Federal Judge: State Department Was Wrong in Same-Sex Couple Citizenship Case

A federal judge in California has sided with a same-sex binational couple that had accused the U.S. government of discrimination in a complex citizenship case. The couple, Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks, had filed a lawsuit after the government only recognized one of their twin sons as a U.S. citizen. Both boys were born by the same surrogate mother, but they had different sperm donors: one of them from Andrew, a U.S. citizen, and one from Dvash-Banks, an Israeli citizen. The government had only granted citizenship to Aiden, the biological child of Andrew, and argued that the other child, Ethan, could not be a U.S. citizen because he had no biological connection to any U.S. citizens. District Judge John F. Walter said Thursday that the State Department was wrong to deny 2-year-old Ethan Dvash-Banks citizenship. Walter wrote that the State Department's statue on the matter did not contain any language “requiring a ‘blood relationship between the person and the father’ in order for citizenship to be acquired at birth.” “This is justice! We are hopeful that no other family will ever have to go through this again. It’s like a giant rock has been removed from our hearts,” Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks said in a statement after the ruling.