social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in Social Sciences
Stonewall Riots Stonewall Riots
The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
Gay Liberation Front
Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.
The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980 The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980
The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
Leather Culture
"Leather" is a blanket term for a large array of sexual preferences, identities, relationship structures, and social organizations loosely tied together by the thread of what is conventionally understood as sadomasochistic sex.
Anthony, Susan B. Anthony, Susan B.
Although best known for her crusade for women's suffrage, Susan B. Anthony spoke out on a range of feminist issues.
Africa: Sub-Saharan, Pre-Independence
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
Androgyny Androgyny
Androgyny, a psychological blending of gender traits, has long been embraced by strong women, soft men, members of queer communities, and others who do not easily fit into traditionally defined gender categories.
A cultural crossroads between Asia and Europe, Russia has a long, rich, and often violent heritage of varied influences and stark confrontations in regard to its patterns of same-sex love.
Topics In the News
What's in a Name? Or, Petty Apartheid in Ohio
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 06/22/12
Last updated on: 06/22/12
Bookmark and Share

Stephen Hill and Joshua Snyder, who married last year in Washington, D.C., faced unexpected obstacles when they attempted to hyphenate their last names in their home state of Ohio. Notwithstanding the fact that changing one's name is usually a routine matter, especially when one does so as a result of marriage, it turns out that Ohio practices a form of petty apartheid when it comes to gay couples.

As Columbus television station 10.tv reports, when the couple showed up with their paperwork, which listed marriage as the reason for their request to blend their names to Snyder-Hill, a Franklin County Probate Court employee pulled them aside to offer some advice.

"We could put any other reason we wanted and it should be fine," Snyder said. "But stating we were married in another state would cause it to be declined." Hill said that the moment took him back to his "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" days in the military.

"I've been asked my entire life to lie, to alter my story," Hill said. "I can't do that anymore."

The couple decided to proceed with the request and listed marriage as the reason for their name change.

On June 21, 2012, they appeared before Magistrate William Reddington. The judge asked the men if changing their names would make their lives easier, which is one of the reasons a name change might be allowed.

But Hill and Snyder refused to play the judge's game. They replied honestly 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.

Ordinarily, the judge immediately renders a decision on whether to permit the name change, but in this case, Reddington chose not to issue a decision, instead promising to mail it to them within ten days.

Hill and Snyder believe that their request will be denied. If it is, they plan to appeal.

In most jurisdictions, a judge has limited discretion to grant or deny a change of name. He or she usually can deny a request only if the name change is for fraudulent, frivolous, or immoral purposes.

Magistrate Reddington may be concerned that Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage precludes his allowing a same-sex couple married in another state to use their marriage as a reason for changing their names. To do so, he may think, would amount to a de facto recognition of their marriage. Perhaps that is why he seemed to be practically begging Hill and Snyder to give him some other reason for requesting the name change.

"I can't lie anymore," Snyder 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."

Hill first made news as the soldier booed by an audience during a Republican presidential debate for asking whether the candidates would try to reinstate "don't ask, don't tell."

He and Snyder are also part of a lawsuit from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network that is challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

In the video below, the couple reveals that a court official advised them to lie on the application form.

In the following video, a Columbus television station reports on the court appearance.

Related Encyclopedia Entries
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2015, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.