The Ohio Revised Code Doesn’t Acknowledge Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Obergefell (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Currently, the Ohio Revised Code is not updated to match the new Federal laws that protect same-sex marriage. Section 3101.01 defines marriage between a man and a woman and doesn’t acknowledge same-sex marriage from Ohio or any other state. 

In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Federal legalization of same-sex marriage. In April, Obergefell v. Hodges originated in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tenessee when several same-sex couples filed suits in their home states' Federal District Courts. The couples claimed that the bans on same-sex marriage in their home states violated their fourteenth amendment by denying the right to marry or have marriages.

The Ohio Revised Code Section 3101.01 was updated on April 8, 2019, four years after same-sex marriage was federally recognized. This means that while the Federal law protects same-sex marriage, the Ohio State law still doesn’t protect same-sex marriage, even though the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges originated in Ohio. If the federal law protecting same-sex marriage were lifted, then the state law would make it illegal again for same-sex couples to marry in Ohio.

Jim Obergefell, who is from Ohio, was the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court Case Obergefell v. Hodges case. While he is a civil rights activist, he is currently running for a seat in the Ohio Legislature. He officially announced in January, saying:

"We should all be able to participate fully in society and the economy, living in strong communities with great public schools, access to quality healthcare, and with well-paying jobs that allow us to stay in the community we love, with the family we care about," 

If he were to be elected, it is possible that he could bring more change regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage to our state's law. Keep an eye out during these upcoming elections!

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