Citing the Defense Of Marriage Act, the State Department has refused to issue a passport to a Massachusetts AIDS counselor under his new married hyphenated name.
As an AIDS counselor, Jason Hair-Wynn wants to bring his expertise to Africa, a continent that has been ravaged by the disease. But when the Attleboro resident recently applied for a new passport so he could go to Africa, he learned the U.S. State Department would not recognize his new hyphenated name because he is a gay man married to another man. He said the State Department said it was prohibited from recognizing his new name by the Defense of Marriage Act.
“We are unable to comply with your request for a name change based on the documentation you sent because of the Defense of Marriage Act …,” the letter states. “In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administration bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”
Another example of the disconnect between state-level LGBT progress and the federal government.