Mich. Driver Office Won’t Change Name After Gay Marriage
Don’t count on driver’s license officials in Michigan accepting name changes for gay people who are married.
The federal government and New York state may consider him Jesse Melot, but the Michigan Department of State insists he’s still Jesse Sherman.
A provision of the Michigan Constitution that voters approved in 2004 bans same-sex marriages, so he and Derek Melot went to New York to get married in October.
"I love him, and I think that’s the best gift you can give someone," Jesse Melot said about the name change. "This is for real. I love you. I want to take your last name."
Afterward, Jesse Melot said he visited two Michigan Secretary of State offices with his marriage certificate, seeking to have his new name put on his driver’s license. Clerks in both offices declined to do so, he told MLive.com.
Although he could spend money to have his name changed legally, married people normally can do that just by showing a marriage certificate.
"It’s utter frustration," he said. "If I had been a woman going to change my last name, it wouldn’t have been an issue. They’re profiling at the counter. My certificate doesn’t say ’same-sex.’ It just says marriage. But they see the names, and they’re discriminating against me."