US: Texas refuses to recognise woman’s surname because she married same-sex partner

Nick Duffy September 21, 2014
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A woman has been denied a driver’s license in Texas, because the state refuses to recognise she took her partner’s name when they married.

Connie Wilson took her partner Aimee Wilson’s surname last year, when the couple of nine years married in California.

However, since relocating to Texas – where the marriage is not recognised – Ms Wilson has been caught in a legal limbo surrounding her name.

Under Californian law, a marriage certificate was enough to certify a change of name – but as Texas does not recognise her marriage as valid, she has found herself with no legal documentation to prove her identity.

Connie Wilson discovered the problem when she visited the Texas Department of Public Safety to apply for a new driver’s license after her California license expired.

She told the Texas Observer of approaching a clerk with her marriage certificate: “Her only words to me were, ‘Is this same-[sex]?’

“She immediately told me, ‘You can’t use this to get your license. This doesn’t validate your last name. Do you have anything else?’

“She told me I would never get a license with my current name, that the name doesn’t belong to me.”

However, as her name is already legally recognised outside of the state, Ms Wilson would have to convince a court to grant her proof of a new name change despite no actual change taking place.

She said: “My name is already legally Wilson. I don’t know if a judge will even grant me a name change from Wilson to Wilson.”

“I don’t want any other person to go through what I have experienced over this.

“I’ve been deprived the freedom to drive a vehicle once my current California driver’s license expires.

“I’m further being deprived the freedom to use air travel, make purchases that require a valid photo identification, seek medical attention for myself or my children, as well as other situations that would require proving who I am legally as an individual.”

Related topics: ban, certificate, civil partnership, Employment, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, lesbian, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage ban, marriage equality, name, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, Texas, US, wedding

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