Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg met in New York City in 2014. It was love at first sight.
Jonathan is a U.S. citizen, born to an American mother and British father in England. He moved to the U.S. to be with the love of his life, Derek, and the two married in May of 2015 in New York City. The couple knew early on that they wanted to have children, and their daughter, Simone, was born via surrogacy in England in July of 2018. The family now lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Unfortunately, the first year of Simone’s life has not been easy on the family. In April, the U.S. State Department refused to recognize Simone’s citizenship. The U.S. government does not recognize Derek and Jonathan as a married couple and treats their daughter as if she was born out of wedlock. Simone was allowed to enter the United States on a tourist visa, but her visa status is about to expire.
The law clearly states that because Derek and Jonathan are married U.S. citizens, their daughter has been a U.S. citizen since birth. However, the State Department’s cruel and unconstitutional policy treats Jonathan as if he were a single parent.
The government is treating married same-sex couples like single parents, which requires them to demonstrate a biological relationship to their child and to have resided in the U.S. for five years prior to the birth of their child. Jonathan does not meet the five year residency requirement, but as a married U.S. citizen, he is not subject to that requirement.
As the daughter of two married U.S. citizens, Simone is a citizen, plain and simple. That’s why in July of 2019, Immigration Equality and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit against the U.S. State Department on behalf of the family.
You can help support them by signing the petition demanding equal treatment for LGBTQ families at lambdalegal.org/family