Michael Buday Becomes Michael Bijon

January 26, 2012 by staff 

Michael Buday Becomes Michael Bijon, All Michael Buday wanted to do was take the last name of his wife, Diana Bijon, when they married.

But it took two years, a lawsuit alleging sex discrimination and a change in California law before he picked up his new drivers license in the name of Michael Bijon on Monday.

“It was personal. I feel much closer to (Diana’s) father than I do mine. She asked me to take her name and I thought it would be very simple. I never imagined the state would make it so difficult,” Michael Bijon, 31, told reporters.

He discovered it would take a $350 fee, court appearances, a public announcement and mounds of paperwork to make a change on his driving license that is routine for women who marry.

After months of frustration, the Los Angeles computer programmer and his ER nurse wife Diana, 29, took their problem to the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.

A double barrel name would have been no problem, nor would Diana and Michael deciding to each keep their birth names. But California and some 40 other U.S. states provided no place on the marriage license application, and driving license, for the groom to choose the bride’s surname.

“Women have fought for so long for equal rights and it feels like this is part of that fight,” said Diana Bijon. “When we got married, the law basically said, ‘Don’t be silly, only a woman can change her name when she gets married.’”

“I am really, really proud of him. Not many men would do this,” she said.

A subsequent lawsuit led to a new California state law guaranteeing the rights of both married couples and registered domestic partners to choose whichever last name they prefer on their marriage and driving licenses.

“This disposes of the rule in California that the male surname is the marital name to the same trash bin where dowries were once tossed out,” said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the Southern California chapter of the ACLU.

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2 Responses to “Michael Buday Becomes Michael Bijon”

  1. Beverly havey on January 26th, 2012 6:16 pm

    My husband and I did the same thing. We were married back in 1993 in Spokane, Washinton, and since I had been married before and went back to my maiden name after the divorce, I didn’t want to change my last name again. My new husband wanted us to have the same last name so he changed his. To make sure he could do it we called a lawyer and was told it didn’t matter whether it was the man or the woman that changed their last name, in fact would could even have to different last names if we wanted. The changing of the last name was done more for convience than anything. We did run into a couple of problems at first when he went to change the name on his social security card and driver’s license, and it gets interesting at tax time every year, but that’s because it is unusal for the man to change his name. I think it is great when the man does it, since it shows that a woman change also carry on the family name.

  2. IlyaV on January 26th, 2012 7:25 pm

    Yeah she should be proud of him. Most men wouldn’t do that because their fiancees don’t keep their balls in a jar.