By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA): A family in the U.S. state of Georgia has been issued a birth certificate for their child with the surname of “Allah” after the state initially declined to issue the document, according to the rights group that represented them in court.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia said in a statement that the state’s Department of Health has issued a birth certificate to the daughter of Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk with the surname they requested.
Their daughter, ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah, was born in 2015, but Georgia’s health department had insisted that the initial birth record should have one of the parent’s last names, or a combination thereof.
The ACLU of Georgia stepped in last month, suing the state on behalf of the parents before Georgia issued the document with “Allah” as the child’s last name.
“No one wants to live in a world where the government can dictate what you can and cannot name your child. It goes against our values, the legislature’s intent, and the plain language of the law,” said ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young.
Handy and Walk’s two sons had previously been given the surname “Allah” without objection from Georgia authorities, according to the civil rights group.
[Map of US with state names. GNU Free Documentation License]