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Pepper challenges DeWine on his defense of ban on same-sex marriage
Ohio AG says he must defend the Ohio Constitution; challenger Pepper says the U.S. Constitution deserves his attention

Andy Chow
Pepper and DeWine stake out different postitions on same sex marriage.
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Attorney General Mike DeWine plans to challenge a ruling on same-sex marriage expected from a federal judge next week. But as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, DeWine’s likely challenger says that’s a mistake.

LISTEN: Pepper and DeWine on same-sex marriage

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A federal judge has already said he plans to find Ohio’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages as unconstitutional.

The ruling would not lift the state’s ban on same-sex marriage; however, it does mean the state would have to recognize the unions of couples who legally married in other states.

DeWine has said repeatedly that, as the state’s lawyer, he must challenge these rulings in order to uphold the same-sex marriage ban in Ohio’s constitution.

But his challenger, David Pepper argues that the attorney general has a deeper responsibility to decide if the state’s law goes against the U.S. Constitution.

Pepper: “As Attorney General—if you believe that this is unconstitutional and there’s no good argument—if it’s something that you think is questionable—of course you defend it—but if you think there’s not one good argument to defend it and I think that’s been shown again and again and again.”

Media outlets have reported that Gov. John Kasich supports DeWine’s decision to challenge the ruling.


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