DOMA – Sec 3-an LGBT win- one mere section down- many to go- OBAMA DON’T REST UNTIL DOMA IS DONE?

obama-restingPresident Obama – a stroke of a Pen!  Defend this most agregious civil abomination called DOMA  (Declare Obama Missing in Action!) Another article in this ongoing and random series by Melanie Nathan.

According to a letter sent to Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) by the Department of Justice, the Department of State has “amended the relevant provision of its Foreign Affairs Manual (“FAM”) to provide for issuance of passports in a new name based on a legal name change recognized under state law.” 

A new case (decided June 17) now imparts a validating change  that all married same-sex couples will be able to get new passports based on the name on their marriage certificates, if the state issuing the marriage certificate, like Massachusetts, recognizes the name change by operation of law.

I imagine this means that this law now only applies to 18,000 “special” same sex married couples in California.  Now the weirdness of Prop 8 inequity really starts.  One can start to see the craziness in some recognition on some levels and some non recognistion on other levels.   It is time to simply give across the board marriage for goodness sake – ditch DOMA- and spare us the pain of getting to what is inevitably going to happen.

The change is outlined in a section (7 FAM 1359 Appendix C) of the manual entitled “Change of Name by Operation of Law, Including Same Sex Marriage and Civil Union,   and Name Change for Use in U.S. Passports.” When Keith Fitzpatrick and Al Toney III married in 2004, Keith changed his name so that everyone in their family – Keith, Al, and Al’s daughter Kayla – would share the same name. 

I remember travelling around the world with my then 4 year old and partner and we had so many problems because the three of us had different name combos.  To add to our difficult my child is adopted from a foreign country and so we had racial profiles to contend with as well.  I would travel with a file of legal documents, almost a cabinet’s worth!

While Keith had no trouble updating his driver’s license, the federal government said no when he tried to do the same on his passport, because of DOMA. Consequently, his passport and his driver’s license have two different names, making foreign travel precarious in a post- 9/11 world.

Read the Stories: of the Plaintiffs.


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