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It's impossible to forget. A young gay man serving his country in Iraq asks the prospective Republican nominees about their attitude towards repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. And the audience boos. Moreover, none of the candidates responds; not a one supports the soldier in any way.

That soldier, Steven Hill, is back in the United States now. He married his sweetheart, Joshua Snyder, in a ceremony in the District of Columbia a year ago. Now he lives in Ohio, a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages.

The couple isn't seeking to overturn the Ohio law. All the couple wants to do is change each of their last names to Hill-Snyder, hyphenating them together like a lots of heterosexual couples do. But it seems, although you can change your name for just about any reason in Ohio, if you do it because you've been "gay married" you get dissed and brought before a judge. Watch.

This soldier, forced to lie about his sexual orientation for so long in the military, was told to lie once again on his name-change application because otherwise the request would be denied.

Snyder says "it was kind of humiliating" to expect a name change would be no big deal and have it turn out so differently. "They basically told us to lie. They didn't use the word 'lie,' but they basically said if you use the word 'marriage,' it will get denied."

But Hill refused to lie any longer, having served in the military for two decades under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. And so the couple filed their request to change their last names with marriage clearly labeled as their reason.

I don't know the specifics of the Ohio law, and the judge may ultimately decide to allow the couple to change their last name (or, ultimately, the case may go to the Ohio or even US Supreme Court).

But the sheer depth of animus AND sillyness this situation suggests is all the more reason that the US Supreme Court needs to start applying the 14th amendment to gays and lesbians, repealing DOMA and making it so that all across the country, if you're married, you're married, period.

9:57 AM PT:

Second, in Ohio, a person can obtain a court order for a formal change of name by filing an application requesting a name change in the local probate court, getting a hearing date for a hearing on your petition for a name change, and publishing notice of your petition and hearing date in a local newspaper of general circulation once at least 30 days before the hearing on the application, and testifying at the court hearing as to your reasons for requesting the name change.  Again, you cannot request and obtain a name change for the purpose of avoiding creditors, evading criminal prosecution or investigation, or for other fraudulent purposes.
Clearly getting married to someone of the same-sex is a "fradulent purpose."

9:59 AM PT: Another take on Ohio Name Change Law:

Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name?

 Yes.  The court must find that (1) there is reasonable and proper cause established for the change of name; and, (2) that the requested name change is consistent with the public interest.  A person is not allowed to change their name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations.  A person can not change their name to defraud any person.

Requirements for Name Change Order:

For an application for change of name to be granted, the court must find reasonable and proper cause for the change of name, that the required notice has been given, and, that the change of name is consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.

10:09 AM PT: The Ohio Name Change Legal Form (PDF)

Weird.  You have to be a resident of the county for an entire year.  Wonder if there's some exception for heterosexual couples who get married?

Originally posted to jpmassar on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Policy Zone, Milk Men And Women, and Angry Gays.

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