Ohio Law

News and Announcements from the Supreme Court of Ohio and Other Governmental Entities Within the Buckeye State.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Marriage Amendment v. Domestic Violence: No Decision

Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge Stuart Friedman did not have to decide whether the Cuyahoga County Public Defender was correct in claiming that unmarried, unrelated persons charged with violating the domestic violence law could not be prosecuted because of Issue 1. Why was that? Judge Friedman pointed out that the offense in question occurred last August. The amendment barring same-sex marriage and prohibiting the government from recognizing a legal status for relationships of unmarried persons that intends to approximate marriage did not take effect until December 2nd.

Carrie Davis, staff attorney for the ACLU-Ohio, said the organization was pleased the judge did not dismiss the domestic violence charges. "However, the big question still remains. Judge Friedman did not reach the question of whether Issue 1 does or does not preclude domestic violence prosecution against unmarried individuals," she said in an interview.

Ms. Davis said similar defense motions are pending in other courts. "I've heard it's close to a dozen in the Cleveland area. We're trying to track how many are showing up around the state," she said. "At some point, probably in the not too distant future, we will have a ruling on one of those."

Source: Gongwer News Service



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