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Updated: Same-sex couple claims PennDOT discrimination - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Updated: Same-sex couple claims PennDOT discrimination

Posted: Updated:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Update: Jason Herndon and his husband went back to PennDOT on Thursday and spoke with an operations manager. They showed him their documents and the name was changed on the driver's license.

Although they are extremely relieved, they question why they needed an appointment to do something that is legal.


A local same-sex couple claims they were discriminated against by PennDOT.

Jason Herndon said when his husband went to the licensing center in Harrisburg, marriage certificate in hand, the teller refused to accept it because same-sex marriage isn't legal in Pennsylvania.

After doing some research, they learned you can still change your name, even without a court order, as long as you have a new Social Security card plus two additional documents like a passport or voter identification card.

So they went back and were denied again. A different teller told them she still couldn't issue the license because she knew it was for a same-sex marriage.

Herndon contacted PennDOT's community relations department and after several calls an operations manager finally acknowledged the name change is legal and agreed to issue a new license.

"I didn't want them to accept or not accept (same-sex marriage)," Herndon said. "I just want them to adhere to the letter of the law and if the letter of the law says that I can do it -- then do it!"

PennDOT community relations coordinator Jan McNight said it is still unclear if a mistake was made in this case, but assured abc27 News it will be investigated.

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