GETTY FILE IMAGE/ACLU
The couple have been unable to acquire a birth certificate for their daughter
Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk wanted to name their 22-month-old girl ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah, but state rules claim children’s surnames must be the same as either or both of their parents.
Now the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, who also opposed Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban, are taking the state top court.
One of the couple’s lawyers, Michael Baumrind, said: “The parents get to decide the name of the child. Not the state. It is an easy case.”
Andrea Young said the courts had 'no business' deciding a child's name
As a result of the decision the couple have been unable to acquire a birth certificate for their daughter, with lawyers claiming this causes the child “real harm”.
ACLU of Georgia Executive Director, Andrea Young said: “Government has no business telling parents what they can and cannot name their children.
“Elizabeth and Bilal jumped through every bureaucratic hoop that’s required to obtain a birth certificate for their daughter, but officials at the Department of Public Health refused to record the birth certificate with the name of their choice.
The lawsuit has been filed after nearly two years of disputes
“The department’s actions interfere with the couple’s right to raise their child and are a clear violation of the right to freedom of speech and the right to equal protection under the law.
“The department has also caused real harm, preventing this couple and their child from receiving the benefits they need and deserve.”
The couple claimed they chose the name Allah because it was “noble” and not in any way a religious statement.
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Bilal Walk said: "Simply put, we have a personal understanding that we exercise in regards to the names.
Young claimed the state was interfering with the couple's freedom of speech
"It is nothing that we want to go into detail about, because it is not important.
“What is important is the language of the statute and our rights as parents.
"It is just plainly unfair and a violation of our rights.”