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Disguised Discrimination

So, what's in an name? In certain states, like Kansas and Nebraska, it depends on who you are.

According to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a new voter identification law and proof of citizenship requirement will prevent voter impersonation and illegal ballots cast by "alien" voters. But that same law is being utilized as a means of discrimination against certain groups of citizens.

Recently in Kansas, two women who were legally married in Iowa, applied for new name changes on their driver's licenses. The couple had no problem obtaining new social security cards, or other legal documentation. They were even granted spousal health insurance benefits. With all proper paperwork in hand, they then tried to obtain their new driver's licenses. Upon arriving at a state driver's licensing office, they were met with immediate resistance. The employee tried unsuccessfully to "justify" her displeasure and possible denial to grant the name changes to the couple by insisting on further documentation by the couple. When this had been provided, the employee then presented the couple with a "copy" of the state statute that does not recognize same-sex couples as legitimate. After much trouble and rude humiliation, the couple was finally granted their licenses. They had done nothing wrong; only requesting a simple name change on their driver's licenses , to reflect the same on all their legal documents. This is done, hassle-free, everyday by people wishing to change their names, due to divorce, re-marriage, or just simply because they desire a different name. A similar incident also took place recently in neighboring Nebraska, where one partner was denied a name change on her driver's license, because the licensing office refused to recognize her same-sex marriage, which was also performed in Iowa.

This law, from its inception to its implementation, is being wrongfully administered to discriminate against certain individuals in order to deny them their basic rights. It is unnecessary and unjust. All the greater reason it needs to be overturned. And equality to all citizens must be ensured by legalizing same-sex marriage in every state- now!

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