As the great theologian Bob Dylan crooned, “the times they are a’changin’.” A Mississippi man recently had to battle the state for his right to adopt his wife’s last name. While this may seem odd to us here in the Bible belt, it takes place without incident elsewhere in the country. The state of Mississippi wasn’t quite prepared for the Mississippian’s request. When all was said and done, the ACLU worked their magic and made sure Mr. McCarthy became Mr. Everhart. Good for you, sir.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man has taken his wife’s last name after the ACLU complained he was told by state officials that he would need a court order to do so because it was not traditional.
Robert Everhart, 28, of Pascagoula, born Robert McCarthy, changed his last name on his driver’s license Wednesday by using his marriage certificate, as many women do in taking their husband’s last name.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi sent a letter to Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz on Tuesday, saying the agency was violating state and federal law.
DPS spokesman Warren Strain said Tuesday that Everhart’s request was unusual, and employees at driver’s license stations were operating under an old practice. He said the employees were informed that men can use marriage certificates to change their names, just like women do.
Everhart got his name changed at the Pascagoula driver’s license station, the first one that turned him down last November.
Everhart said he could have paid for a court order to make the change long ago, but he fought out of principle. He said it was his decision to take his wife’s name and the state should honor it.