We're getting married!! Hooray!! Cue shed loads to do and constant mild panic.
Venue...deposit paid; photographer...booked; cake....no idea yet. Working through our wedding to do list, we thought it prudent research what goes on with name changes for gay men. Whilst we toyed with the idea of swapping surnames, or coming up with something totally new - "Fancypants" and "Fortesque-Blitherington-Clutterbuck" were suggested and quickly vetoed - we settled on the commonplace practice of going double barrelled.
The Discrimination Against Same Sex Couples
Heading to the UK Deed Poll Office, they proudly state front and centre on their same sex marriage section:
"The rules for changing your name after you enter into same-sex marriage are exactly the same as for a heterosexual couple."
Wonderful! As the Changing Your Name After Marriage page you are directed to very helpfully explains, your "marriage certificate would be enough." and no Deed Poll change needs to be made. The provided explanation for this simple:
''...due to the hyphen..." it's "...reasonably clear..." which is your surname
"...It is easy to understand how you decided on that last name."
Simple right? Well not quite. Unfortunately, despite noting how they 'proudly support[...]' the LGBTQIA+ community, they also firmly state that should same sex couples wish to have a double barrelled surname, both parties must pay to change their name by Deed Poll.
"...you will both need to apply for a Deed Poll in order to change your names."
Not only is this requirement unfair, but by their own admission, baseless. They have jovially outlined for heterosexual couples the various reasons that changing your name by Deed Poll is obviously unnecessary. However in spite of shouting their stance of equality, then failed to follow through for same sex couples. In addition, their attempt to gloss over their unequal treatment reeks of phoned in corporate phonyism:
"...it’s our [sic] honor to assist you in changing your name should you require a Deed Poll."
That since 2014 same sex couples have been getting married in the UK has been wonderful. However there still being instances around the marriage process that clearly and unjustly bring difference of treatment, shows there is still work to be done.
Moreover, this coming from an organisation that in one sentence is outwardly shouting their allyship with the LGBTQIA+ community, then denying equality in the next, feels downright insulting.
Having themselves noted that a double barrelled surname is obvious clear and easy to understand; the solution is simple: Remove the requirement for a Deed Poll change of name for same sex couples seeking a double barrelled surname.
What's Next to Resolve the Situation
We are hoping this can be quick and simple to rectify, and have contacted the UK Deed Poll Office via their contact page - feel free to add your voice and reach them too. We have firstly asked to understand their reasoning for this inequality, and secondly if they are willing to change it. If we do not hear a response we shall be setting up a petition for you and others to sign and share.
x The Age Gap Guys x