Two years ago, Democratic and Republican leaders urged Ohio voters to reject a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. They warned that the poorly worded proposal could trigger unforeseen consequences. Now it’s time for the consequences, reports the Dayton Daily News. The Ohio Supreme Court will hear State v. Carswell in December, a case that argues the state’s 27-year-old domestic-violence law conflicts with the new gay-marriage ban.
The case is drawing enormous attention in Ohio and across the nation. More than 60 organizations filed amicus briefs in the case. If the state Supreme Court strikes down part of the domestic-violence law, it could wipe out longstanding legal protections for unmarried Ohioans in abusive relationships. About half of the nearly 73,000 domestic-violence calls last year involved unmarried people. Such a ruling in Ohio could lead defense counsel to argue the constitutionality of domestic-violence laws in other states, one expert said.