In Re Carol Boardman
GLAD, together with the ACLU of Maine, EqualityMaine, and Trans Youth Equality Foundation, submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in support of an appellant who was denied a legal name change. The Probate Court denied Ms. Boardman's petition on the grounds that changing her surname to that of a friend would give a false impression that the two are married.
The brief, which stresses the importance to the LGBT community of consistent application of the name change statute, argues that Ms. Boardman's petition met all the requirments of the statute and that the Probate Court abused its discretion in denying it. The statute requires only that a name not be changed for fraudulent purposes, and there was no evidence of fraud in the record in Ms. Broadman's case. Furthermore, the brief argues, the Court's assertion that two unmarried individuals cannot share a surname undermines Maine public policy which both prohibits marital status discrimination and supports families in their many forms, both marital and nonmarital.