UPDATE: John tells us Con Ed has resolved the problem.
John recently married his significant other in Vermont and the couple hasn’t had any problem getting their names legally changed at the bank, the DMV, the Board of Elections, the Social Security Administration, or even their cellphone provider. All they had left to do was change the name on their electric bill at the Con Ed office in Brooklyn. Should be simple enough, right?
I showed him my most recent bill, driver’s license and same-sex Marriage Certificate which, incidentally, is exactly identical to an opposite sex marriage certificate. [The Con Ed worker] read the document and tossed it back at me saying that it was not legal. I explained to him that it was legal. He said I was wrong. I told him he was discriminating against us and that I would file a charge.
Imagine that! A customer service representative at the electric company is the sole caretaker of the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. What exactly was he enforcing? His own prejudice and hatred. He wasn’t enforcing any New York State or City law – in fact, he was breaking the law. He wasn’t enforcing any policy of his employer. He was enforcing his personal opinion, even though by doing so he violated my civil rights. And, I will do absolutely everything in my power to see that he is punished to the full extent of the law.
Whatever one may think of gay marriage — and last time I checked, opinions did vary — and whether or not the Con Ed worker deemed the marriage certificate invalid, the fact remains that the state-issued driver’s license should have been more than sufficient to prove the authenticity of the name change.
When reached for comment by Consumerist, a rep for Con Ed says that the company is now looking into the matter and “if the Con Ed employee was impolite to the customer, we sincerely apologize.”
You can read John’s full story on his blog.