Bill would streamline name-change process

first_imgBut the Name Equality Act of 2007 would make it as easy for them to change their last names as it is for wives upon marriage. County-issued marriage license applications and state-produced domestic partnership certificates would be amended to allow couples or individuals to jot down any last name they wish to adopt. “AB 102 is about equality and flexibility, and getting with the times,” said Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, who proposed the legislation. “The name change thing has been so frustrating,” said Maya Scott-Chung, 41, a public-health educator who, along with her partner, MeiBeck Lee Scott-Chung, spent about eight months getting their names changed to reflect the last names they chose upon becoming parents of a baby daughter, Luna. During the process, the Oakland couple had to each submit a petition to adopt a new, hyphenated last name; pay for a legal notice in a newspaper advertising their request for a month; wait months for a court date; wait again for the state government to determine they were not on a sex-offender list; and finally receive a one-page document with their new name. That was half the ordeal. Next, they applied for new Social Security cards – without them, they couldn’t replace their driver’s licenses or modify their names on bank accounts and credit cards. The Social Security cards took a year to arrive. Although the proposed measure would still require that wait, couples could begin the process months sooner. The proposed law would allow the DMV to issue licenses or identification cards to men who present a marriage license or those who show a certificate of domestic partnership with their new name – without having to rely on the Social Security card. The bill passed Monday afternoon on a 46-26 vote. Most Republicans voted against the bill, which was opposed by the Campaign for Children and Families, a statewide pro-family organization with a conservative agenda. “This is creating same-sex `marriages’ in name by calling two homosexual men `Mr. and Mr. Smith’ to give them the honor and appearance of marriage,” said Randy Thomasson, president of the group, in a statement. “This violates the spirit of Proposition 22, in which California voters demanded that marriage stay between a man and a woman.” [email protected] (916) 441-4651160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Suppose you are a husband who, upon marriage, would rather take your wife’s last name. Or maybe you are in a domestic partnership and want to take your partner’s surname, or create a new name altogether. The state Assembly passed a groundbreaking measure Monday that would make it a whole lot easier to do just that. If AB 102 is adopted by the Senate and signed by the governor, California would become the first state to allow domestic partners to change their names without having to obtain a court order. Under current law, husbands or domestic partners can legally change their names, but only through a cumbersome process that requires a judge’s intervention, takes many months of hassle and costs hundreds of dollars. last_img