Parents in Atlanta have been granted the right to give their toddler the last name Allah, causing the ACLU to drop a pending lawsuit to force Georgia to allow the name.
The Department of Public Health originally rejected the parents’ chosen name — ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah — on the birth certificate after the child's birth in 2015, saying that state law required a baby’s last name to be the father’s or mother’s for the initial birth record, The Associated Press reported. The Department of Public Health wanted the child’s last name to be Handy, Walk, or a combination of the two.
Allah is the word for God in Islamic theology.
The ACLU had sued Georgia last month on behalf of parents Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk, but the group announced Thursday the suit would be dropped because the Georgia Department of Health did issue a birth certificate with the desired name on it.
The lawsuit argued that state law said the birth certificate should include the last name “as designated by both parents,” according to The New York Times. It also brought up the fact that the state had issued birth certificates with the last name Allah for the couple’s two older sons, the NYT reported.
The lawsuit further argued the state was preventing the parents from getting a Social Security number for the child, which kept her parents from enrolling in Medicaid or getting food stamps for her, the Daily Mail reported.
Handy and Walk chose the name because they thought it was “noble,” not for any religious reasons, the Daily Mail reported.
Twitter users' opinions fell on both sides of the story.
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