With gay marriages finally getting the legal sanction, an important question which these gay couples will have to face now is whether either of them would be changing the name after marriage and if yes, then who will that partner be. As per tradition, in a normal marriage, it is the bride who is expected to change her name and take on the name of the groom. However, in same sex marriages, this decision becomes a little complicated.
Not To Change Name
The first thing that gay couples need to decide in this regard is whether they even want to change their names or not. If both the partners are working, then both their individual names would have some standing in the professional world and therefore, changing it may raise some complications for them professionally. It, therefore, seems better that neither of the partner changes his or her name. Besides, this changing of names is only a tradition and has no legal binding to it. Therefore, even when a girl gets married to a guy, she is not bound by law to change her name and if she prefers, she can continue with her maiden name even after marriage.
To Change Name
If you consider this name changing decision in a practical way, then maybe you too would feel that it is not important to change the name. However, when you think about it from an emotional point of view and consider the future of your children, then you are forced to reconsider this name changing decision. Giving a stable home to children for gay couples is still a difficult task, because of the apprehensions which the society continues to have about such marriages. It, thus, becomes important that the kids are given a strong sense of family at home and with them having to deal with different names of their parents, might end up confusing them even further. When both the parents share the same name, the kids are able to feel a part of one single family and this helps in bringing more stability to their thinking and sense of belonging.
Deciding The Name Change
Since there is no law and neither are there any traditional restrictions or rules about name changing in gay marriages, therefore the decision about changing names lies totally and completely in the hands of the gay couples. They can use any mutually acceptable criterion for deciding on who changes the name in their marriage. In many cases it has been seen that couples take this decision on the basis of the simplicity of the name or on the basis of which name sounds better. It is not a scientific way of deciding, but then again, the decision is more of an emotional one and not a life changing decision and hence, you can use your own whims and fancies when taking this decision. Gay couples even try to make this decision in a fun event by playing soccer games or holding other contests between each other and the winner gets to keep his name. In the end, it is important that both the partners should be happy about the decision.