Connie Wilson moved with her partner and child from California to Texas, expecting that something as mundane as getting a new driver’s license wouldn’t be a hassle. She was wrong. The Texas Department of Safety (DPS) refused to grant her a new Texas driver’s license because Texas will not recognize the validity of her same-sex marriage performed in California.
According to KTRK (Houston), Wilson took her wife Annie’s name when they got married. Taking her California marriage license to Texas DPS for secondary identification, she was taken aback at the clerk’s response.
“The employee asked, ‘Is this a same?’ I knew what she meant, and I knew I would have a problem.”
KHOU (Houston) attempted to speak with someone at Texas DPS about the driver’s license denial, and received a written statement.
“To receive a Texas Driver License or Identification Card reflecting a name change from a same-sex marriage, a court order is required. DPS does not track the statistics related to your inquiry.”
This puts the new Texan in the position of having to pay court fees to prove that she is who she says she is — something she’s not willing to do.
“I’m being prohibited from having the last name of my children. I think that’s a violation of me as a person. I may as well pick another name out a hat.”
Connie also has the option of going back to her maiden name, which she is not willing to do and which would also cost her money in court costs.
“It’s really hard to accept that someone is telling me I can’t have my name. I was denied based on a marriage license.”
Connie is concerned about what effect being denied a driver’s license will have on her life besides not being able to legally drive in Texas. She fears she won’t be able to vote in Texas’ upcoming midterm elections and that her and her partner’s plans to buy a house may also be put in jeopardy.
This is not the first time a gay Texas couple has found themselves at the wrong end of Texas’ government; last year, according to this Inquisitr report, a lesbian couple was told by a Texas judge that they could not live together.
Feeling like she was out of options, Wilson and her partner brought their problem to the attention of Texas State Senator Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), according to SF Gate, who said she is “looking into it.”
“This is something that deeply concerns us, and we’re looking at this, because we don’t want this to happen to anyone else in Texas. This is not the way to treat someone who is relocating to our state, we need to make sure they can buy homes, get jobs, and register to vote.”
Do you believe that Texas DPS is within its rights to deny a driver’s license to people married in same sex marriages in other states? Let us know what you think below.
[Image courtesy of: Facebook]