Thursday, March 24, 2005


Surprised by the unintended consequences of Issue 1? You shouldn't be.

Gee, is the recent court decision a surprise? Well, no. It was one of those obvious things that was predicted by, well, just about everybody with half a brain:
Its far-reaching language will have unintended consequences, disallowing otherwise contractual rights, benefits, and protections, such as those of adopted children of unmarried couples or of unmarried couples jointly owning property. - Ohio League of Women Voters, Sept. 10, 2004.

It is an ambiguous invitation to litigation that will result in unintended consequences for senior citizens and for any two persons who share living accommodations. - Project Vote Smart, Oct. 13, 2004.

[The ACLU Nov. 10, 2004] forum is intended to assemble those who are concerned about the widespread implications and consequences of Issue 1 to begin a coordinated process of . . . identifying the legal issues in relation to various impact areas (domestic relations, contracts, adoption/custody, employment benefits, etc). - Ohio ACLU

It is an ambiguous invitation to litigation that will result in unintended consequences for senior citizens and for any two persons who share living accommodations. There will be as many interpretations of the words, “Intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage,” as there are judges in the state of Ohio. - Gov. Bob Taft, Oct. 13, 2004
If approved, the amendment would deprive any unmarried couple in Ohio - gay or straight - of legal privileges they now enjoy. - Toledo Blade, Oct. 10, 2004.

. . . single pregnant women might find themselves unable legally to assert a right to maternity leave or to gain a court-protection order against an abusive ex-boyfriend. - Dayton Daily News, Oct. 7, 2004.

I'm also concerned about other Ohioans, including heterosexual friends and family members, who would be harmed by the passage of this amendment . . . It may even affect whether domestic violence charges can be pursued if the victim is not legally married to the person who abused him or her -- this includes women who are abused by a boyfriend. - Jim Ryan.

Ohio's new constitutional amendment aimed at denying special legal rights to gay and unmarried couples also may strip legal protections from thousands of unwed victims of domestic violence.

Legal and victim-advocacy circles are buzzing over motions from the Cuyahoga County public defender's office to dismiss domestic-violence charges against unmarried defendants.

The argument: that the charge violates the amendment to Ohio's Constitution known as Issue 1 by giving spouselike status and protection to victims who live

"The thing is, you can only get a domestic-violence charge now if you are a wife beater, not a girlfriend beater," said Jeff Lazarus, a law clerk for public defender Robert Tobik and chief architect of the motions to dismiss. - Plain Dealer, Jan. 15,2005.

[Issue 1] is vague and likely to cause unintended consequences. It will also reduce rights and benefits for all unmarried Ohio couples. - Eric Resnick, Dec. 31, 2004.

This proposed amendment to the state constitution, masquerading as an affirmation of traditional marriage, has been publicly outed for what it truly is -- an assault on the rights of all unmarried Ohioans and a threat to our economic future. - Mary Anne Sharkey, Oct. 28, 2004.
. . . and so on and so on.


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