Same-sex couples apply for name change

Corey Ledin and Art Bristol, who want to legally change their last name to Ledin-Bristol. (March 24, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Several couples who got married Saturday in Muskegon before an appeals court put a federal judge’s gay marriage ruling on hold have started the process of changing their names.

Corey Ledin and Art Bristol, who want to legally change their last name to Ledin-Bristol, and Bethany Rozeboom, who plans to take the last name of her partner, Mary Winn, stopped at a Grand Rapids’ social security office Monday morning.

While the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, which defined marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman on the federal level, the couples were told Monday that the office – which is a federal agency — didn’t have instructions on how to process their applications. However, the agency did accept their paperwork.

At the Secretary of State office, the couples weren’t allowed to finish the name-changing process, because officials told them they had no authority to go forward under the stay.

“We got a valid marriage license that was done prior to the stay, and here we are in legal limbo,” Ledin said. “That’s very frustrating.”

The couples told 24 Hour News 8 they weren’t given a time frame on when their applications could be processed, even if or when the stay is lifted. They also said they plan to speak with their legislators to move the process forward.

Around 300 couples were married in four Michigan counties, including Muskegon County, on Saturday before the appeals court reinstituted the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, which Michigan voters approved in 2004.

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