There are now 37 states now recognize same-sex marriage, but Ohio is not one of them. Not only does the state not want to perform same-sex marriages, it also wants to avoid having to recognize the legality of marriages performed in other states.
Not only does this create a problem for same-sex couples in the state who wish to marry, it also creates a problem for same-sex married couples who move to Ohio and then wish to divorce or figure out child custody issues.
Last week, Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine defended the state’s same-sex marriage ban in documents that were filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that states should be able to decide for themselves how to treat the issue.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that in one of four briefs that were filed with the Supreme Court supporting the gay marriage bans, the Attorney General’s office argued that federal courts should not be able to tell states how to define marriage.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments on the issue next month. While oral arguments usually last only an hour, 2.5 hours have been designated for this weighty matter.
The Supreme Court could rule once and for all as to whether states have the right to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.
Ultimately, the Court will need to weigh two extremely important legal principles against one another: a state’s right to have authority to write its own laws and the Constitutional protection from discrimination.
The Ohio attorney general’s office argued that if the Court strikes down the remaining same-sex marriage bans, it “would forever place into our Constitution only one perspective on marriage.”
Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban was upheld last year in a decision by a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.