Same-sex couple fights to change name on Georgia driver's license

by: Diana Davis Updated:

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ATLANTA - A newly married same-sex couple is fighting the Georgia Department of Driver Services.

Georgia refused to put the new married name of one of the women on her driver's license. She told Channel 2’s Diana Davis she's started  an online petition to force change.

Same sex couple Danielle McCollum and Shakira Tucker were legally married this summer in Massachusetts.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, the couple can now file joint tax returns, have the same names on their passports and Social Security cards.

The couple also want their Georgia driver’s licenses to reflect their new hyphenated last name: McCollum-Tucker.

Shakira went to the Sandy Springs driver's license office first.

“The man who helped her said, 'I don’t want to get in trouble, so I'm going to check with my manager.’ He walked away and when he came back he said, 'My manager approved this,’” Shakira said.

Shakira’s license now bears her name;  Shakira McCollum-Tucker.

When Danielle went to the same office a few weeks later, showing  the same marriage certificate the clerk denied her request.

“I handed her my marriage certificate and she said, ‘I'm not going to be able to change your name today.' That's when I told her, ‘You guys changed my wife's name here at this location a few weeks earlier.' And she said, ‘They changed it in error,’” Danielle said.

No one from the DDS would talk to Davis on camera, but in a written statement they said their policy is clear.

“The Georgia constitution prohibits all state agencies from accepting same-sex marriage documentation for any purpose."

Danielle has launched an online petition on Change.org to get the Georgia to allow it .

“I’m making a fuss because I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” Danielle said.

She admitted she could go to court to legally change her name. But she said it is expensive and that she shouldn't have to.

“Why should I have to? You know, that’s how I feel. It’s something that heterosexual  couples don’t have to do,” Danielle said.

Danielle said the same rules on names should extend to Georgia driver’s licenses.

“There's no real reason to discriminate against us. We just want to be treated fairly and equally and respectfully,” Danielle said.

National polls show U.S. attitudes toward gay marriage are changing. An ABC News/Washington Post poll found 55 percent of Americans said they support the right of same-sex couples to legally tie the knot.

Danielle told Davis she does not expect Georgia to drop its same-sex marriage ban anytime soon, but she hopes the online petition will at least  change the rules on driver's licenses.

“I think if more people will speak out, we can make the change happen,” Danielle said.