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All he wanted to do was take his wife's name - World -

I thought this was interesting. Should men be allowed to take the names of their wives upon marriage in the same way that wives take their husbands' surnames--that is, without going through the legal name change process?

Finally ... Michael Bijon has been allowed to take his wife Diana's name.

May 6, 2008 - 9:09AM

All Michael Buday wanted to do was take the last name of his wife, Diana Bijon, when they married in the US.

But it took two years, a lawsuit alleging sex discrimination and a change in California law before he picked up his new drivers licence in the name of Michael Bijon on Monday.

"It was personal. I feel much closer to (Diana's) father than I do mine. She asked me to take her name and I thought it would be very simple. I never imagined the state would make it so difficult," Michael Bijon, 31, told reporters.

He discovered it would take a $US350 (A374) fee, court appearances, a public announcement and mounds of paperwork to make a change on his driving licence that is routine for women who marry.

After months of frustration, the Los Angeles computer programmer and his ER nurse wife Diana, 29, took their problem to the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.

A double barrel name would have been no problem, nor would Diana and Michael deciding to each keep their birth names. But California and some 40 other US states provided no place on the marriage licence application, and driving licence, for the groom to choose the bride's surname.

"Women have fought for so long for equal rights and it feels like this is part of that fight," said Diana Bijon. "When we got married, the law basically said, 'Don't be silly, only a woman can change her name when she gets married."'

"I am really, really proud of him. Not many men would do this," she said.

A subsequent lawsuit led to a new California state law guaranteeing the rights of both married couples and registered domestic partners to choose whichever last name they prefer on their marriage and driving licences.

"This disposes of the rule in California that the male surname is the marital name to the same trash bin where dowries were once tossed out," said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the Southern California chapter of the ACLU.


Sorry, my text-to-speech (screen reading) software currently prevents me from making te link clickable, but it will work if you copy it into the address bar of your browser--or, as some like to say, Google is your friend. Interesting story.


Asked by Ballad at 10:00 PM on Feb. 24, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • My dh had no problem changing his last name to mine. Just went and did the same thing a woman would do. Guess we were lucky that no one caused us any grief. His name was actually something he wasn't proud of because of his family's behavior and he wanted to take mine. Since I didn't want to change mine it worked out well for both of us.

    Answer by baconbits at 10:02 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • My friend Alex has his wires last name as well as his.

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 10:03 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • Sigh....

    Answer by Crafty26 at 10:10 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • SIGH

    Answer by DJDNY at 10:24 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • It seems logical to me that either should be able to take the other's name. I haven't heard of anyone wanting to do so and maybe that is why the laws have not been changed yet. Maybe there are other reasons, but I just can't come up with one.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:39 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • It always a fight to break through antiquated societal views of what women "should" do instead of giving them the freedoms others have.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 7:06 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • I'm dubbing you lady who likes books #2. Who needs news when we have you all.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:03 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • Haha Ballad! Ye who likes books! I think it should be just as inconvenient and burdensome for men to change their last name as it is for women. I never changed my name neither did my ex.

    Answer by booklover545 at 1:45 PM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • I was friends with a couple where the woman had the surname Brown and the man had the surname Miller. They both changed their names legally to Brownmiller when they got married. I thought that was an interesting way to do things.

    Comment by Ballad (original poster) at 10:31 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • I'm dubbing you lady who likes books #2. Who needs news when we have you all.

    Thanks, Anon. *Smile.* I'll take that as a compliment. I happen to enjoy what the first "lady who likes books" posts and find her conversation to be intelligent.

    Comment by Ballad (original poster) at 12:00 PM on Feb. 26, 2013