Home » Campus » Ohio State students, staff look at possibility of same-sex marriage in Ohio

Ohio State students, staff look at possibility of same-sex marriage in Ohio

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Tom Topozki, left, and his partner Jefferson Ruck, both of Las Vegas, wait in line to get a marriage license Oct. 8 at the Clark County Marriage License Bureau in Las Vegas. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Tom Topozki, left, and his partner Jefferson Ruck, both of Las Vegas, wait in line to get a marriage license Oct. 8 at the Clark County Marriage License Bureau in Las Vegas. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Same-sex marriage was brought into the spotlight in several states this week. Meanwhile, while it isn’t legal in Ohio, at least one Ohio State employee said she hopes she has the opportunity to marry her partner someday.

The Supreme Court declined to look at appeals striking down same-sex marriage bans in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin on Monday.

Also, on Tuesday, Colorado’s attorney general announced that all counties could issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the state’s Supreme Court lifted a stay and dismissed an appeal of a case ruling Colorado’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

And a federal appellate court struck down gay marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho, but Idaho state officials asked the Supreme Court to put the decision on hold. Nevada was permitted to allow same-sex marriages on Wednesday, while Idaho’s marriages are still on hold.

Billy Brown, a fourth-year in nutrition and dietetics from Crown Point, Indiana, said he thought the change was great, but was hesitant when thinking of his small, religious hometown.

“I think we’ll be a little bit slow to accept (it), but at the same time, it’s the law now,” Brown said.

And Ohio’s ban could be dropped next. Ohio has had a ban on same-sex marriages since 2004. Five cases to overturn that ban are currently under consideration by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Some students said they’re excited about the recent changes.

“Over 50 percent of Americans now live in states that have marriage equality. That’s exciting. That’s progress,” said Chris Bellman in an email. Bellman is a fourth-year in electrical and computer engineering and president of Fine By Me, a student organization that raises awareness and support for the LGBTQ community on campus.

Bellman said even if Ohio is not granted marriage equality soon, he thinks it will be on the 2016 Ohio ballot no matter what. He said he believes if it comes down to votes from the ballots, based on current polling, the law should pass.

“Fine By Me is very happy that more states are gaining marriage equality, and can’t wait until marriage equality is implemented in Ohio,” he said.

As changes in law continue, Angie Wellman, the intercultural specialist at the OSU Multicultural Center, said the changes at OSU in recent years have been nothing but positive.

“We now have gender-inclusive housing in the Gateway apartments. Student health insurance now includes coverage of transition related medical expenses for trans(gender) students. Our supplemental application allows students to self-identify as LGBTQ if they choose to,” Wellman said in an email.

OSU might be making strides toward marriage equality, but some said they still oppose same-sex marriages.

Alyssa Holaday, a 24-year-old staff member of Real Life, a Christian organization on campus, said she doesn’t support same-sex marriage.

“I don’t agree with it but I’m not going to cause an uproar,” Holaday said.

Jessica Markowitz, a third-year in human development and family science, said she is supportive of the recent changes.

“I love it. I’m hoping it spreads here sooner than not (at all),” Markowitz said.

Wellman said she looks forward to the day she believes Ohio will be granted marriage equality and she can have her own wedding.

“Having been with my partner since 2003, I would love the opportunity to be able to stand before our friends and family in the same way that my siblings have,” Wellman said in an email.

One comment

  1. I had a partner for 14 years, and he died unexpectedly. Since the house was in his name, I was basically homeless and had to scramble to find housing within a month. (It didn’t help that his sister changed the locks on the house while in the middle of my moving.) So, with all due respect to non-homosexual people, yes, it IS a big deal!

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