Georgia Parents Sue For The Right To Name Their Child ‘ALLAH’


A Georgia couple is suing the state after being denied a birth certificate for their 22-month-old baby with the last name they gave her-Allah.

Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk, who asked the ACLU of Georgia to file the lawsuit on their behalf, have been battling the state for almost two years since their daughter was born, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.  The couple said the baby still doesn’t have a birth certificate because of the dispute and that they cannot get a Social Security number for her.

“We have to make sure that the state isn’t overstepping their boundaries,” Walk told the Journal. “It is just plainly unfair and a violation of our rights.”

But state officials told the couple that giving their baby a different surname does not fit their naming conventions in place by state law, the Journal reported. According to state officials, in order to fit the criteria, the child’s name must end in either “Walk” or “Handy” or a combination of the two, and not what the couple originally proposed- ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah.

Lawyers representing the state even proposed a solution suggesting that the couple picks a surname for the purposes of the initial birth record, and then once they receive the birth certificate, the couple could petition a higher court to change the child’s surname.

The ACLU maintains that the state’s decision is a prime example of the government overreach and a First and 14 amendments violation.

The couple, in the mean time, is unable to get Medicaid coverage or food stamps for their daughter since she doesn’t yet have a birth certificate.

“Simply put, we have a personal understanding that we exercise in regards to the names,” Walk said. “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.”

The couple already has a 3-year-old son whose surname is Allah, and Handy is now six months pregnant with another child.

E. Goldstein

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