Lawsuit aims to strike down Ohio gay marriage ban

By : Wire Report
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Cincinatti –  Civil rights attorneys filed a lawsuit April 30 asking a judge to strike down Ohio’s gay marriage ban as unconstitutional and allow same-sex couples to wed 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.

“We are just like any other couple,” said Gary Goodman, who proposed to his longtime partner, Karl Rece Jr., in 2011.

“We just want the simplest thing,” Goodman said. “We want to be able to marry in the state of Ohio, and we want it to be something that we share with our friends and our family because it’s right.”

Like other successful challenges to statewide marriage bans across the country, the attorneys who filed the lawsuit are arguing that Ohio’s ban, passed by voters in 2004, violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

“A consensus is finally emerging: the Constitution protects the right of consenting adults to love whoever they want,” the lawsuit says. “It is time for Ohio to do the same.”

Lisa Peterson Hackley, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Mike DeWine, said in a statement that the office “is prepared to defend the state’s constitution and statutes regarding marriage.”

Rob Nichols, a spokesman for Ohio Gov. John Kasich declined to comment “except to say that the governor believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, and he supports Ohio’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.”

The plaintiffs’ attorneys also asked federal Judge Michael Barrett to issue a temporary restraining order forcing Ohio to issue marriage licenses to the couples named in the lawsuit.

Hackley said the attorney general’s office will ask the court to deny any requests for immediate action “to maintain the status quo while the case is being litigated.”

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