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Married lesbians
can't get passports

Married lesbians
can't get passports

In a case that illustrates the difficult place married gay couples can find themselves in when living under a government that doesn't yet recognize their marriage, a lesbian couple in Massachusetts can't get new passports.

In a case that illustrates the difficult place married gay couples can find themselves when living under a government that doesn't yet recognize their marriage, a lesbian couple married in Massachusetts says their efforts to get new passports have been stymied once again.

Joan and Vicki Bagnell married two years ago and took a new last name that now appears on their licenses and Social Security cards. But in January, as the couple planned a trip to the Turks and Caicos islands in the West Indies, they applied for passports and were denied.

Speaking to a reporter from WCVB TV in Boston, Vicki Bagnell asked why the federal government was willing to change the names on their Social Security cards to their married name if it doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.

A spokeswoman for the State Department says that gay married couples can wait until five years after their name change and then apply for a new passport; or apply using their old names, with their new names listed in a special "also known as" section, which the Bagnels chose to do.

But they are apparently out of luck. The couple recently received a letter from the State Department saying their application is being filed without further action. To add insult to injury, their fees are nonrefundable, and they must reapply if they still want to obtain a passport. (Sirius/OutQ News)

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