Husbands changing their last names #Offbeat grooms#last names January 12 | Ariel offbeatbride Photo by goswyn When researching Offbeat Bride, without a doubt the hottest topic among my labs rats was women changing their last names. One increasingly popular method of dealing with this feminist minefield is both the bride and the groom assuming a new last name. Seems to solve all the problems, right? Well, turns out that in many states it's significantly harder for husbands to change their last names. As in, hundreds of dollars harder. And now, one brave offbeat groom has teamed up with The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU/SC) to sue the state over a law that makes it easy-peasy for women to assume their husbands' last names — but a pain in the ass for grooms to change their last names. Check out this article from Salon.com: — As Michael Buday saw it, the road to matrimonial bliss was a nontraditional one that included taking on his wife's last name, reports the Feminist Daily News Wire. Problem is, according to a lawsuit filed on his behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union, in California men are required to pay upward of $300, file a court petition and advertise their name change for a month in the local newspaper; a woman, in contrast, can change her name through marriage by simply paying a $50 to $80 filing fee. Buday also says he was ridiculed when he tried to legally take his wife's last name at the Department of Motor Vehicles. The suit, filed Dec. 15 in Los Angeles, complains: "No important governmental objectives exist in making this classification between men and women. Rather, the unequal treatment is nothing more than the mechanical application of traditional, inaccurate assumptions about the proper roles of men and women." Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the ACLU of Southern California, told ABC News, "California has the perfect marriage application for the 17th century. The laws reflect a mind-set that the wife is to be subordinate to the husband," he said. "At every junction, the message is 'select the name of the husband.'" Only Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York and North Dakota enable men and women to change their names through marriage with equal ease, according to ABC News. But, inspired by the ACLU lawsuit, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma of San Francisco has introduced a measure that would allow either spouse to change his or her last name on the couple's marriage license. I'll keep my celebration brief — my hyphenated last name already gives away my stance on nontraditional approaches to the marriage name game. (In fairness, it was actually my hippie parents who decided on my surname; they each kept their respective last names and lobbed them together to create a new one for me.) I have no real beef with women choosing to take on their husband's last name. But, naturally, leveling out the name-changing playing field would help relieve some feminists' queasiness at the continuing pressure for women to take their spouse's last name. Not to mention that under the current system, it seems that men who might like to take another name are getting an awfully raw deal. Now that the inequity is being addressed, a little fanfare is in order: Woo-hoo! UPDATE! This law has now been changed so now it's easier for men in California to take a new last name! YAY! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dances in Seattle, WA. PREVIOUS Jen Moon stars in "Wedding: The Musical" NEXT Brittany Wager's jam-band campout wedding weekend Show/Hide comments [ 4 ] Just so everyone knows, the law in CA has been changed now. It is just as easy for a man to take his wife's last name at marriage as the other way around. 2 agree Reply It's not just offbeat. There are many practical reasons a man might want to take the last name of his wife. Such as, if she is in a career that requires a license and he doesn't, it makes much more sense for him to change his last name than for her to change hers and then pay the price for changing all the licenses and such. My minister kept her last name and her husband changed his. 2 agree Reply The link to read more appears to be broken, which is sad. Is there an alternative access point to the article, at all? 1 agrees Reply The original article is no longer online, but I tracked down the text and updated the post to include it! 1 agrees Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.