Tuesday, 06 May, 2008 Offbeat

Man Faced Sex Discrimination for Taking His Wife's Name


A man who wanted to take his wife's last name after their marriage in US, had to wait two years and face a lawsuit alleging sex discrimination before he could make such changes in his driving license.

Michael Buday, a 31 year old man decided to take the last name of his wife , Diana Bijon because he felt much closer to Diana's father. When his wife suggested him to take her last name, he could not even imagine how much trouble it would be for a man to change his name.

A common procedure of changing the last name turned out to be more than troublesome for a man according to California and 40 other US states. Michael Buday had to pay 350 USD (A374) fee, appear in court, make a public announcement and provide piles of documents to change his last name in driving license.

It took several months before they decided to appeal to the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. Two years later the lawsuit led to some changes made in California state law that allowed both the groom and the bride choose the last name they liked. Previously, couples could easily leave their birth names or take a double barrel name, but there was no place for a man to choose his bride's name.

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50 votes

//5 Mar 23, 2010 11:12 AM | posted by: Jeremy
I agree with pristine 100%. It's sickening that gender equality hasn't even progressed far enough for us to view maiden names as important surnames. I think it's insulting to a woman to say that her last name isn't good enough to represent her husband: I'm frankly shocked and think society need to grow up.

I personally would like to take my wife's name because I don't really like my Indian inspired last name: it would just be more interesting to have a Western last name.
46 votes

//4 May 18, 2008 07:11 AM | posted by: LongLiveTheKing
Actually, under California law (like most States, though the law is constantly changing), any PERSON can use any name nonfraudulently. It is a common-law right which has not specifically been changed by the statutory change method. The real problem are the bureaucrats who make their own law. I ran into that problem in Florida. I wanted to add my wife's name as a middle name (which is not even part of a person's 'legal' name). I was told that "it's a different situation for women" despite the Florida (and Federal) constitutions. Regarding statutes, I have been told "there are a lot of statutes on the books that are not valid" and that despite what a statute states, they won't follow it.

Note that you can get a passport just by showing you have used a name for a long time.
46 votes

//3 May 06, 2008 07:33 PM | posted by: alcotrazz [InfoMANIAC]
'ashamed' was just a supposition... as for your example of people taking their mothers' names for the name not to die out - quite logical, I agree, and probably would've done the same thing. What I'm saying is that I don't see HIS reasons for giving up his father's name (though I'm sure he's had his reasons). I, for example, wouldn't give up on my name, but if my kids would like to take my wife's name - I would respect their decision.
38 votes

//2 May 06, 2008 04:45 PM | posted by: pristine
@alcotrazz: What does it matter why he wanted to take his wife's surname? It shouldn't be hard to change your name regardless of why you want to, after all its *your* name. As for being 'Ashamed' I'm not sure why you would come to that conclusion at all, I know people who have taken on their mothers maiden names to keep the name from dying out and I know people who have simply picked a different surname because their original one was too hard to spell. This is not an area where the state should be outting up barriers.
48 votes

//1 May 06, 2008 03:02 PM | posted by: alcotrazz [InfoMANIAC]
I don't quite understand, why all the trouble? only because you feel close to your wife's father? well, be close to him, but why don't you leave your father's name? ashamed of him, or what?

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