Jason Hair-Wynn got married to his partner in Massachusetts and then legally added his partner's last name to his own. But when Jason applied for a new passport in order to go to Africa to do HIV/AIDS education work for orphaned kids, the US State Department declined his application.
The reason for the rejection? DOMA. The State Department said it was prohibited from recognizing his new name because of the Defense of Marriage Act.
That's right, folks. The State Department would not recognize his LEGAL name change because it implies he and his husband are actually married. Gasp! The official reply after the jump...
In a letter to Jason, the State Department writes:
We are unable to comply with your request for a name change based on the documentation you sent because of the Defense of Marriage Act ... In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administration bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
Jason is an AIDS counselor and was going to Africa to help educate children in Africa about HIV and AIDS. He says he's planning to change his name back so he can go to the continent that has been ravaged by the disease.
Wow. So now this man has to go through the expense and trouble of LEGALLY changing his name again to do his important work? He has to choose between taking his partner's name or helping educate children about HIV/AIDS?
It seems our government would rather put children at risk than recognize a gay relationship in any way. Good to see that our government has its priorities straight...
Who is the real threat to families and children here? The man trying to spread education about HIV/AIDS or the people trying their best to stop him to "protect the sanctity of marriage"? It think the answer becomes more and more obvious all the time.