One of Ohio’s former top Republican office holders is supporting the effort to overturn Ohio’s ban on gay marriage.
Republican Jim Petro is well known in Ohio politics. He’s served as Ohio’s Attorney General, State Auditor, Chancellor of Ohio Regents, and a state lawmaker. Now he’s taking a stand in a hot button political issue. Petro is working with the group that wants to put an issue on the ballot next year that would allow Ohioans to vote to overturn the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman agrees with the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the federal ban on gay marriage this week. And he hopes Ohio’s ban on gay marriage is overturned, but he's counting on voters, not courts, to do that.
In 1996, Rob Portman voted for the federal Defense of Marriage Act as a member of the House of Representatives. In March, he said he’s evolved – since discovering his son is gay – and now supports gay marriage. And this week, he supported the high court vote to overturn DOMA.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act did nothing to change Ohio’s ban on gay marriage -- directly. But the reasoning of that decision could guide a legal path in Ohio.
With the Supreme Court’s affirmation that the federal government cannot discriminate against married couples of the same sex, a key provision of TheDefense of Marriage Act, those couples residing in Ohio should now be eligible for the same federal benefits and programs available to heterosexual married couples - tax breaks, pension rights and other benefits.