State Department appeals in case of gay couple's son denied citizenship

State Department appeals in case of gay couple's son denied citizenship

The State Department on Monday continued an ongoing fight to require one of a gay couple’s twin sons to undergo a DNA test to prove his citizenship, according to Immigration Equality, a nonprofit that represents LGBTQ people in immigration cases.

In January 2018, Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks sued the department after it informed them that one of their twin sons, Ethan, born through a surrogate like his brother, Aiden, had been denied citizenship because he only carried DNA from Elad, who is an Israeli citizen.


In February, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter wrote that a biological connection was not necessary for the child of binational parents to benefit from birthright citizenship, ruling that the State Department’s argument relied on a “strained interpretation” of current immigration laws. On Monday, the department appealed the decision, according to Immigration Equality, which is handling the Dvash-Banks case.

“Once again, the State Department is refusing to recognize Andrew and Elad’s rights as a married couple. The government’s decision to try to strip Ethan of his citizenship is unconstitutional, discriminatory, and morally reprehensible,” Immigration Equality Executive Director Aaron C. Morris said in a statement. “This is settled law in the Ninth Circuit, which has already established that citizenship may pass from a married parent to a child regardless of whether or not they have a biological relationship.”

“We’re outraged that the State Department is so intent on harming our family and the LGBTQ community,” Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks said in a joint statement. “The fight is not over, and we will not rest until our family is treated fairly and equally. Nothing can tear us apart. The four of us are unbreakable.”

A State Department spokesperson told The Hill the department does not comment on pending litigation.