Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Turns out the "keep marriage traditional" police are attacking the hetero couples now too.
Take couple Mike Buday and Diana Bijon (picture at right). When they met, Diana told Mike that it was important to her to keep her family name. She had no brothers to keep her family name going and Mike was estranged from his father and not attached to the Buday name.
When the two were married, they planned on taking Diana's name. Until they reached the red tape factor.
For Mike to take Diana's name, he must file a petition, pay more than $300, place a public notice for weeks in a local newspaper and then appear before a judge.
The Bijon's decided to skip all that and go to the ACLU and file a discrimination lawsuit against the state of California. They claim the difficulty faced by a husband seeking to change his name violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
Interestingly enough only six states: Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York and North Dakota (hooray!) have equal name-change processes for men and women when they marry. In the 44 other states, men cannot choose a different last name while filing a marriage license.
It's nice to see this unfair bias being challenged-- especially when a woman and MAN are challenging it together.
The Census Bureau does not keep figures on how many U.S. men are taking their brides' names. But clearly it happening more and more. Milwaukee County, Wis., Clerk Mark Ryan estimated that one in every 100 grooms there now takes the name of his wife.