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Sunday, Mar. 23, 2008 at 9:43 PM
Friday, March 21, 2008 / 06:16 PM
SUMMARY: Massachusetts' Jason Hair-Wynn, going to Ghana to fight AIDS, needed a new passport with his married name; the feds tell him to change his name back.
The U.S. State Department will not issue a new passport to an international AIDS educator under his married name, which is a hyphenate combining his and his partner's surnames, Massachusetts newspaper The Sun Chronicle reported.
Jason Hair-Wynn married his partner in 2005 in his home state of Massachusetts, the only state that has legalized same-sex marriage. Hair-Wynn received a letter from the State Department saying the federal Defense of Marriage Act prohibits it from recognizing his new name. Under DOMA, only heterosexual marriages are recognized by the federal government.
Hair-Wynn intended to go to Ghana this summer for AIDS education and volunteer work but needed to update his passport to reflect his married name. While he has successfully changed his name with the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security Administration, he hit a roadblock with the federal agency.
"When I got the letter, I said, 'I can't even process this. This is legal discrimination. It is weird to get discrimination in writing,'" he said to The Sun Chronicle. He intends to change his name back and reapply for a passport. (The Advocate)
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