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Thursday, June 21, 2012

The things we take for granted

There are certain things we as humans take for granted. We know, for example, that the sun will rise tomorrow in the east, and set in the west. We don't question that or think about it. We often take other people for granted-parents, children, spouses. And heterosexual couples take for granted the fact that if we get married, the woman's name changes. It doesn't have to, but most married couples have the same last name. I took my husband's name-it was automatic. I had to get a new social security card, a new driver's license, and we have a legal marriage license, good in all 50 states.

My friends, Steve and Josh Snyder-Hill are also married. They celebrated their first anniversary in May, and today, June 21st, were in an Ohio courtroom, petitioning to have their names changed. I refer to them as Mr. and Mr. Snyder-Hill and I always will. But that's not their legal name. Steve's last name is Hill, Josh's last name in Snyder. Steve Hill is the Army officer who was booed, then ignored, during the Republican debate last September. Will he and Josh be ignored this time as well?

How is this fair? It's not, it simply is not fair. These two men love each other. I know this because I know them, and during a Skype call one afternoon, Steve was sitting in a chair near the computer and Josh was sitting a little behind him. Steve was talking, and Josh quietly, and probably without any thought, reached up and fixed Steve's hair. I do that all the time with Jim. That's what you do when you love someone; you take care of them, even if it's just fixing a wisp of hair.

If the magistrate denies this name change, Steve and Josh plan to appeal. They shouldn't have to. They should not have had to fill out the form in the first place, it should have been as automatic as any couple getting married. But here, in America, some people are more equal than others. Steve and Josh Snyder-Hill are brave and wonderful and passionate and married. They are as married as Jim and I are, and they should be given the same rights and the same respect that Jim and I are given.

© Erin Nanasi 2012