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22 June 2009 @ 01:10 am
Why Multi-Status Doesn't Work  
A friend in California married her partner of many years.

Prop 8.

Court upheld their marriage.  She sent in an application to have her passport updated to her new name, because she took her wife's last name.

Now, the US government is holding her passport as though she's committed fraud.  For $800 they'll give her the old one back.  Or, for that plus an amount I can't recall, they'll add her new name as an "a.k.a".

I was under the impression that anyone can change her name at any time.  The advantage to doing so with a wedding is that most states waive the name change fee.  But I'm pretty sure I could go to my town hall, fill out a form, pay a fee, and change my name to "Chevrolet Sprocknocket" if I care to do so.

I didn't want to believe this to be a gay thing.

She asked for a detailed account of what the problem is.  She was told the problem is that she married a woman, and DOMA blah blah, etc.

My sense is that the government is breaking the law.  I believe that if the state ok'd a name change, for whatever reason, it's not the federal government's right to challenge that.  Her legal name is a matter of recorded fact.  They don't get to pick it for her.
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: anxiousAre you KIDDING me?
Current Music: Loons
mazo_ak: zombie words dinnermazo_ak on June 22nd, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
this bugs the crap out of me.
Lexica: House facepalmlexica510 on June 24th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
It's so tiring and disheartening to keep having the reaction "What? What the fuck is it NOW? What new way have they found to try to screw us over and deny us basic equality?"

That is such bullshit.

Has she considered contacting the ACLU? It would seem to be a straightforward case. She's not trying to get the government to acknowledge that she's married, she's just trying to get her passport reissued after legally changing her name.

FFS, some guy changed his name to Trout Fishing In America. I wonder if they gave him grief over getting a passport?
Dottie Dear: It's A Whale of A Tail!dottie_dear on June 24th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
The worst part is that I doubt it was hateful. I think that some paper pusher saw a box that was checked off that said it was because of a marriage, saw the other spouse's info and didn't want to be responsible for moving the document forward--for his/her own career's sake.


It's for precisely these detail reasons that the whole idea of setting up a separate case for queers is financially ridiculous. It's unwieldy, and the costs of changing forms and changing database structures to include new categories ... it just goes on, seemingly endlessly.

And it's silly. It's like playing tea party. If you're making everything else equal, you ARE taking a stand that these relationships are legally valid in this civil society--so, selling ownership of the verb "to marry" to one subset of the population seems a bit precious.

Why be tentative about standing up for human decency?