Couple files lawsuit against Georgia for right to give child the last name “Allah.”
A Georgia couple has sued the government for not allowing them to name their daughter “Allah.” The child will soon be turning two years of age, but still has no birth certificate because the government authorities have not accepted the proposed last name. While the authorities say the child cannot have a surname that does not belong to either or both parents, the parents insist stopping them from giving their daughter the surname of their choice goes against their civil rights.

The American Civil Rights Union (ACLU) too has joined the fight against the Georgia government by filing a lawsuit against the state on behalf of the couple. The couple, Bilal Walk and Elizabeth Handy, wanted to name their daughter ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah. The Department of Public Health, however, told them that their daughter’s last name should be the same as either one of the parents, or a combination of both. A last name that does not match either goes against the state’s policies. The state refused to issue a birth certificate for their daughter. Due to this, the couple, is facing a number of difficulties and even had to cancel their trip to Mexico.

Although the battle against the state has been fought for almost two years, the state officials had given the couple a solution which they refused to accept. The state advised them to give their daughter a last name that matches state policy so they can obtain a birth certificate, after which they could request the court to get the last name changed to “Allah.”

Ironically the couple already has a three-year-old son with Allah as his last name. The couple insists the idea behind naming their children this way is not religion, but to give them a title that is “noble.” Handy is now pregnant with their third child, and said the third child will get a noble title as well.

Without a birth certificate the couple is unable to obtain even food stamps or Medicaid for their daughter.

The ACLU called the state’s decision “unconstitutional” and cited the permission the couple was given to name their elder son “Allah.” The ACLU insists the state is violating the first and 14 amendments by denying the couple permission to go ahead with the name of their choice.

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