1. SubscriberFMF
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    28 Mar '17 04:041 edit
    From the BBC http://tinyurl.com/lpeud44

    A couple in the US state of Georgia who were banned from naming their daughter Allah are taking legal action.

    The state Department of Public Health has refused to issue the 22-month-old with a birth certificate.

    Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk say it is unacceptable that their child has officially been left nameless.

    But state officials say the child's surname - ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah - should either be Handy, Walk or a combination of the two.

    Allah is the Arabic word for God.

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia has filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court on the family's behalf.

    The girl's father told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution they had called her Allah because it is "noble".

    "It is just plainly unfair and a violation of our rights," Mr Walk said of the state's refusal to acknowledge the name.

    However, lawyers for the Department of Public Health said Georgia code "requires that a baby's surname be either that of the father or the mother for purposes of the initial birth record".

    In a letter to the family, state officials wrote that ZalyKha's surname can be changed through a petition to superior court, but only after the birth record is recognised.

    According to the lawsuit, the unmarried couple already have a young son called Masterful Mosirah Aly Allah.

    The ACLU says that without a birth certificate the parents cannot obtain a Social Security number for their daughter.

    They fear the girl's identity and rights as a US citizen will be questioned.

    The ACLU said the state's refusal to grant the family's wishes was an unconstitutional example of government overreach.

    "The parents get to decide the name of the child," said Michael Baumrind, a lawyer for the family. "Not the state. It is an easy case."


    Is it government overreach?
  2. Joined
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    28 Mar '17 05:012 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    From the BBC http://tinyurl.com/lpeud44

    Is it government overreach?
    This is a strange one. I wonder how they managed to circumvent the law with the naming of their first child.



    Edit: does anyone else using and iPad, find the OP link takes them to another site?
  3. Cape Town
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    28 Mar '17 05:48
    Originally posted by FMF
    Is it government overreach?
    I would say yes, but I find it interesting that the parents seem to agree that the government does hold the power of naming.
    Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk say it is unacceptable that their child has officially been left nameless.

    They clearly care quite strongly about what the government names their child. Why not simply let the government have its way on the birth certificate but call the child whatever they like? Why seek government recognition?
  4. Standard memberavalanchethecat
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    28 Mar '17 07:14
    Why should any government have the right to veto a parent's choice of name for their child?
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    28 Mar '17 07:582 edits
    Originally posted by avalanchethecat
    Why should any government have the right to veto a parent's choice of name for their child?
    White supremacist parents in New Jersey had their children taken from them by social services. Its difficult to know why specifically without reading the court transcripts which is sometimes confidential if the proceedings involve children. However I suspect that having given them the names Adolph Hitler and Aryan Nation this cannot be entirely discounted as weighing against the parents.
  6. Standard membervivify
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    28 Mar '17 14:11
    The issue doesn't seem to have anything to do with using "Allah" in the girl's name. It seems that the issue is that the girl's surname must be the same one belonging either to the mother or the father. Had the parents chose Allah as the girl's first name, there probably wouldn't have been an issue.

    This really isn't a big deal.
  7. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    29 Mar '17 04:18
    So long as this decision is not discriminatory then ... so what?

    Many (most?) countries have laws governing what can and cannot go on birth certificate.
    If the local law is that the surname must be the same as mum's or dad's or a combination then so be it.

    I had cause to find out NZ law when we fostered a boy whose first name was two capital letters - no space, no hyphen, no period. It was legal.

    But guess what? No computer system could handle it (including government agencies)
    Doctor, hospital, dentist, library, school, none could handle two capital letters.

    The systems either allowed the second letter to be lower case or inserted a space or changed his name to initials! Would have been much better if mother was not allowed to give him such a daft name!!
  8. Cape Town
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    29 Mar '17 07:10
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    But guess what? No computer system could handle it (including government agencies)
    Doctor, hospital, dentist, library, school, none could handle two capital letters.
    Why did it matter to anyone that the second letter be a capital in the computer?
  9. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    29 Mar '17 08:18
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Why did it matter to anyone that the second letter be a capital in the computer?
    Because the name AL and Al and A L and A.L. are not the same.
    What might happen when he gets stopped at LA airport?
  10. Cape Town
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    29 Mar '17 11:17
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Because the name AL and Al and A L and A.L. are not the same.
    What might happen when he gets stopped at LA airport?
    I would say that as far as official documents and computer records are concerned, AL and Al are the same.

    Incidentally, I know someone whose passport had a misspelling in the surname, so she the misspelled version for most official purposes till that passport expired. I believe it did occasionally cause complaints.
  11. Joined
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    29 Mar '17 16:372 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    From the BBC http://tinyurl.com/lpeud44

    A couple in the US state of Georgia who were banned from naming their daughter Allah are taking legal action.

    The state Department of Public Health has refused to issue the 22-month-old with a birth certificate.

    Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk say it is unacceptable that their child has officially been left ...[text shortened]... wyer for the family. "Not the state. It is an easy case."


    Is it government overreach?
    Is it government overreach?

    Of course it is. Many state laws are antiquated. From what I gather, state laws vary widely from no restrictions to highly restrictive and that many of the restrictions would be deemed unconstitutional under the First and / or Fourteenth Amendments. There are more than a few backward states in the US - Georgia has a long history of being one of them.

    It'd be interesting to find out how the restrictions in Georgia are enforced. If they aren't automated and are determined by clerks, then one has to wonder what role bigotry might have had in this particular case. Assuming that the sibling was also registered in Georgia, this would likely be the case.
  12. Joined
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    29 Mar '17 16:435 edits
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    So long as this decision is not discriminatory then ... so what?

    Many (most?) countries have laws governing what can and cannot go on birth certificate.
    If the local law is that the surname must be the same as mum's or dad's or a combination then so be it.

    I had cause to find out NZ law when we fostered a boy whose first name was two capital letter ...[text shortened]... o initials! Would have been much better if mother was not allowed to give him such a daft name!!
    No computer system could handle it (including government agencies)
    Doctor, hospital, dentist, library, school, none could handle two capital letters.


    There's no reason that any given computer system wouldn't be able to handle your situation. Evidently you just coincidently hit a string of poorly conceived systems that have overly restrictive validations or inflexible parsing algorithms for the handling of names.

    Would have been much better if mother was not allowed to give him such a daft name!!

    Would have been much better if the computer systems you encountered weren't so daft.
  13. Cape Town
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    31 Mar '17 12:572 edits
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    There's no reason that any given computer system wouldn't be able to handle your situation. Evidently you just coincidently hit a string of poorly conceived systems that have overly restrictive validations or inflexible parsing algorithms for the handling of names.
    The interesting part to me is that anyone would care about capitals vs small letters. Why did it matter to wolfgang59 that capitals were used?
    What do they do with say Chinese or Hindi names that are 'properly' written in the characters of the native language? Do the computer systems cater for all writing systems? If not, and phonetic versions are the standard, then I hardly think that insisting on capitals is valid.
    And what happens if someone insists that their name be written in symbols not represented by any symbols currently in the UTF-8 character set?
    Should countries allow names such as ☀☆☘ to be used on passports?
  14. Cape Town
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    31 Mar '17 13:00
    Incidentally, in Zambia, identity documents insist on including your 'village' and 'chief'.
  15. Standard memberapathist
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    06 Apr '17 10:40
    Originally posted by twhitehead...
    Should countries allow names such as ☀☆☘ to be used on passports?
    Why are you dragging her into this.
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