Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-01-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Same-sex couple sues State Dept. for treating daughter as born out of wedlock
2019-09-12

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


BALTIMORE, MD—Today, Immigration Equality, Lambda Legal, and pro bono counsel Morgan Lewis filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Maryland against the U.S. Department of State for refusing to recognize the citizenship of Kessem Kiviti, the daughter of married U.S. citizens Roee and Adiel Kiviti. The State Department's policy treats the children of U.S. citizens in same-sex marriages as "born out of wedlock," unconstitutionally stripping their children of citizenship.

"This is a fight for marriage equality. It is a fight for the fundamental right of citizenship," said Aaron C. Morris, Executive Director of Immigration Equality. "By refusing to recognize their rights as a married couple, the State Department is treating Roee and Adiel as second-class citizens and treating Kessem as if she is not a citizen at all. The administration has made abundantly clear it will ignore the law and Constitution. We will not stand for it."

Roee and Adiel Kiviti are a same-sex couple who married in California in 2013. They had their daughter Kessem via surrogacy in Canada in February 2019. Because only Adiel has a biological connection to Kessem, the State Department is disregarding Roee and Adiel's marriage and treating Kessem as "born out of wedlock," meaning she must have a biological relationship to a U.S. citizen parent who has resided in the U.S. for five years. This requirement is not meant to be applied to the children of married U.S. citizens. Even though both of Kessem's fathers are U.S. citizens, Adiel falls one year short of the residency requirement, and the State Department completely disregards Roee as her father. Read more about the Kiviti family here.

"Kessem was born to two dads. By refusing to recognize Kessem as a U.S. citizen at birth, the Department of State seeks to erase her family ties and to disrespect Roee's and Adiel's marriage. This is not only unlawful, it is also cruel and un-American," said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Senior Attorney at Lambda Legal. "The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that same-sex couples are entitled to the same constellation of benefits linked to marriage as different-sex couples. The government cannot refuse to recognize Roee's and Adiel's marriage, nor Kessem's citizenship at birth. We will fight for the dignity of all LGBT families."

The Immigration and Nationality Act states that children of married U.S. citizens born abroad are U.S. citizens from birth so long as one of their parents has resided in the U.S. at some point, but the State Department routinely denies that right to same-sex couples and their children. While different-sex couples are automatically presumed to both be parents of their children, same-sex couples are subjected to invasive questioning about how they brought their child into their family. Because one parent is not a biological parent, they are treated as if they are not married, and their children are not recognized as citizens unless the biological parent can meet additional criteria.

"The focus here is our little girl whose rights are being infringed upon by our government," said plaintiffs Roee and Adiel Kiviti. "Every parent wants to protect their child, to give them assurances of tomorrow, and this policy isn't letting us do that. Our daughter will know her story. She will know how she came into this world, she will know about all of the loving people who helped us become a family, and she will know how her parents fought for her rights and for the rights of other families."

In July, Immigration Equality, Lambda Legal, and pro bono counsel filed a case in the Northern District of Georgia against the U.S. State Department on behalf of another same-sex couple, Derek and Jonathan Mize-Gregg, whose daughter Simone was not recognized as a U.S. citizen under the discriminatory policy. Read more about the Mize-Gregg family here.

Read the complaint www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/md_kiviti_20190912_complaint .

—From a press release


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Don Harmon chosen to lead state Senate 2020-01-19 - During a special session on Jan. 19, Oak Park Democrat Don Harmon was chosen as the next Illinois Senate president, The Chicago Tribune ...


Gay News

Indiana same-sex parents can list both names on children's birth certificates 2020-01-19 - On Jan. 17—after more than two and a half years—the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that married same-sex couples in Indiana ...


Gay News

Women's March Chicago honors the disabled, highlights key issues 2020-01-19 - Women's March Chicago ( WMC ) kicked off its fourth large-scale march on a wintry Jan. 18 morning in Grant Park. The march—with ...


Gay News

Children Born Abroad to Married U.S. Same-Sex Parents Are U.S. Citizens 2020-01-17 - ( New York, NY — January 17, 2020 ) Lambda Legal, Immigration Equality and pro bono counsel Morgan Lewis this week urged federal ...


Gay News

Women's March Chicago returns to Grant Park Saturday 2020-01-16 - Women's March Chicago and partner organizations will host its fourth large-scale march on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. The event will honor our marchers ...


Gay News

Lightfoot criticizes aldermen over LGBT study 2020-01-16 - On Jan. 15, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot criticized aldermen for objecting to a plan to determine if the LGBT community faces obstacles in ...


Gay News

Access Living names new CEO 2020-01-16 - Access Living's board of directors announced that Karen Tamley has been named the next president/CEO of Access Living. Tamley takes the role March ...


Gay News

Mayor appoints new members to city's cultural advisory council 2020-01-14 - The Chicago City Council approved the appointments made by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot to the Cultural Advisory Council of the Department of Cultural ...


Gay News

Quigley part of call for end of trans migrant detention 2020-01-14 - U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley ( D-Illinois )—vice chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus and a founding member of the Transgender Equality Task Force—led ...


Gay News

SAGE stands with affiliate in Puerto Rico 2020-01-14 - Aid to LGBT elders vital during this crucial time [New York, NY] SAGE Puerto Rico, a SAGE affiliate since 2018, is rushing to ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.