The U.S. state of Ohio does not recognize same-sex marriages. It enacted a statute in February 2004 that excluded same-sex couples from marriage or any legal status similar to marriage. It also denied recognition to marriages established in other jurisdictions. Voters approved an amendment to the Ohio Constitution, effective December 2004, that reiterated the statute's definitions and restrictions.

Two lawsuits in federal court have challenged Ohio's denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples, asking Ohio to recognize marriages from other jurisdictions for the purpose of recording a spouse on a death certificate and for recording parents' names on a birth certificates. Judge Timothy Black, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, ruled that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions. He has stayed general enforcement of his ruling, but ordered the state to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages for completing death certificates in all cases and for four birth certificates. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has appealed the rulings to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which consolidated the two cases and held oral argument on August 6.

Legal restrictions Edit

On December 10, 2003, the Ohio House of Representatives, by a 73–23 vote, passed Ohio's Defense of Marriage Act. On January 21, 2004, the Ohio State Senate, by a 18–15 vote, passed Ohio's Defense of Marriage Act. On February 6, 2004, Governor Bob Taft signed the bill into law. Ohio's Defense of Marriage Act bans same-sex marriage, along with the "statutory benefits of legal marriage to non-marital relationships". It also prohibited state recognition of out of state same-sex marriages.[1][2]

On November 2, 2004, Ohio voters approved State Issue 1, a state initiated constitutional amendment that prohibited the recognition of same-sex marriage, as well as any "legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage" in the state of Ohio. The amendment went into effect on December 2, 2004.[3]

Initiative to repeal constitutional ban Edit

FreedomOhio and Equality Ohio are seeking state officials' approval of a ballot initiative that would replace the constitutional amendment and allow same-sex marriage.[4][5] Two prominent Republicans, Senator Rob Portman and former Attorney General Jim Petro, support repealing the same-sex marriage ban.[6]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. What is DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act)?
  2. Sub. H.B. 272
  3. "Ohio citizens approve Issue 1", November 3, 2004. Retrieved on December 6, 2013. 
  4. "Ohio could get chance to approve same-sex marriage",, June 26, 2013. 
  5. "After SCOTUS rulings on gay marriage, what’s next for Ohio?", Columbus Monthly, June 2013. 
  6. "Jim Petro, Former Ohio GOP Attorney General, Backs Campaign To Overturn State Gay Marriage Ban", Huffington Post, July 8, 2013. 

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Same-sex unions in the United States

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