Hans: Yeah, pay attention, because we’re not working for nothing here!
Franz: Yeah. Listen to me now, and believe me later: you know, if you don’t think this matters, you know.. maybe we should take a belt to your buttocks muscle until it’s all black and blue and swollen!
The judge will issue a formal ruling in April 14, 2014. After that date, Ohio will be compelled to recognize same sex marriages performed in other states.
In practical terms, this means that a same sex couple can get married in Massachusetts, California, or one of the many other states that recognize same sex marriages. Ohio would then would recognize that marriage for all purposes, including hospital visitation, birth and death certificates and, of course, taxes.
This has played out exactly as we predicted last summer. After the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor (the case that struck down the federal defense of Marriage Act), we said “we expect same sex couple who were married in other states to seek Ohio to recognize their marriage.” And, back in December after a Federal Judge ruled that Ohio must recognize same sex marriages performed in other states on death certificates, we said, “The decision by the Ohio Judge is a red carpet invitation for someone to make a broader attack on Ohio’s ban on same sex marriages.”
Plunderbund on this issue is just like Hans and Franz: Hear us now, believe us later.
Attorney General DeWine’s Office is expected to appeal. But, and this is important, he does not have to. The Attorney General is not required to continue to defend laws that are clearly unconstitutional.
The Ohio ban on recognizing same sex marriages from other states is clearly unconstitutional. Since the Windsor decision, no federal judge has found that a ban on recognizing same sex marriages from other states is constitutional. More significantly, a number of attorneys general have decided that they would no longer defend stats bans on same sex marriages.
This fight is over. Attorney General Mike DeWine is starting resemble those Japanese soldiers in caves who kept fighting after Japan surrendered in WWII because they didn’t know the war was over.
The answer is simple: DeWine should stop using state resources to pander to the religious right on this issue. Let him know.