court, for recognizing us as a family that is
simply trying to give our daughter the best possible start, which all
“Today’s court decision is a
resounding victory for LGBTQ families,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan,
senior counsel at Lambda Legal. “The court has declared baby
Simone, the marital child of Derek and Jonny, to be a U.S. citizen
since birth and ordered the State Department to issue her a U.S.
passport. We are 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
“No family should have to face the
fear and uncertainty of having their child’s citizenship status be
held in limbo,” he added.
A federal judge in June ruled against
the State Department in a similar case.
orders Trump admin to recognize daughter of gay couple as U.S.