Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Italian Court Usurps Parents' Right to Name Their Child

When a little boy was born to an Italian couple fifteen months ago, they decided to give him the unusual name of "Friday". They went on to register his name at city hall as Friday and a priest also baptized him under that name.

Five months later, a busybody city hall clerk was sufficiently bothered by this unusual name to inform a tribunal, which then notified the parents that the boy's name was "invalid" because Italian law forbade parents from giving children names that were "ridiculous or shameful".

When the parents declined to change their son's name, the court ruled that the boy would be registered thenceforth as "Gregory", as he was born on the feast day of a saint with that name.

In other words, the government told the parents what their child's name was.

As of yet, this particular type of governmental meddling has not occurred in the US. But I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the Good Taste Nazis hit the department of vital statistics here.

It's not that I think that Friday is a great name. On the contrary, it's annoyingly trendy and gaggingly cute. My taste in names runs to the classic; names that have stood the test of time and which have not been altered with "creative" spellings.

But neither is "Friday" a "shameful" name as the court claimed. It's easy to say and easy to spell, and if the boy doesn't like it, he's always free to change it as an adult. I'd never name a kid Friday, but I think these parents were well within their rights to do so.

And governmental meddling doesn't get much worse than to tell a parent that they cannot name their own child.

I could have understood the Italian court's position if they'd given him a name that was truly degrading, such as "Shitload" or "Cumstain". I'd not have had a problem with the court refusing to register such a "name" then. But even in such an instance, I still would allow the parents to choose a more appropriate name, instead of choosing one for them. And don't even get me started on choosing a name for someone based on religion.

For their part, the parents have vowed to continue calling their son Friday, even though he will be compelled to sign his name as Gregory on all official documents when he gets older.



Patty said...

I would be curious to know what his last name is. Our one daughter had a boy in her class, his name was Lacy, which is fine and dandy, but the last name was Curtin, can you imagine, roll call, Lacy Curtin, prounced like Curtain? No the government SHOULD not be allowed to change anyones name as long as it's not like you said, degrading and etc.

Libertine said...

His last name was Germano

Sway said...

It is just another example of big government encroaching rapidly on personal freedom. The fact that they feel the rather uncoventional name of "Friday" is shameful clearly defines thier quest for uniformed thinking in the minds of thier public. The fact that they then proceeded to rename the child with a name of their choosing is just disgusting. It's like saying "Yes, you two can get married. You can only have 2 kids, they must be boys, and one will be named William and the other will be named Jonathan." Ugh, government infuriates me.