Same-sex Texarkana couple fighting for name change on license - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Same-sex Texarkana couple fighting for name change on drivers license

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LaDonna and Pat Wrightner say the state of Texas is making it difficult to change a name on LaDonna's license following their marriage in New Mexico. LaDonna and Pat Wrightner say the state of Texas is making it difficult to change a name on LaDonna's license following their marriage in New Mexico.
TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) -

A Texarkana couple has taken on a new battle connected to their same-sex marriage. Last year, they took issue with the local paper's refusal to print their wedding announcement. Now that they're married, they say they're facing more discrimination.

"They say we need to get an attorney," says LaDonna Cooks Wrightner, who is trying to get her last name changed on her Texas driver's license. LaDonna and her partner, Pat, have a New Mexico marriage license. She also has a Social Security card with the last name Wrightner. LaDonna says she recieved a temporary driver's license earlier this week with the changed name, but once she returned home, she got a phone call from the DMV putting a halt to the process.

"And I asked her, would we still be going through this if I was married to a man, and she said, 'Absolutely not.'"

The state of Texas does not recognize same sex marriages. "I guess the government of Texas overrides the federal government - don't override it, but Texas has its own little hiccups."

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety says that in a same-sex marriage, a court order is needed before a name change is granted on a driver's license. "I am going to an attorney," says Pat Wrightner, "filling out the papers, paying for an attorney and we are still not for sure or guaranteed they are going to accept this document here."

The couple says they knew there would be some hurdles after they got married, but this was not one of them. They say they're not trying to change the state of Texas, just LaDonna's last name.

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