22 Feb 2012

Overturned Law Banning Gay Marriage in California Effects Bowling Green

Author: Rachel | Filed under: Local stories, Localizing story

By: Rachel Ausperk

According to the Ohio Constitution, only a union between one man and one woman is recognized as a valid marriage by the state and its political subdivisions.  In addition, Ohio law says that any marriage between persons of the same sex is against the strong public policy of the state, has no legal force or effect, is null from the beginning and will not be recognized.

Proposition 8, a law banning same-sex marriage, was approved in California in 2008.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled California’s 2008 law unconstitutional on Feb. 7, 2012.  The federal appeals court  said that it violates the 14th Amendment rights of gay couples to equal protection under the law.

Some people in the Bowling Green community feel that the overturned ban is a positive step towards legalizing gay marriage, while some feel that it is not.

Lauren Schulman displays her gay pride flag in her dorm room at BGSU. Photo by Rachel Ausperk

“I think that it gives people in Ohio some hope.  There is legislation in Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and other states trying to get gay marriage legalized, so it’ll get here eventually– it might just take a while,” said Lauren Schulman, 21, a political science major and women studies minor at BGSU, who is gay.

However, criminal justice major Matthew Poderzay, 21, said that he believes gay marriage is biblically, morally and ethically wrong, and the people who support it are extremely liberal.  “It does not reflect the beliefs and values of the majority of the country,” Poderzay said.

“My own personal opinion—well it just seems odd that people’s civil rights get put to a public vote anyway,” said Julie Haught, professor of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender course for women’s studies and histories of queer activism at BGSU.

Six states allow gay couples to wed – Connecticut, New Hampshire, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont.  As for Ohio, gay couples are not allowed to wed.  The 2010 Census was the first to report counts of both same-sex partners and same-sex spouses.  According to revised estimates from the 2010 Census, there were 131,729 same-sex married couple households and 514,735 same-sex unmarried partner households in the United States.

Haught believes that gay marriage will eventually be fully legalized in the United States on a federal level, rather than by state.

“I have students in classes who are declared independents, declared democrats, declared republicans, and they don’t understand why same-sex marriage isn’t legalized,” Haught said.  “It may not come next year, but it will come.”

Many proposals have been made in Ohio to legalize same-sex marriage.  One of those proposals is the online Gay Rights Petition to legalize same-sex marriage in Ohio, which can be signed at change.org.

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3 thoughts on “Overturned Law Banning Gay Marriage in California Effects Bowling Green

  1. Stephanie Bowen Says:

    I think that an article articulating this element of the news is incredibly important for people to know about, so good job raising awareness about it. That being said, I know Lauren Schulman. She is 21, not 20 as the article says. She is a political science major, not a women’s studies major. As someone who seems to be raising attention about Prop 8 in, what seems to be, a hard news story, the personal information of those interviewed should be accurate.

  2. Rachel Says:

    Thank you for noticing that, I corrected it.

  3. Stephanie Bowen Says: