As LGBT rights issues around the Tristate continue to make national headlines, Cincinnati City Council passed a resolution March 25 supporting marriage equality in the state of Ohio.
That stance is at odds with the official policy of the state of Ohio, which does not recognize gay marriages. In 2004, Ohio voters passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Recently, that ban has been challenged by lawsuits that will be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court next month. That impending battle has catapulted the region into national media attention.
City Councilman Chris Seelbach, Cincinnati’s first openly gay elected official, authored the city’s resolution.
“The protection and equality we want is no different than what everyone wants,” Seelbach said, highlighting the ways in which his life with his partner is the same as any married couple’s.
Seelbach also drew attention to the continued court battles being waged by Cincinnatians against Ohio’s gay marriage ban. Among them is Jim Obergefell, whose case against Ohio’s gay marriage ban will be tried in the U.S. Supreme Court next month. Obergefell is seeking to be listed on his late husband John Arthur’s death certificate. The two were legally married in Maryland.
Six council members voted for the resolution, with Councilman Charlie Winburn voting against it and two, P.G. Sittenfeld and Amy Murray, absent from the meeting for unrelated reasons.
Winburn applauded Seelbach’s advocacy for the issue but said he didn’t agree with its premise. Winburn has been a vocal opponent of gay marriage. Cincinnati joins several other Ohio cities, including Dayton and Columbus, in supporting marriage equality.