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Portia de Rossi petitions to legally change last name to Degeneres.

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Actress Portia de Rossi, known for her roles in the television series Ally McBeal and Arrested Development filed a petition to officially change her name to Portia Lee James Degeneres, adopting the surname of her wife, Emmy-winning talk show host Ellen Degeneres.

Just two days after a California federal judge overturned the Proposition 8 ruling, Portia made her way down to the LA County Superior Court last Friday in order to “take the last name of her spouse,” as the papers state. Longtime partners De Rossi and Degeneres wed in an intimate candlelit ceremony at their L.A. home on August 17, 2008 prior to the gay marriage ban in November of that year.

While her decision to change her last name comes as a great time to celebrate their second wedding anniversary, Portia is not officially a Degeneres until after her scheduled September 23rd, 2010 hearing.

Approximately 18,000 same-sex marriages were performed prior to Prop 8 so courts could get a bit overwhelmed if more couples file the Degeneres’ lead.

The Prop 8 and same-sex marriage debate is still highly contested in California. Appeals to the California Federal Judge’s ruling are likely eminent, but for the time being the right to marry has been restored to the gay community in California.

In the United States gays and lesbians can legally marry in California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont. New York, California, Rhode Island, New Mexico and Washington, DC recognize marriages by same-sex couples legally performed elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of  Pulicciano via Flickr.

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