Same-Sex Newly Weds Stuck in Legal Limbo
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (March 24, 2014) — Mixed feelings, Monday, as newly married same-sex couples find they are hitting road blocks in their attempt to make things more official with the state of Michigan.
Art and Corey Leden-Bristol hoped to do what every other newly married heterosexual couple would be able to do.
“We expected to get our driver’s licenses changed and to be able to exercise our legal marriage rights but unfortunately that wasn’t able to happen today,” said Art Ledin-Bristol.
The Grand Rapids couple, together for 11 years, jumped at the short window of opportunity Saturday, after a federal judge ruled Michigan’s same sex marriage ban, unconstitutional. The next day, Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a motion halting that process.
The couple invited FOX 17 along as they took advantage of the first business day following their marriage ceremony to try to get their names legally changed. First stop, the social security office.
“At this point, they’re going to hold the application because they’re waiting for Baltimore to give them direction on how to handle the applications in the state of Michigan, explained Ledin-Bristol.
Knowing they could get the same outcome at the Secretary of State’s office, the couple tried anyway.
“It’s very important,” said Ledin-Bristol. “We want to be able to vote in this next election and how can we vote when we don’t have proper identification. It’s a freedom issue as well. Are they going to take away our freedoms and prevent us from voting?”
Denied once again. The couple says this goes beyond not being able to change their name.
“You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow and having our legal matters in order, that’s very important. We have children, we have a family.”
The couple said they plan to talk to their legislators and keep pushing forward to get their names legally changed.