DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Cincinnati has upheld same-sex marriage bans in Ohio and three other states.
The decision comes after a string of rulings against such bans and restrictions
The issue appears likely to return to the nation’s highest court to settle whether states can ban same-sex marriage.
In 2004, the Ohio Marriage Amendment passed with nearly 62-percent of the vote, and it mandates that only a marriage between one man and one woman may be valid in, or recognized, by the state.
Thursday’s ruling upholds the amendment.
Advocates for marriage equality say the Federal Appeals Court’s decision is discriminatory.
But others say the current law represents what they believe is a marriage.
The court’s majority opinion says states have the right to keep the definition of marriage that dates back to “the earliest days of human history.”
Greater Dayton LGBT Center’s RJ McKay disagrees with these judges.
“I would ask how does my relationship and my potential marriage directly affect their marriage,” McKay asked. “Cause it doesn’t.”
McKay and his long-term partner are married, but his union is not recognized in Ohio.
He told 2 NEWS’ Beairshelle Edmé it’s only a matter of time before that changes.
However, there are Ohioans who say they will do whatever it takes to keep that from happening.
In August when the courts were again deciding on the matter, one woman expressed the same majority opinion as these judges.
“Upholding the traditional definition of marriage again is a foundation from the beginning of time for strong cultures and civilizations,” explained Paula Westwood, a member with Cincinnati’s Right to Life.
Marriage equality advocate Anne Wilger believes this type of thinking is backwards.
Her son came out in 1999 and ever since she has hoped he’d be able to marry.
“It makes me feel very sad because I have two– I have three daughters and two of them are married with children and I think my son deserves every right that my daughters have,” said the mom of four.
McKay agrees with Wilger that it’s time for marriage equality.
He wants the nearly 1,400 rights married couples have when a state recognizes their union, “Everything from hospital visitation to social security survivalship rights, estates, taxes, it really affects our lives every day, you know, on many different levels.”
And that’s why gay rights advocates say marriage equality is necessary because, “Everyone needs someone to love and someone to love them back I don’t care whether they’re straight or gay,” Wilger stated plainly.
The Federal Appeals Court also noted that marriage equality is a matter best handled in the political arena and not in the court system.
More than 30 states have already passed laws for marriage equality.
But many say Ohio’s fate will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court in the near future