High court ruling could open door to marriage equality

Marriage equality supporters in Ohio are awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court decision they believe will strike down Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage.

COLUMBUS – The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to announce a decision that could open the door to same-sex marriage in Ohio. The court is ruling on a case that challenges the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in several states, including the Buckeye State.

Christopher Geggie, campaign manager with Why Marriage Matters Ohio, says the case is six cases consolidated into one, including two from Ohio that approach marriage equality from different angles.

“With the Obergefell case, it’s recognizing a marriage that was performed outside of the state for the purpose of being recognized as a spouse on a death certificate,” says Geggie. “The Henry case deals with couples who were also married outside of the state and want to be recognized as parents on their children’s birth certificates.”

In 2004, Ohio voters approved a constitutional ban limiting marriage to between men and women. A favorable ruling from the high court would strike down that ban and allow same-sex couples to marry.

According to a recent poll from the Public Religion Research Institute, 65 percent of Americans believe the Supreme Court will overturn state laws banning same-sex marriage and will make them legal nationwide. Geggie says marriage equality supporters in Ohio are optimistic.

“We are all very hopeful that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of love,” he says. “During the oral arguments hearing, Justice Kennedy really talked about the dignity that marriage conveys, not just to the couples themselves, but the families they’ve created. It is very heartening.”

Some probate courts in Ohio, including in Cuyahoga and Franklin counties, have announced they are ready to promptly issue marriage licenses should the court legalize same-sex marriage.