Oregon law might soon make it easier for a husband to take his wife’s name. State Senator Vicki Walker (D) introduced an amendment to a marriage certificate bill that would clarify the name-changing process for grooms and for couples who wish to adopt a hyphenated name. A story in the spring issue of Ms. magazine, which described a similar effort in California, inspired Walker to propose the amendment.
If the amendment becomes law, marriage license applications will provide a space for both the bride and groom to note their new names. The current applications do not ask for either spouse’s new name. The Oregon Senate approved the amendment, and it will now be sent back to the House for final approval before it is given to Governor Ted Kulongoski (D).
Only six other states have clear provisions for grooms to change their names. “We are no longer a patriarchal society,” Walker said, according to The Oregonian. “This simply makes it fair.”