News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Lehmans

Hennes Paynter Communications


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Politics


Latest lawsuit opposing Ohio's gay marriage ban won't stop ballot plans
The 2004 constitutional amendment continues to be challenged in the courts while an election battle brews
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
Courtesy of Freedom to Marry
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Earlier this week, a couple from Northeast Ohio filed a federal court suit, saying they are being denied a family insurance plan on the federal health care exchange because of Ohio’s amendment banning gay marriage.

Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles takes a look at what effect, if any, that lawsuit will have on the effort to repeal that amendment.

Hear more about the law suit against Ohio's gay marriage ban.

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:19)


Cleveland-area residents Al Cowger Jr. and Tony Wesley Jr. have been together for 28 years. They were married in upstate New York in 2012 and have a 7-year-old adopted daughter.

Yet under the constitutional ban on gay marriage Ohio voters passed in 2004, their marriage is not recognized here. 

Cowger, an attorney, says that caused problems for him recently when he tried to replace a family health insurance policy that had been cancelled because of the new Affordable Care Act.

“When we went to the marketplace to find a new policy, we found out that because our New York marriage is not deemed valid in Ohio, we could not get a family policy via the marketplace,” Cowger said. “And if we wanted to get a family policy, it would have to outside the marketplace that it would cost us about twice as much as we had been paying for health insurance.”

A broader request
So Cowger is asking a federal court to allow him to purchase a family health care plan. But that’s not all.

“The second broader request is that the Ohio constitutional provision that forbids same sex marriages be overturned on the grounds that it is simply unconstitutional,” Cowger said. “And that is following a whole line of case law that has come out very quickly over the past couple of years.”

There have been cases in other states where courts have ruled the rights of same sex couples are being denied because of gay marriage bans

Recently in Ohio, a federal court ruled a gay couple who were married in another state should be designated as married on a state-sanctioned death certificate. And there’s another case pending, asking a federal court to allow both members of a gay married couple to be listed on their children'sOhio birth certificates. 

The ballot issue
While all of this is happening in the courts, there’s a group that’s been circulating petitions in Ohio to try to put a repeal of the gay marriage ban before voters this fall.

Ian James heads the Freedom to Marry Ohio campaign.  He says these lawsuits won’t have an effect on his campaign.

“These are all surgical litigation that follows in with FreedomOhio’s all of the above strategy,” James said. “You go to court. You find a way through the courts.  You go to the ballot. You talk to the voters. You have a public relations campaign.  You have a grass roots campaign. All of the above must be taken into account and we must follow through with each of those to find equality.”

James says it’s important to realize the courts won’t be able to end Ohio’s ban on gay marriage as fast as voters can.

“The reality is these lawsuits will go through one court, they’ll go to appeals court, the appeals court could uphold the earlier decision or reject it or they could kick it back down to the lower courts and start the process all over again,” James said. “Inevitably, it’s going to get to the U.S. Supreme Court where they are going to decide but that is years away.”

The state’s largest gay rights group, Equality Ohio, has expressed reservations about the amendment and the timing of it this year.  But James says marriage equality can’t wait because gay families are dealing with serious inequities now.

 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

FitzGerald isn't giving up, but many Stark voters are worried, wary and weary
SB5 stands for "Snow Ball 5" because voters have about a snow ball's chance of remembering what it was.

Columbus groups are trying to pass a Bill of Rights to combat fracking
Its about time we make a stand against the criminal actions of an entire Indsutry.

Crystal Ball says Ohio governor's race is done
How much is the Kasich campaign paying you to keep repeating the phrase "woman who is not his wife"? Fitzgerald was in the car with a friend who happens to be f...

Plane that crashed killing Case students is a popular training aircraft
The following is incorrect. The last few words should read "UNDER maximum gross take-off weight." “They have a normal take-off speed and all those take-off...

Exploradio: The never-ending war against superbugs
Super Federico ,we are so proud of you ,and very lucky to be among your friends . Keep it up human kind needs people like you to survive .Thanks for being so d...

Ohio's Lyme disease-carrying tick population is exploding
Interesting report. The last sentence needs some editing. It isn't a good idea to "save garments carrying ticks for analysis." The garments carrying t...

Teach for America enters third year in Ohio
For more background on TFA, check out http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/

Faith leaders hold week-long prayer vigil at Ohio Statehouse
I think this is the wrong link to the audio. Its Andy Chow about cigarette taxes.

A $30 million plan to turn Cleveland's Public Square from gray to green
The current plan is for the Land Bank, RTA, and Mr. Jeremy Paris to run a bus line through the new Public Square and cutting the park in half. Save Public Squar...

Medina County residents question safety of proposed natural gas pipeline
I'm very concerned about this nexus project. I've received mail requesting my permission to allow the company to survey my property. I don't understand how thi...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University