Gay couple sues US State Department over son's citizenship

Updated: Jan 25, 2018, 13:38 IST | ANI

A US-based gay couple on Wednesday sued the State Department after one of their twin sons was not recognised as a US citizen by the immigration authorities

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A US-based gay couple on Wednesday sued the State Department after one of their twin sons was not recognised as a US citizen by the immigration authorities. The couple, Elad Dvash-Banks, an Israeli citizen and Andrew Dvash-Banks, who is an American citizen, took the legal action after Elad's 16-month-old son, Ethan was not recognised as a US citizen.

On the other hand, Andrew's son, Aiden, was recognised as a US citizen. Andrew met Elad in Israel, while they were studying, the local media reported. Interestingly, Andrew and Elad, who married in Canada in 2015, showed birth certificates of their sons to the immigration authorities and explained that their children were born in Canada, via a surrogate, using donor eggs and sperm from each father.

This comes after they moved to Canada to get married as they were unable to do so in either Israel or US. They have filed a case after moving to Los Angeles last year. Elad said, "What we're trying to do is pursue justice for Ethan and correct a wrong that the State Department is continuing to do, that might affect other couples."

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) immigrants rights group Immigration Equality, which filed the case, said in a statement, "According to the policy, the children of US citizens who marry abroad are entitled to citizenship at birth, regardless of where they are born and even if the other partner is foreign." The organisation said the policy was being wrongly being applied to married same-sex couples.

Immigration Equality executive director Aaron Morris said, "If a mother and father walk into a consulate and have a marriage certificate and birth certificate, they're never asked any questions about the biology of the child. But the converse is also true and every same-sex couple will be asked that." The State Department refused to comment on the matter. However, it gave directions to guidance on its website, which said a biological connection to a US citizen was necessary for a child to become a citizen at birth.

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