Ohio Suit Aims to Strike Down Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

by Norris Law Group on May 6, 2014

Ohio Suit Aims to Strike Down Ban on Same-Sex MarriageThe Salt Lake Tribune reports that on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, Ohio civil rights attorneys filed a suit in an effort to end Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage.  The suit was filed in a Cincinnati federal court in Cincinnati on behalf of six Ohio couples.

The April 30 lawsuit was filed by a firm that also filed suit in February 2014 that ultimately ended on April 14 in a federal judge ordering Ohio to recognize same sex marriages that took place in other states. The federal judge ruled that Ohio violates the rights of same-sex couples to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution, and that Ohio’s current stance on the issue is “unenforceable in all circumstances.” In his decision, the judge adds, “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.” The judge did not, however, order Ohio to allow same-sex marriages in that state.

In other related activity, a group called FreedomOhio hopes to get the issue of gay marriage on Ohio ballots as soon as November 2014. The group proposes a measure to ask Ohio voters to affirm that all legally valid marriages be treated equally under the law. The measure also prevents members of the clergy from being forced to perform same-sex marriages.

As of this writing, same-sex marriage is legal in 17 states and Washington, D.C.  Recently, federal judges have ruled against banning gay marriage in Utah, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. But stays have been issued pending appeals of these rulings as well.

This Ohio suit seeks an outcome mirror previous rulings in Kentucky and Tennessee, which order these states to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. These orders have been put on hold as well.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of divorce and family law. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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