Couple's Attempt to Change Last Name to 'ChristIsKing' Denied
Judge says name would intrude on others' religious beliefs
The world will not be introduced to JesusIsLord ChristIsKing. At least, not yet. A judge has ruled that a New York City couple cannot legally change their surname to "ChristIsKing."
Civil Court Judge Philip Straniere cited the separation of church and state when he refused to allow Michael and Angela Nwadiuko to change their last names or those of their children, named JesusIsKing and Rejoice, respectively.
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Six years ago, the same judge shot down a request by the family to change son Jeremy’s first name to JesusIsLord, the New York Daily News reported. So the teenager went to Virginia and did it anyway. Rejoice is the couple’s 16-year-old daughter.
Straniere said in his latest ruling that it would be unfair to force court clerks or public school teachers to call out "ChristIsKing" when referring to members of the family.
“Not only is the speaker being forced to say something which might be repugnant to the speaker, but the general public would be subjected to this unwanted intrusion of the petitioners’ religious beliefs,” Straniere found.
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The judge continued, “Their reaction showed an inability to recognize that many people would not only not be comfortable reciting the petitioners’ proposed name but that in doing so would be violating that person’s religious or lack of religious beliefs."