According to a report in the Des Moines Register, an Iowa gay couple who moved to an Austin suburb can’t get Texas drivers license because of their marriage.
Michael Miller Gribble changed his name on all legal documents after he and his husband married. When they moved to Texas, he brought his marriage license and birth certificate to apply for his new driver’s license. He was turned away because Texas won’t recognize a marriage license from a same-sex couple as proof of a name change.
He was told he could either get a divorce or a legal name change. Opposite-sex couples do not need a court-order to change last names. A marriage license is proof of the change.
The newspaper reports that couples from Iowa have had similar problems in Nebraska, Florida and South Dakota. Iowa has been a marriage-equality state since 2009.
Gribble applied for a passport that will reflect his new name. He can use that as proof of who he is rather than a marriage license and birth certificate.
He pointed out the extra cost and inconvenience involved and pointed out the unfair financial penalties of being gay or lesbian that goes against the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.
This isn’t the first time that the state of Texas has refused to issue a driver’s license because of a same-sex-marriage-related name change. It happened earlier this year to a lesbian who legally married her female partner in California and then moved with her wife to Texas. And in October, Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced on Twitter that the state refused to give her 16-year-old daughter a driver’s license because the girl’s birth certificate listed two moms.