On changing names - about as OT as you can get

Robyn Starkey rohina at shaw.ca
Wed Mar 12 21:52:15 EST 2003

> > I totally agree with Melissa on this one (she is so right). In
> > Australia, a  lot of government forms have become so "inclusive" they
> > don't actually let  you specify spouse as spouse, but only give the
> > option of saying "partner".  We caused some trouble by crossing it out
> > and writing "spouse".
>I guess what I don't understand is why the distinction is so important--I
>mean, if you say "partner" (holding aside the issue of business partners &
>such), people will know that you are committed to this person. Why does it
>matter if you are legally bound or not? What additional information does
>it add that you want conveyed? I could, perhaps, understand for census
>forms & such because maybe they just want statistical data. But beyond
>that, I'm not sure what benefits it would offer.

I guess it depends on whether you feel like there is a spiritual and public 
dimension to a relationship (separate to whatever romantic declarations or 
intentions the couple have privately) that is created by having a formal 
union, which is created publicly, ceremonially and/or religiously by a 
marriage. If those elements aren't important to you, or having them created 
within a formal tradition doesn't have meaning to you personally, then I 
can see why there wouldn't be a difference.

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