People to Watch: Joshua Snyder-Hill

  • Photo by Meghan Ralston
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From the August 7, 2014 edition

Considering how dedicated Joshua Snyder-Hill is to achieving marriage equality and equal rights for the LGBTQ community, it’s hard to believe he once considered himself a bystander on the issue.

As the co-founder of MarriageEvolved and the C-Bus of Love project, among other affiliations, Snyder-Hill is helping lead the charge toward marriage equality both in Ohio and nationally.

“The general public knows [the LGBTQ community] wants marriage equality, but I want them to know why it’s so important to us,” Snyder-Hill said. “Marriage is an aspirational thing for many people. Nobody says they’ve been ‘happily dating’ for 60 years.”

The “why” came for Snyder-Hill when his husband Stephen Snyder-Hill, a Major in the Army Reserves, was sent to Iraq.

“We had to hide under an escalator at the airport to say goodbye to each other,” Snyder-Hill said. “After that, it became clear I needed to show people how marriage inequality was affecting real people.”

Shortly after, Stephen Snyder-Hill publicly asked then-presidential hopeful Rick Santorum if he would reinstate the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy at the Republican primaries in Florida.

Sharing this personal story, and putting a face to the real issues LGBTQ couples experience, Snyder-Hill has garnered support through social networking, speaking engagements and with his organizational involvement. Snyder-Hill isn’t relying solely on the humanitarian side of the marriage equality battle, however; he plans to show lawmakers the numbers as well.

As co-founder of the C-Bus of Love Campaign, Snyder-Hill and his husband bus LGBTQ couples to Washington D.C. to legally marry. Though it seems counter-intuitive for to take couples across state lines to ensure marriage equality in Ohio, he believes Ohio lawmakers will feel the financial loss.

“On our first voyage we took 25 couples. Just with the 25 couples … Ohio lost out on $500,000 of potential revenue,” Snyder-Hill said. “We’re showing Ohio lawmakers the actual dollars they are losing by not allowing LGBTQ couples to marry.”