The passport was denied because the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) only recognizes heterosexual marriages for federal purposes. "Therefore, the marriage certificate issued by Sudbury, Massachusetts, which you have submitted in support of your name change, is not acceptable as evidence for recognizing an immediate name change on the basis of marriage," the U.S. Department of State informed Hair-Wynn in its letter, a copy of which Hair-Wynn provided to Bay Windows. Ironically, the letter addressed Hair-Wynn by his married name.
Hair-Wynn was shocked. "I just sat there and I was like, I can’t even process this," said Hair-Wynn, 26. "It’s so different when you see it in writing and a professional form and I just kept thinking, ’Wow, this is legal discrimination. This is absurd.’"
This action by our federal government now stands directly in the way of this man's trip he’ll be taking this summer to do HIV/AIDS and health education with youngsters in Ghana, Africa. His cause is noble, our government's intervention in this matter is a shameful reminder of just how much discrimination is still out there.