In 2009, in Iowa, Sue Kirchofer married Mary Stroesser where equality lives, and where they lived until returning to Nebraska where Sue grew up.
Upon returning home, Sue Kirchofer changed her name to Sue Stroesser; she changed her name on her Social Security card; she changed her name on her passport; her credit cards carry the name Sue Stroesser, as do her bank accounts; she has a Nebraska state license to practice in her health care profession as a Stroesser and she pays her Nebraska taxes as a Stroesser.
But, she cannot get a Nebraska driver’s license as a Stroesser because Nebraska is on the wrong side of history … still.
When Sue went to the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles last month to get a new driver’s license with her married name on it, she presented her Iowa marriage license as proof of her name change, only to be told by a staffer that the DMV could not accept it since Nebraska is an anti-equality state and doesn’t recognize any same-sex marriage, no matter where it was performed.
And it’s not just an inconvenience, having one name on every single document, form, identification card, and work-related license, and another name on her driver’s license, Sue Stroesser cannot change her car insurance from the company they used in Iowa to a company in Nebraska without a valid driver’s license from the state.
“Progress has been made that’s life-changing and very affirming for a lot of people. But then I run into something that happens to me at the DMV, and it feels like I go back in time. I’ve been a Stroesser for a long time. I’m not asking for recognition of my marriage with Mary. I am asking for state identification with my current legal name.” — Sue Stroesser
Nebraska’s ban on same-sex marriage is being challenged in court, as are the bans in 31 other states, but this is a prime example of why we need federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
All Sue Stroesser wants is a driver’s license with her married name on it, and yet she has to fight for it just because she’s gay.
How on earth is that allowed to happen here?