Friday, March 25, 2005

Politics: Nice Job, Ohio

Stupid voter referendums often have unintended consequences (just ask anyone in California), but in Ohio, there's already blowback from the draconian Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment ignorant voters passed in November [via The Talent Show]:
Unintended Consequences

It looks like the people of Ohio were so excited at the prospect of discriminating against gay people that they inadvertently aided someone who beat the shit out of his live-in girlfriend :

A judge has ruled that Ohio's new constitutional ban on same-sex marriage prohibits unmarried people from being able to file domestic violence charges.

Judges and others across the country have been waiting for a ruling on how Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage, among the nation's broadest, would affect the state's 25-year-old domestic violence law, which previously wasn't limited to married people.

Wednesday's ruling by Cuyahoga County common pleas judge Stuart Friedman changed a felony domestic violence charge against Frederick Burk to a misdemeanor assault charge.

[...] His public defender, David Magee, had asked the judge to throw out the charge because of the new wording in Ohio's constitution that prohibits any state or local government from enforcing a law that would "create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals."

Prior to the amendment's approval, courts applied the domestic violence law by defining a family as including an unmarried couple living together as would a husband and wife, the judge said. The new amendment banning same-sex marriage no longer allows that.

Nice work. In their haste to pass the harshest amendment possible while the anti-gay sentiment was peaking, Ohio really stepped in it. Since the state cannot force anyone to get married (...yet...), the wording of this stupid amendment is sure to have dramatic effects in a whole variety of arenas regarding unmarried couples of all types.

Come to think of it, the amendment that passed here in Michigan contains much of the same language. I'm so proud. Sigh.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been visiting, just no time to comment. Or one-handed with the baby in my arms--too much trouble! Lots of good stuff on your site. This one is crazy. I have the toughest time trying to understand why people care so much about other peoples' personal lives! Heterosexual marriages don't enjoy the greatest track record these days anyway. For the people who argue that gay marriages are "dangerous" for our children. Look at how many marriages end in divorce. And how many parents just plain suck anyway. Regardless of their sex lives. This particular "side effect" of their vote was one I had never even considered. I wonder how many who voted understood all of the ramifications. DOH! --Yo' Sista.