Ohio

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; in spring 2015, the United States Supreme Court will review an out-of-step ruling from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals about the freedom to marry in Ohio. Learn all about the freedom to marry at the Supreme Court here.

A separate decision, stayed but not yet appealed, found that Ohio must respect the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states. A third case, filed in April 2014, seeks the freedom to marry in Ohio.

WHAT'S HAPPENING:

On January 16, the United States Supreme Court granted review of the out-of-step ruling from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals about the freedom to marry in Ohio. The case will be heard in April, with a ruling expected by June 2015, which could bring the freedom to marry nationwide.

Marriage supporters from across the state have joined together to form Why Marriage Matters Ohio, a public education campaign designed to begin the conversation about the freedom to marry for all loving, committed couples in the state. Take the pledge with Why Marriage Matters Ohio HERE.

Part of the conversation about marriage in Ohio stems from a December 23, 2013 ruling from a federal judge in Ohio declaring that the state must respect same-sex couples' out-of-state marriages for the purpose of listing a surviving spouse on a death certificate. The decision is currently on appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. An additional ruling from April 2014 additionally declared that Ohio must respect the marriages of same-sex couples who married out of state. 

On November 6, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the freedom to marry. It is likely that this ruling will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

HISTORY:

In 2004, anti-gay forces in Ohio pushed through State Issue 1, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage - and bars them from attaining any other form of family status in the state.

Some cities in Ohio - including Cleveland, Toledo, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati - offer domestic partnership registries for same-sex couples, which provide some of the protections that the freedom to marry affords.

GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:

  • Why Marriage Matters Ohio is a grassroots public education campaign to build support for the freedom to marry in Ohio.
  • Equality Ohio is a statewide organization that envisions an Ohio where everyone feels at home, living in families and communities where equality, diversity and inclusiveness are universally valued, and where government protects all people and responds to their needs, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
  • The ACLU of Ohio is the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, committed to standing up for equality for all Ohioans.
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.

POLLING DATA:

A growing majority of Ohio residents support marriage for same-sex couples. A September 2012 poll shows that 52 percent of voters now think marriage should be legal, as opposed to 37 percent who say it should be illegal. In 2004, nearly two-thirds of Ohio voters - 62 percent - supported a constitutional amendment defining marriage as "only a union between one man and one woman." (Washington Post, September 2012

NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:

According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 19,684 same-sex couples are living in Ohio, representing 4.3 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

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Resources Related to Ohio

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Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Ohio.

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