StoryCorps: “I need to get my last name legally changed, please.”

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Gregory: We took our marriage license down to the social security office, got the number like you do when you go in, waited for our number, and then this beautiful lady behind the window looked at us and said, “How may I help you gentleman?” And I handed her the marriage license and said, “I  need to get my last name legally changed, please.” And she looked confused, and she saw the marriage license, and then looked at me, and then looked at Josh, and then looked confused for a moment again like “OK.” She smiled and entered in the correct data, and it took five minutes, and my last name is Laning now.

I remember writing you letters (1)

Joshua: The day we got married was just something that was…

Gregory: It was a circus.

Joshua: I didn’t expect to get married at the courthouse. We had actually asked a good friend of mine, Rev. Marge Regona, and did our ceremony at the courthouse and she performed our wedding. She had to actually stop for a minute to do our wedding because during the ceremony she had to change two words. She had to change “holy union” to “marriage” …

Gregory: To “holy matrimony.”

Joshua: And she started to tear up on it. And we started to tear up on it.

Gregory: She started crying. We started crying. David started crying — Josh’s dad —it was really emotional. And we found out later that evening … we were over in her home … she said she’s waited her entire life to perform a ceremony like that instead of just a regular holy union.

 

 

 

 

Amy Stiftel-Sedlis

Amy Stiftel-Sedlis

Assistant Producer



StoryCorps

StoryCorps recognizes the profound historical importance of capturing the stories of the LGBTQ community and the urgent need for this work to happen now. StoryCorps OutLoud is a multi-year initiative dedicated to recording and preserving LGBTQ stories across America. OutLoud will honor the stories of those who lived before the 1969 Stonewall uprisings, celebrate the lives of LGBTQ youth, and amplify the voices of those most often excluded from the historical record. The end result will be a diverse collection of stories that will enrich our nation’s history.

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