The New York Times has reported that in the stte of Georgia, a husband and wife have sued to have the right to give their daughter the last name “Allah.” The mother’s last name is Handy, and the father’s last name is Walk. They want to name their daughter ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah. The child was born in May 2015.
According to the NYT, the State of Georgia refused to issue a birth certificate with that last name, saying a child must be given the last name of one of the parents. The state said the parents could change the child’s name in court later on.
The parents say ‘No.” They should have the right to name their child whatever they want.
Both sides expect a hearing to be held on this issue next month.
Even though the state refuses to issue a birth certificate, nothing would have stopped the parents from giving the child whatever name they chose, but a birth certificate will be necessary one day since no one can get a social security number without one.
As the NYT noted in its article, the parents will also have difficulty traveling outside the U.S. with the now-2-year-old, or even enrolling her in school.
State officials say they will issue the birth certificate once the parents decide on either the mother’s last name, or the fathers, or a combination of the two.
There is another wrinkle, however. It seems that somewhere in the file one state representative was critical of what he called “bizarre or vile naming requests that would subject a child to ridicule.”
There are real examples of parents giving their children ‘different’ names, and the NYT listed some of those as: “Snappy Fishsuit; Acne Fountain; Sex Fruit; Loser; Fat Meat; Stud Duck; Ghoul Nipple; Number 16 Bus Shelter; Yeah Detroit; Tula Does The Hula In Hawaii; Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine The Hulk And The Flash Combined.” Probably the most bizarre to us is Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116.
But who should determine what’s bizarre? What about Jermaine Jackson naming his son Jermajesty? Would that qualify?
Most states, according to the NYT report, would probably not accept a child’’s name that was say, 500 characters long. But would 400 characters be acceptable? How about 100– or even 50? Probably not. But if your parents wanted to name you Number 16 Bus Station, should they be allowed to?
In this case, though, it is possible that this controversy is all about the fact that the name the parents have chosen is Muslim.
What do you think about this issue? Hit us up at orlandoadvocate.com/category/ young-people/ and leave us a comment at the bottom of the story.