Gay Couple Told To Lie To Have Their Names Changed (VIDEO)


A married gay couple living in Ohio have reportedly been told that they are unlikely to be able to take each other’s names without lying and pretending they aren’t married.

Stephen Hill and partner Joshua Snyder were married in the District of Columbia on May 3, 2011. Ohio, the state in which they currently reside, has a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, though there are moves to overturn this ban.

A year on, the couple wanted to take each other’s names, hyphenating them to “Snyder-Hill,” and duly set the wheels in motion. They say that on visiting the courthouse, they were pulled aside by a local magistrate and it was implied that unless they lied and covered up their being married it would be unlikely for them to get the change approved because Ohio law doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages–despite allowing name changes for nearly any other reason.

It would have been very easy for them to lie, but Stephen Hill says he is done lying. You may remember the name Stephen Hill–he was the soldier booed by members of the audience during a Republican presidential debate earlier this year when he asked if the candidates would reinstate the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule that banned gay members of the military from being open about their sexuality.

The following news report details their struggle:

As made clear in the news bulletin above, a judge has heard their request but, unusually, did not issue an immediate response, promising instead to mail them a reply. The couple believe their initial petition for a name change will be denied and, as such, are preparing for a court battle.

Hill is already a member of an ongoing lawsuit brought by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. The suit aims to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act on grounds that it harms servicemembers in same-sex marriages.


Related Reading:

Booed Gay Soldier Speaks Out

LGBT Mix: The Booing of a Gay Soldier

Santorum: DADT Repeal Injects Sexual Activity into Military

Image taken from video, no infringement intended.


Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

LauraLee W.: Moving to some place else won't change things. If everyone left places because they were discriminated , it would only lead to more discrimination for the next generation. And the next, and so on. If we don't start demanding our rights, nothing will ever change. Should the blacks that were denied basic human rights, in the 60's had moved away to places that had them? How would the world look by now if that had happened? You have to realize it comes a time in every person's life, when enough is enough. I support Mr Hill and Mr. Snyder in their fight to share their names, Snyder-Hill, because it's important to them and for countless of other same-gender couples. Little by little we can all change the world by fighting for what is right!

LauraLee W.
LauraLee W.6 years ago

For Stephen-Joshua---the name change is important. But think for a moment, is the name change the most important at this time considering other things in both of your lives. Consider
the money-time. Whether your last name is Hill or Snyder will not change your Love for each other. Couldn't a move to another state be more beneficial--an alternative--financially better---smarter---economically smarter.................pros/cons...... I am just saying look for all your alternatives, options, together as partners wisely but not just as feelings. Best of luck to you both. God Bless!

Ronda E.
Ronda E6 years ago

Here's what I think. Gay marriage should be legal. If 2 men or 2 women love each other and want to get married, let them! They are human after all. If they want to change their names, let them! The wife gets her husband's last name (if she wants to*) after they get married anyway, so why not let one of the 2 men or one of the 2 women do the same? I don't see the problem with it.

* As for me, I didn't change my last name. I hyphenated it, my last name hyphenated with his last name.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams6 years ago

Thanks for the info. Best of luck to this couple.

J.L. A.
JL A6 years ago

forbidding such a name change appears to be intentional discrimination given the broad freedoms of grounds for name changes...

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia6 years ago

Sharon Beth L, we cant just call this type of union a "marriage" and save ourselves from all the confusion, head ache, and money (because of legislation).

Dr Clue
Dr Clue6 years ago

@Sharon Beth L.: Some of what you said reminds me of phrase from this country's history, with that phrase being "separate but equal". The suspicion is that such a repetition of history would be doomed to repeat the level of the resulting equality.

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch6 years ago

Keep strong, and never compromise your values, for ANYONE!

Sharon Beth Long
Sharon Beth Long6 years ago

I and my husband were given the right to change my name when I completed the application for my marriage license. We chose not to following my husband's tradition (China) where spouses keep the family name of their birth families after marriage. I can understand why both parents would want to have the same last names as their children, especially if they are young (under teenage) children. If the partners had applied separately without even giving a reason their applications probably would have been approved. In New York State a person can legally change his name to anything for any reason as long as it is not to commit fraud.
With regard to Mark K's comment I agree that ideally the term "marriage" should only refer to a union between a man and a woman, for religious and cultural reasons. However, domestic partnership, at least how it is in New York State, is a joke. I believe that it can be dissolved by just sending a letter. It is only used as a device to get a person on someone else's health insurance policy. Gays need a way to have a union ideally called something else that has all the legal and financial rights and responsibilities of traditional marriage.