Looking back on 2014, there have been great strides made in same sex marriage equality. In the last month South Carolina, Wyoming, Nevada and Arizona have legally recognized same sex marriages, bringing the total number of states that recognize same sex couples’ right to marry to 35.
Same sex couples marrying in these 35 states can apply for a marriage license at their county clerk’s offices, have an officiated legal wedding ceremony and will receive a certified marriage certificate. With a certified marriage certificate, the newlywed couple can file for a name change via the married name change process. This saves them the headache of navigating the legal name change process and petitioning the U.S. court system for the right to change their last names.
A big trend in same sex name-change in 2014 was the blending of two last names into a new married last name. For example, Miss Greenland marries Miss Burnbury and they opt to become Mrs. and Mrs. Greenbury. **Please note that only California residents have the option to blend their last names using the married name change process. Regardless of sexual orientation, newlywed couples who do not live in California will need to petition the courts to blend their last names.
2015 is around the corner and has the potential to bring marriage equality and the ability to use the married name change process to same sex couples residing in the remaining 15 states. You can check the legal marriage status of any state at any time at GayWeddings.com. Information on the marriage license application process for same sex couples can be found via MarriageLicenseNow.com.