October 20, 2014

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Lawsuit aims to strike down Ohio gay marriage ban

Some of the 12 plaintiffs named in a lawsuit seeking to strike down Ohio's gay marriage ban speak to media Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at a Cincinnati law firm. In the front row, from left, are Michelle Gibson, Mary Koehler, and Ronny Beck; in the back row, from left, are Karl Rece Jr., Gary Goodman, and Ethan Fletcher. All are involved in same-sex relationships and are seeking the right to marry in Ohio. (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers)

Some of the 12 plaintiffs named in a lawsuit seeking to strike down Ohio’s gay marriage ban speak to media Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at a Cincinnati law firm. In the front row, from left, are Michelle Gibson, Mary Koehler, and Ronny Beck; in the back row, from left, are Karl Rece Jr., Gary Goodman, and Ethan Fletcher. All are involved in same-sex relationships and are seeking the right to marry in Ohio. (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Civil rights attorneys filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to strike down Ohio’s gay marriage ban and to allow same-sex couples to marry in the state.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Cincinnati on behalf of six gay Ohio couples who say they are in love and want to get married.

“They have an urgent need to affirm their commitment to one another before their children, their family, their friends and their community,” the lawsuit said. “For plaintiffs, marriage is a deeply held value. They want to be married in Ohio, their home state.”

Attorney General Mike DeWine has said marriage is between a man and a woman, and that he will continue to defend the gay marriage ban passed overwhelmingly by Ohio voters in 2004.

Wednesday’s lawsuit was filed by the same law firm that filed a February suit that led a federal judge to order Ohio to recognize out-of-state same sex marriages.

In his April 14 order, Judge Timothy Black said Ohio’s refusal to recognize gay marriage is a violation of constitutional rights and “unenforceable in all circumstances.”

“The record before this court … is staggeringly devoid of any legitimate justification for the state’s ongoing arbitrary discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” Black wrote.

His order stopped short of forcing Ohio to allow gay couples to wed in the state.

Although most of the ruling is on hold pending DeWine’s forthcoming appeal in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Black did order Ohio to immediately recognize the marriages of the four couples who filed the February sued by listing both spouses in each relationship on their children’s birth certificates.

In a similarly narrow order in December, Black ordered Ohio to recognize gay marriage on death certificates.

Separately from the flurry of court action, FreedomOhio is seeking to put gay marriage back on the Ohio ballot as early as November, asking voters to require that all legally valid marriages be treated equally under the law, while keeping clergy from being forced to perform same-sexmarriages.

Phil Burress, who led the 2004 effort to ban same-sex marriage, has said his group is prepared to fight any ballot initiative to repeal the ban.

He said he’s confident that appeals courts will overturn Black’s order and other recent rulings nationwide in favor of gay marriage.

Gay marriage is legal in 17 states and Washington, D.C. Federal judges recently have struck down gay marriage bans in Michigan, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia, though stays have been issued pending appeals.

Similar to Ohio’s ruling, judges in Kentucky and Tennessee have ordered state officials to recognize out-of-state gay marriages. Both those orders also have been put on hold.


  • Joe Smith

    The time will come where this will pass, in the meantime, the couples can get wills and sign powers of Attorney etc giving a majority of the rights any married couple gets then when the time comes you can finish the job

  • stop ur whining part deux

    I wish this entire topic would just go away. Personally I couldn’t care less if homosexuals want to marry. It does not effect my life in anyway. Nor for that matter does it really effect anyone’s life. But it goes against an imaginary being that created us all in his image so it ruffles hypocritical feathers.

    That being said the homosexual community needs to pipe down and realize that not every format is a platform to force their lifestyle on others. For example the St. Patty’s day parade. It has gotten to the point that any negative feelings towards homosexuals is regarded as the end of the world. Even my netflix account has a section of gay and lesbian movies and shows. Enough is enough.

    What you do in your bedroom is your business, but there is no need to flaunt it in front of everyone and ridicule them as bigots when they disagree with it. Perhaps just allowing them to marry will shut them up.

    • Joe Smith

      Yep, it is really crammed down your throat……pun intended.
      Once any group gets what they want, they just go on to the next thing, none of this will ever go away.

      • John

        Is the fact that one group is not satisfied a reason to deny another group their civil rights?

        • Joe Smith

          Nope

    • Jordan Petersen

      Personally, I could care less about your marriage, your love and whatever the crap you do with your love life- but if that was threatened to be taken away, how would you feel if I didn’t bother to help you out in defending your love for your spouse and your rights that come with your marriage? That is sad that you’re not doing much to help others accomplish their dreams and live the best that they can when you get to so easily.

      • stop ur whining part deux

        I worry about myself and my family. I do not have time to care about anyone else. I am not against homosexual marriage, i am for it. The problem i have with it now is that all of a sudden if you oppose it, or even oppose the manner in which it is being thrust upon society i am automatically a terrible person. For a group that is screaming for tolerance and acceptance they sure do have trouble practicing what they preach.

        It is idotic to think that every public platform is the time and place to cry about your injustices. It irritates me that my netflix account has a gay section. If they get one so should the KKK, after all whats fair is fair.

    • B4CE

      Whining, how is the homosexual lifestyle being forced onto you? Will it adversely affect your life? Will you you be forced to marry gay if it is legalized?
      Does having the options on netflix tempt you? Is that what worries you?

      If you hold hands with YOUR significant others, do you consider that flaunting your relationship? Or is it just a way to express your love?
      Will YOU shut up about others if society allows you to behave the way you seem fit?

      • stop ur whining part deux

        Are you out of your mind? Currently you have a group of people screaming at every single public gathering that they want tolerance and acceptance but if anyone’s opinions conflict with it they are automatically labeled as evil bigots. Seems hypocritical to me.

        To whine because you can not march with your rainbow flags in a St. Pattys day parade, to even a netflix channel specifically for you. Every where you look today it is gay gay gay.

        Frankly I could not care less what an individual does in there own time. If your ignorance wasn’t blinding you perhaps you would have read that I just do not care. Do what you want. But understand that not every single public gathering or event is the time or the place to push your agenda.

        • jj

          So if I understand you, you are all for gay marriage, and support the LGBT community, as long as they stay in the closet where they belong? If it irritates so much that your Netflix account has a gay section, then stand up for your rights, cancel your Netflix account.

          • Bill Love

            can you read he never said they have to stay in the closet.But that people get sick of every public event be about gay rights and if you dont agree with there agenda you are a bigot.. when its said and done i really dont care who marries who.

  • silkskin1960

    There is NOTHING NORMAL about gay marriages. If they allow them to do it…yeah, they better sit down and be quiet somewhere and dont ask for more than that. If you give people an inch, they want a mile. I have seen enough of all the gay propaganda as well. Its abnormal and it should it be kept quiet if it must happen. And none of that kissing and holding hands in public in front of everyone forcing their life style on others. Keep that behavior BEHIND CLOSED DOORS where they can KEEP IT THEIR OWN BUSINESS! If I want ENTERTAINMENT I will choose my own THANK YOU!

    • B4CE

      Monogamy is unnatural period, as demonstrated by the extremely high divorce rate of heterosexuals.
      I hope you are not cramming your lifestyle down people’s throats with PDA’s . Keep your entertainment in your bedroom!

      • golfingirl

        Which one are you in the above photo?

    • jj

      Don’t worry sweetie, it’s not contagious.

  • Sis Delish

    Next Lawsuit to be filed by this group: Married Lesbian Couples claim that Father’s Day is discriminatory.

  • Joe Smith

    My point is you can do a lot but not everything now so why not do what you can until you can do it all?

    “A couple that owns a house together cannot confer the value of the house to the surviving partner without a tax liability”

    Not exactly true I think as both people can be on the deed and have a TOD=transfer upon death but I could be wrong.

    “. A gift to a partner, of a car or a ring, can be lost to a more distant family member in a disputed inheritance.”
    I think a properly written will could take care of that

  • golfingirl

    Put it on the ballot, then just accept the results.

    My guess is the gay community will not be happy with the results in Ohio.

    Be careful what you ask for.

    Is that Billy Joel in the middle of the back row in the photo?

  • Pablo Jones

    The only thing that a married gay couple can’t do in Ohio that a married straight couple can do is file a joint state tax return, which means they will pay less in taxes.

    Licenses are given based on a set of criteria. If the criteria is applied equally there is no discrimination. CCW licenses are denied to some people if they don’t meet the criteria that isn’t discrimination. Drivers license are denied to people under 18 unless they meet certain criteria and they are denied for people under 16.

  • Pablo Jones

    As far as inheritance and wills all of that can be contested by anyone at the death, even for married people.

  • ekwaykway

    Aint it amazing how six gay couples carry so much clout? 12 people in a huge state, I’m stunned.

  • Eric

    so gay