Gay Couple Plans To Appeal Name-Change Ruling If Denied


UPDATED: Thursday June 21, 2012 8:26 PM

A gay married couple appeared before a judge on Thursday and requested that they be allowed to legally hyphenate their names.

Stephen Hill and Joshua Snyder were married last year in Washington, D.C., where gay marriage is recognized, 10TV’s Kurt Ludlow reported.

The two recently applied to have their names legally changed to Snyder-Hill, and said that a Franklin County Probate Court employee told them that if they lied about their reason for changing their name, their applications likely would be approved.

Because Ohio law does not recognize gay marriage, the men could change their names for almost any other reason than becoming a married gay couple, Ludlow reported.

On Thursday, the couple formally asked a judge to grant their request.

Magistrate William Reddington asked the men if changing their names would make their lives easier, which is one of the reasons a name change might be allowed.

The men said that it would not.

“The reason that I want to change my name is because I married this man. I love this man. And I married him, and that’s my reason for doing this,” Hill said.

The couple said that after a lifetime of keeping secrets about their sexuality, they wanted to stand up and tell the truth.

“I can’t lie anymore,” Hill said. “I can’t do it. I’ve done it my whole life. You know, I fight for people’s rights, liberty, freedom, civil rights being in the military. I’ve gone to two wars. I just don’t feel like I should have to lie on an application that somebody else doesn’t have to lie on.”

Reddington said that he was going to take the matter into consideration and was going to issue a written decision, Ludlow reported.

The couple said that they have been told that name changes are normally approved immediately, which led them to believe that their application would be denied.

The couple said that they would appeal the decision if it is denied.

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