Oh, Jesus Christ.
When Lazaro Sopena decided to take his new wife's surname, the state of Florida was so shocked, it shit Miami straight into Cuba. Cue the animated gif of Bugs Bunny sawing off the state and setting it adrift, because GOODBYE.
Sopena, who's new name is Lazaro Dinh (awesome name, btw), told Yahoo, "It was an act of love. I have no particular emotional ties to my last name." Dinh had no problem getting a new passport, Social Security card, and driver's license. And then everyone lived happily ever after! JK, this is Florida we're talking about here.
The passport and Social Security card were no problem, but after doing everything correctly at the DMV, he received a letter from them a year later accusing him of "obtaining a driving license by fraud." He called the Tallahassee DMV and was told that to change his name legally, he had to file tons of paperwork, go to court, and pay a $400 filing fee. Even after Dinh explained that the name change was due to marriage., the DMV told him "that only works for women." Damn.
Thankfully, Dinh lawyered up and is taking the state to task, because fuck that.
"Apparently the state of Florida clings to the outdated notion that treats women as an extension of a man," said Dinh's lawyer, Spencer Kuvin. But Florida is not alone. Only nine states have "gender neutral" laws pertaining to marriage surname changes; they are California, New York, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Oregon, Iowa, Georgia and North Dakota. Where are you, 41 other states? Somewhere in the Middle Ages? Pre-'60s at the very least?
Truth. Also, this is just sad. If name change is resulting from marriage, who the fuck cares if they take the husband or wife's last name? Or a combination of the two? Or an entirely new one? Hell, if they wanted to change their last names to "I Love Halibut", they should legally be able to. And what happens with same-sex couples? Marriage equality is coming, yall, and these states better fucking get on board, or risk getting set adrift.
Image via filmfoto / Shutterstock.