DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The fight for marriage equality in Ohio is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The justices will hear challenges to a state amendment that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
For some, like RJ McKay, they believes what’s at stake is Ohio’s place in history.
McKay, who is gay, says the Buckeye state is behind the times.
He married his partner, but Ohio does not recognize his union.
“My same gender marriage has no direct effect on anybody else’s either same gender or opposite gender marriage so I think it’s just one of those live and let live,” he said.
In the last decade, more than 30 states have recognized same-sex marriage; Ohio is not one of them.
In 2004, a state constitutional amendment was passed that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman.
Several months ago, Paula Westwood from Right to Life Cincinnati defended that stance.
“Upholding the traditional definition of marriage again is a foundation from the beginning of time for strong cultures and civilizations,” she said.
McKay now leads the effort for marriage equality; he serves as a board member with the Dayton LGBT Center.
But he says that without state recognition only so much can be done, which is why he believes many are leaning on the Supreme Court for what they see as equality.
For McKay that means letting every Ohioan love who they want, regardless of their sex.
“People that had no experience in what it was like to be gay or to be lesbian or bisexual or transgender, they were ruling whet they deem to be appropriate for our relationships,” McKay described. “Not so much different then a bunch of male senators ruling on women’s rights or abortions. It comes down to its my relationship, it’s my life. Why are you trying to legislate it?”
By the end of the Supreme Court case, two things could happen.
Justices could hand down a ruling making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, or their ruling could mean that for states like Ohio gay marriage bans will remain.
A decision is expected in July.