LGBT Rights Press Release

02.27.15

Ohio Legal Team Files Brief at U.S. Supreme Court Challenging Same-Sex Marriage Bans

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the American Civil Liberties Union along with Lambda Legal and Gerhardstein & Branch filed their brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, which challenges the state’s laws barring the recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages from out of state.

The brief argues Ohio’s ban on recognizing the legal marriages of same-sex couples violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution and that it is unreasonable for states to adopt a “wait and see” attitude towards the potential long-range consequences of allowing same-sex couples to marry or of recognizing those marriages: “While the State awaits…. [m]ore children in Ohio will be denied protections for their families, more beloved spouses will die denied the final solace and dignity of recognition of their marriages, and more families will suffer countless daily harms from relegation to second tier status…they should not be required to wait any longer.”

“This is a critical first step for true equality for the thousands of Ohio couples and families,” said Christine Link, executive director of the ACLU of Ohio. “We are confident that our brief has compelling arguments that will convince the Supreme Court to rule in favor of marriage equality.”

Also, the ACLU and Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic are co-counsel in the two Kentucky cases, Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear, brought by lawyers at Clay Daniel Walton & Adams and the Fauver Law Office. These cases challenge Kentucky’s anti-marriage laws on the ground that they violate due process and equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution.