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Lesbian couple denied driver’s licenses because their marriage is ‘not recognized’

Thursday, February 3, 2011

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Two Souix Falls women who were legally married in Iowa last October, have been refused driver’s licenses in their married name, because, according to the state, their union is not recognized in South Dakota.

Amy (left) and Ashley Stabe

When Amy Muston married Ashley Stabe married last year, the couple took Stabe’s name.

But in 2006, South Dakota voters passed a constitutional amendment that banned and denied recognition of same-sex marriage and civil unions.

And since state law requires drivers to provide legal documentation of a name change when applying for a license, the state is refusing to accept their Iowa marriage license as a legal basis for the name change, reports the Souix Falls Argus Leader.

The couple has now filed petitions in the Minnehaha and Union County courts to change their names. Both petitions have the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota.

The ACLU sees the license denials as evidence that such laws turn homosexuals into second-class citizens and threaten to drive people from the state. If the courts refuse to accept the name-change petition on the grounds that doing so would endorse a same-sex union, lawsuits might follow.

“This is an emerging issue for states that have passed these constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage,” said Robert Doody, executive director of the South Dakota ACLU. “They’re being used to deny people really basic rights.”

According to the Department of Public Safety, which issues the driver’s licenses, a message in bold print on the application indicates that the state will not accept any documents related to same-sex marriage.

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Filed under: Around the USA, South Dakota

33 more reader comments:

  1. This is Bull S–T…

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 10:48pm
  2. Two words.
    BULL. SHIT. /:<

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 10:48pm
  3. thats WRONG! Why should one belief not let someone get what others can!? OMG, I JUST CANT BELIEVE IT!!! IM GOING ON STRIKE FOR THEM!

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 10:50pm
  4. - With all this BS going on, these stories no longer surprise me, smdh!

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 10:51pm
  5. Oh for crying out loud!

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 10:51pm
  6. unreal

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 10:52pm
  7. wow…

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 10:57pm
  8. Huh what does your marital status have to do with getting a drivers license?

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 10:58pm
  9. so stupid…

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 11:00pm
  10. Really? Has it come down to that??? First off what does that have to do with them getting there license. Its just the fact that are gay which is bs. State and us gov’t is becoming dumber by the day.

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 11:00pm
  11. What in the hell? What kinda foolishness is this smh…

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 11:01pm
  12. Fuck people why they all up in everyones business they made a choice and it took alot of courage why fuck with them frying to hinder them at every step

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 11:02pm
  13. That’s dumb >.>

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 11:08pm
  14. Boo! Wtf?! America!

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 11:47pm
  15. gggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 11:53pm
  16. It’s just never ending!

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 12:10am
  17. Eu nao credito!!!

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 12:13am
  18. Same thing happened to us we got married in Iowa and mo and KS denied us to change our name!

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 12:13am
  19. What the shit..? why cant people just stop so other people can live their life in peace? Our blood ruins the same so therefore we should all be equal!

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 12:35am
  20. THAT’S SOOOOOO BULL SHIT!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 5:18am
  21. I say just get your name changed in that state, then it’s legal.

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 5:26am
  22. it is not legal, believe me i have exhausted every resource available. Thought I could get my name changed on an Iowa license and present it to South Dakota. Not that easy South Dakota requires a legal document asking you why your name changed since you left the state, which is my marriage certificate, which is no good in their state. They have every avenue blocked unfortunately. My name is changed on a federal level. Social security card, everything but states have their own laws and they dont always have to abide by the federal ones...

    Replied on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 12:44am
  23. They were doing that here in Nebraska too. Luckily ehen we got married in Iowa we had a very cool chick in nebraska that helped us out!

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 5:51am
  24. We were married in iowa and had the same problem in Michigan, we ended up stending almost 1000 on name changes! Then the individual at secretary of state (dmv) said she would have done it without the name change, I guess certain govt employees can choose to be fair although associates in that office had previously said no…1000 down the drain all because we live in a country then can choose when equal liberties should exist.

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 6:06am
  25. Lawsuit time!

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 7:58am
  26. what?
    that’s horrible and way over board

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 8:53am
  27. that is rediculous!…

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 10:08am
  28. It is just petty

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 10:20am
  29. Yay for close minded Americans!! NOT!!!

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 11:16am
  30. Even if marriages aren’t legal in every state, we should at least have the courtesy to recognize those made in different states. For fuck’s sake.

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 11:25am
  31. Exactly what I thought. LoL. Battle since November hopefully it all pans out for me soon !!!

    Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 5:35pm
  32. If the sane states issued change-of-name documentation without stating the reason for that change, this could be avoided.

    Posted on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 2:19pm
  33. All the states that deny same sex marriages are just plain stupid. The money they could get from the licenses alone not to mention the drivers licenses would sure help out. I think it is lame saying how you can or can’t marry… and if you go to a state that allows it every state should recognize it. If the USA can recognize men with more than one wife from countries that allow it then why the hell can’t they do the same for its own citizens?

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 11:29am