Thursday, January 31, 2013

Florida DMV Thinks Man is a Creepy Criminal For Taking Wife's Name in Marriage

Congratulations to the former Lazaro Sopena and his new bride, Hanh Dinh of Florida on their recent marriage!

Too bad the Florida DMV doesn't think along the same lines.
Hanh and Lazaro Dinh on their wedding day.
Florida DMV says Lazaro is a scumbag for
taking his wife's last name in the marriage

When he got married our buddy Lazaro agreed to take his wife's last name, Dinh, as his married name so as to help perpetuate his wife's surname. He said he did it out of love.

Smooth move, Lazaro, you romantic guy, you. That was a brilliant way to start off your marriage.

Yes, when people get married and one part of the couple changes their name, it's more often than not the woman who does it. But what harm is there in the groom now calling himself Lazaro Dinh? I mean, who cares what his name is, right?

Well, Florida DMV cares deeply. Very deeply. To them,  Lazaro is a total fraud because he took his wife's name in marriage. He's  accused of fraud and his driver's license has been taken away. 

According to Lazaro Dinh, the DMV people told him the marriage name change "only works for women."

Really? Only women? Why?

"Apparently, the state of Florida clings to the out-dated notion that treats women as an extension of a man, said Lazaro's lawyer, Spencer Kuvin, as quoted by Reuters.

As an aside, why is it that every time there's weird news, it comes out of Florida?

Anyway, attorney Kuvin also raises the question of what happens in a gay marriage if one side of the couple takes the other guy's surname. Gay marriage is not legal in Florida. However, a man taking a wife's last name is legal in only nine states. And some of the states where the man can't take the wife's name have legalized gay marriage.

Where I live here in Vermont, gay marriage is legal but taking a spouse's name in a gay marriage is not. However, I haven't heard of any trouble with this here in Vermont. (I got married to Jeff in August in a gay marriage in Vermont, but we decided to keep our names as is, so this is not an issue for us.)

As for Lazaro, he can go to probate court to legally change his name and pay $400 or more in court fees, but he said he's not a super rich man, and why should he be discriminated against like that?

I'm sure there will be some court battles over this.

1 comment:

  1. That's just stupid. I don't see why it matters which name they chose to take as their own. It also makes no sense that a woman has the right to a free surname change, but the man does not. Marriage should be a chance for either party to change their name or for the couple to hyphenate, if they so choose.
    My husband legally changed his surname before our wedding to the surname of the man who raised him because we wanted the same last name and I refused to take a surname that meant nothing to my husband, especially since my maiden name meant so much to me.