Legal Name Change

SayUncle has a story about a gay woman who tried to get a license with her, err — husband’s? — last name on it after getting gay married in another state. If you look on the department’s web site, it notes the documents they accept for this purpose. I suspect she presented a marriage certificate from another state for her gay wedding, which is not legally valid in the State of Tennessee. What’s kind of funny, or tragic, I’m not sure which, is that they didn’t seem to notice until after the fact, I’m guessing when a supervisor noticed two female names on the marriage certificate. I guess the lesson here is if you’re going to get gay married to someone, but move to a state that doesn’t recognize it, you should marry someone with a androgynous first name. You know, like Pat, Kris, Jamie, or Toni. Either way, the cause is not lost. You can legally change your name in most states, and with a court order to that effect in hand, the DMV will give you a license with the last name you want.

5 thoughts on “Legal Name Change”

  1. Of course, gays have to file with the court, pay filing fees, possibly hire an attorney, and wait for the court to approve the name change (if they approve it) and actually enter the Order. All in addition to whatever they had to do to get married in the first place.

    Heterosexuals get the name change as part of the marriage.

    Also, it looks like they were TN residents who went to DC to get married. She didn’t expect problems at the DMV because they have friends in the same situation who didn’t have any issues.

  2. And when you change your name you break the train of associations that reflect back on financial things like…your Credit Score. And you have to go re-name all your bank accounts and other financial stuff – which is why my wife kept her maiden name, it was just easier. It doesn’t automatically flow across the void.

  3. No – but the banks etc have procedures for it. Admittedly, I seem to recall we just went joint on all my bank accounts and closed hers (I happened to have a better deal) and she had next to no credit record prior to marriage. (Just a reminder, folks – have your kids get a stupid $500 or so limit card when they turn 18 and cycle gas money through it to build up a credit history. The credit bureaus take a dim view of someone in their late 20’s with no credit record, this makes it difficult to obtain credit at that point.)

  4. Their names were androgynous: Traci and Ashley. I’ve known both men and women named Tracy, and both men and women named Ashley. The “Traci” spelling is more girl-y, but those names could swing either way.

  5. I also live in Tennessee (sadly enough, also in Knoxville, which is where these two women were harassed) and everything related to name changes is a mess. I love, love, love my last name and after we were married, he decided to change his name to mine. He was told repeatedly that a man could not take his wife’s name with just a marriage certificate. He would have to go through the long and expensive “typical” name change process. But if I wanted to change my name to his: easy peasy. It’s just another form of sexual discrimination if you ask me.

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