Ohio to vote on gay marriage ban
Gay marriage would be banned in Ohio and state employees could not obtain health insurance and other benefits for their unmarried partners under a bill to come before the state house on Wednesday. The Committee on Juvenile and Family Law unanimously recommended the Defense of Marriage bill Tuesday, after amending it to include language that it would not affect the extension of benefits by local governments or private employers. The bill changes Ohio's existing marriage statute to add, "A marriage may only be entered into by one man and one woman" and declare that extending benefits for unmarried partners to state employees, whether of the same or opposite sex, is against state policy. It also says Ohio would not recognize same-sex marriages entered in other states. The committee amendments say that employees are not prevented from using other legal means, such as union agreements, to obtain such benefits. For example, public employees such as teachers could seek the benefits through collective bargaining with their school districts.