Laws

United States of America

OHIO

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Bullying
Censorship
  Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Discrimination
Estates
Fostering Children
Freedom of Expression
Gender Identity
Harassment
  Hate Crimes
Health, Medical
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Inheritance
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Partners
  Parenting
Privacy
Property
Sodomy
Succession, Wills
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

Please read the Disclaimer

Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Ohio Revised Code, Title [29] XXIX Crimes – Procedure, Chapter 2907: Sex Offences [L1.1]

2907.04 Unlawful sexual conduct with minor

(A) No person who is eighteen years of age or older shall engage in sexual conduct with another, who is not the spouse of the offender, when the offender knows the other person is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, or the offender is reckless in that regard.

(B) [ ... ]

R1.1 Ohio Revised Code: Chapter 2907: Sex Offences (Accessed 15 NOV 09)
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation
Surrogacy
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [PARENTING]
   
Censorship, Freedom of Expression, Free Speech, Right of Assembly Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 17 December 2012, the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled that Crystal Dixon's comments in a newspaper column – that gay rights can not be compared to civil rights because homosexuality is a choice – went against the very policies the University of Toledo wanted her to create and enforce as associate vice president for human resources. They said that her speech was not protected [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.2 Opinion: Crystal Dixon v. University of Toledo 12-3218 PDF 44.91kb, 17 DEC 12
R1.1 NorthWestOhio.com: Former University of Toledo official loses firing appeal 17 DEC 12
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

In Ohio, a gay man or woman does have the right to file for co-custody of a partner's biological or adoptive child [R1.1]

2.

Courts & Tribunals

In March 2012, Franklin County Magistrate Kathleen Knisely ruled that Julie Ann Smith, the biological mother, and her former partner, Julie Rose Rowell must share custody of their 8-year-old daughter Maddie, finding evidence that 'supports (Rowell's) testimony that she and Smith were life partners with an agreement to raise Maddie together. They do not support Smith's assertions that Rowell was just a girlfriend/roommate and sometime baby sitter' [R2.8].
See also [C2.5], [R2.4].


On 12 July 2011, the Supreme Court of Ohio in the case of In re Mullen upheld 4–3 lower court rulings that a biological mother who acknowledged her same-sex partner as a co-parent of her daughter while the two women were in a relationship did not permanently give up her sole custody of the child to create legal shared custody with the partner [C2.7], [R.2.6].


On 09 June 2011, a three-judge panel of the Tenth District Court of Appeals (Franklin County, encompassing Columbus and vicinity) ruled, 2-to-1, against a non-biological mother attempting to enforce a temporary visitation order to see Maddie, the biological daughter of the woman with whom she formerly had a relationship [C2.5], [R2.4].


In June 2008, the Franklin County Court of Appeals in Ohio upheld the custody arrangement between the two lesbian parents despite the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The three-judge panel ruled that the joint-custody agreement, which was signed by both biological mother Denise Fairchild and former partner Therese Leach (formerly Fairchild) in 2001 was a consent decree, which "is not subject to attack through appeal" [R2.3].


On 27 August 2002, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected a lesbian couple's claim that both women are parents of each other's children, but said a juvenile court may decide whether to grant the women's request for equal custody [C2.2], [R2.2].


In October 2001, an Ohio appellate court overturned a lower court order granting custody of a toddler to an HIV-positive couple. The appellate court ruled the couple had failed to go through proper adoption procedures [R2.1].

R1.1 Columbus Dispatch: "Legal System Doesn't Protect Non-Biological Parent" 02 OCT 00
R2.8 GayStarNews: Lesbian couple must share custody, Ohio court decides 08 MAR 12
C2.7 Supreme Court of Ohio: In re Mullen Slip Opinion No. 2011-Ohio-3361 PDF 85.75kb, 12 JUL 11
R2.6 The Advocate: Ohio Supreme Court Rules Against Lesbian Mom US (OH) 13 JUL 11
C2.5 Court of Appeals: Rowell v. Smith, 2011- Ohio-2809, 2011 WL 2407746 (10th Dist), PDF 50.25kb, 09 JUN 11
R2.4 Lesbian/Gay Law Notes: Ohio Appeals Court Holds That Juvenile Court Lacks Power to Grant Temporary Visitation to Non-Biological Mom PDF 652.99kb, JUL 11
R2.3 PinkNews.co.uk: Court Gives US Woman Joint Custody Over Former Partner's Child 18 JUN 08
C2.2 In re Bonfield 97 Ohio St.3d 387, 2002-Ohio-6660 PDF 60.83kb, 13 DEC 02
R2.2 Associated Press: Lesbian Couple Loses Custody Ruling 28 AUG 02
R2.1 United Press International: Appeals Court Rejects Gay Couple's Custody 16 OCT 01
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1.

State

On 02 November 2004, voters passed ballot Amendment 1 62–38 percent to:-

Amend the Ohio Constitution to recognize marriage as a union between one man and one woman; neither the state nor counties can give legal status to unmarried individuals whose relationships are intended to approximate the design or effect of marriage” [R1.1].

2.

Counties

On 08 December 2015, Cuyahoga County Council repealed an ordinance that extended health care benefits to domestic partners of county employees. The action was due to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision authorizing same-sex marriage [R2.3].

On 06 December 2011, Cuyahoga County Council did not vote on proposed domestic partner benefits as scheduled. Instead, the ordinance was put on hold until the Human Relations Commission can give the Council a definition of "domestic partner" and cost estimates [R2.2].

On 18 August 2009, Franklin County became the first county to enact domestic-partner health care benefits for its employees [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

On 22 November 2010, Columbus City Council approved health insurance benefits to the same-sex and unmarried opposite-sex partners of city workers, effective 01 February [R3.5].


In May 2009, the Cleveland City Council voted in December 2008 to create a domestic-partner registry. From 07 May 2009, Cleveland couples can finally begin registering as domestic partners [R3.4].


In 04 November 2003 ballot, Cleveland Heights voters approved creating a domestic-partner registry to let unmarried couples record their relationships at City Hall, making the City the first city in Ohio to start such a registry [R3.3].

The registry is not binding on courts, governments, hospitals or private companies, but many have accepted registries in other states. To register, couples will have to show identification, sign a statement and pay a fee, commencing early 2004 [R3.3].

On 15 April 2002 Cleveland Heights became the first Ohio city to offer health benefits to same-sex couples one or both of whom are city employees [R3.2].

The ordinance came into effect 15 May 2002.


In October 2002, the City of Toledo was considering legislation to extend medical benefits to spouses of city employees in either gay or straight unmarried relationships.

A first reading was expected on 19 November 02 with a final vote in early December [R3.1].

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 28 May 2004, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Robert T. Glickman has ruled that the Cleveland Heights registry, the nation's first voter-approved domestic partner registry is constitutional, rejecting the challenge filed by The Rev. Jimmie Hicks Jr., a Cleveland Heights councilman [R4.2].

On 31 July 2002, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a lesbian couple can legally adopt a last name they created [R4.1].

4.

Churches

In November 2009, Bishop Thomas E. Breidenthal announced that the Episcopal diocese of southern Ohio had lifted its ban on blessings of same-sex unions, with ceremonies becoming available to gay couples beginning April 4, Easter Sunday, 2010 [R5.1].

5.

Insurance

In January 2003, the State Farm insurance company reportedly refused to pay a burglary claim under a homeowner policy taken out by one domestic partner where the other domestic partner was not specifically named in the policy [R6.1].

R1.1 Wikipedia: List of U.S. state constitutional amendments banning same-sex unions by type (Accessed 03 APR 12)
CNN: Ballot Measures 02 NOV 04 (Accessed 03 APR 12)
R2.3 Cleveland.com: Cuyahoga County Council approves budget 08 DEC 15
R2.2 GayPeople's Chronicle: Council delays partner benefit vote till March 16 DEC 11
R2.1 The Advocate: Ohio Says Yes to DP Benefits 18 AUG 09
R3.5 The Advocate: Columbus DP Benefits Pass Easily 23 NOV 10
R3.4 The Advocate: Cleveland Rocks Domestic Partnership 06 MAY 09
R3.3 The Plain Dealer: Domestic-partner list OK'd 05 NOV 03
Gay People's Chronicle: Cleveland Heights Partner Registry Moves to Council 11 JUL 03
R3.2 The Plain Dealer: Cleveland Hts. OKs Benefits for Gay Couples 16 APR 02
R3.1 WTOL-TV: The City of Toledo May Extend Medical Benefits To Gay and Lesbian Couples 31 OCT 02
R4.2 Associated Press: Ohio Judge Backs First Domestic Registry 28 MAY 04
R4.1 Associated Press: Lesbian Couple Allowed Name Change 31 JUL 02
R5.1 The Advocate: Ohio Episcopalians OK Gay Unions 12 NOV 09
R6.1 Gay People's Chronicle: Home Insurance Doesn't Cover Partner, Company Says 10 JAN 03
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Ohio does not have a state-wide law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation [R1.6].


In December 2011, Shari Hutchinson settled her claim of discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation after a federal judge said gay and lesbian government workers are protected by the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution's 14th Amendment [C3.1], [R1.5].


On 23 September 2011, the Equal Housing and Employment Act, making discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in public and private employment, housing and public accommodations unlawful, was reportedly to be reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Republican Rep. Ross McGregor and Democratic Rep. Nickie Antonio [R1.4]. The Bill was reintroduced on 27 September 2011 [R1.3].


In January 2011, newly-elected Governor John Kasich, a Republican, signed Executive Order 2011-05K, establishing anti-discrimination policy for the executive branch of the state government. The new Order lists the same categories identified by the prior governor, Democrat Ted Strickland, including sexual orientation. However, the Order does not mention "gender identity," which has been commonly included in more recent executive orders and anti-discrimination regulations and legislation in other jurisdictions – CCH Workday, Jan. 26 [R1.2].


In April 2003, Ohio House Bill 147 would if passed amend all sections of the Ohio Revised Code dealing with discrimination by adding "sexual orientation" everywhere other protected classes such as race, religion, and national origin are currently listed [R1.1]. A similar bill is expected to be introduced to the Senate.

In the bill, "sexual orientation" is defined as "heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, or transgenderism, whether actual or perceived."

The areas of the law that would be affected are those dealing with employment, labor organizations, housing, selling and renting, credit, financial assistance, and public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants or other commercial establishments open to the public.

The bill was assigned to the State Government Committee, which may schedule hearings.

2.

Cities & Towns

On 26 July 2017, the Kent City Council reportedly approved an ordinance banning discrimination in any ''place of public accommodation'' in the city, such as lodging, restaurants, barbershops, theaters or stores. Private clubs or churches are exempt [R2.7].

On 13 July 2016, the City of Cleveland voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 1446-13 expanding the existing nondiscrimination law that covers public accommodations to include transgender people, allowing transgender individuals to use almost any restroom in town consistent with their gender identity [L2.6], [R2.5].

On 05 July 2016, the Newark City Council was reported to have voted unanimously to pass Ordinance 16-18 amending the city ordinances prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in employment, fair housing [R2.4].

On 19 July 2011, East Cleveland passed an expansive civil rights ordinance that covers sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, gender and disability in the areas of education, employment, public accommodation and housing [R2.3].

On 02 November 2010, Bowling Green voters upheld two ordinances: one bans discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity (transgender protections) and HIV status – among other factors – in the area of housing, while a second law covers public accommodations, education and employment [R2.2].

Athens, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Columbus, Lakewood, North Olmsted, Oberlin, Toledo, Yellow Springs and Youngstown provide some sort of anti-discrimination protection to homosexuals [R2.1].

In September 2000, the Akron Beacon Journal reported that an anti-discrimination law before the Akron City Council would, for the first time, ban discrimination against homosexuals in the areas of housing, employment and services [R2.1].

Dayton was debating a similar ordinance.

In 1993, Cincinnati received national attention, when voters passed an amendment to Article XII of the city charter forbidding any law extending protections based on sexual orientation. The amendment reversed a vote by the City Council the previous year, and later court decisions upheld the charter amendment.

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 11 March 2013, on a plea, the Capital Club was ordered (by Judge H W Pollitt) in Franklin County Municipal Court (11 March 2013) to pay $1000 and costs to Savanna DeLong, 53, who said she was denied work after 12 years as a massage therapist when she told people in 2010 that she was transitioning from a man (Joseph Scott Delong) to a woman [C3.5], [R3.4].

On 14 August 2012, US District Court Judge James Gwin denied a motion for summary judgment (in Jason W Koran v. The Ohio Bell Telephone Company), making a significant argument in favor of recognizing discrimination based on sexual orientation under Title VII's (Civil Rights Act) protections against discrimination based on sex [C3.3], [R3.2].

On 25 April 2011, Judge James S Gwin in the US District Court Northern District of Ohio held that gay and lesbian government workers are protected by the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution's 14th Amendment [C3.1].

1. State
R1.6 Gay People's Chronicle: 1964 Federal Civil Rights Act Used to Settle Bias Suit 27 SEP 02
R1.5 The Advocate: Lesbian Settles With Employer After Years of Discrimination 06 DEC 11
R1.4 Gay People's Chronicle: Equality bill is back in Statehouse next week 23 SEP 11
R1.3 Dayton Daily News: Gay-rights bill resubmitted 27 SEP 11
R1.2 Lesbian/Gay Law Notes: Legislative & Administrative Notes PDF page 24. 655.57kb, FEB 11
R1.1 Gay People's Chronicle: State LGBT civil rights bill debuts 04 APR 03
2. Cities & Towns
R2.7 Record-Courier: Kent OKs anti-bias law 29 JUL 17
L2.6 Ordinance: Ordinance No. 1446-13 PDF 390.96kb 13 JUL 16
R2.5 LGBTQnation: Trans bathroom law passes in Cleveland just as GOP lifts lid on Trump 14 JUL 16
R2.4 NewarkAdvocate: Newark bans discrimination against LGBT people 05 JUL 16
R2.3 Gay People's Chronicle: East Cleveland passes a broad civil rights ordinance 29 JUL 11
R2.2 On Top Magazine: Bowling Green Voters Uphold Gay Protections Laws 23 NOV 10
R2.1 Akron Beacon Journal: "Bias Law Could be Expanded in Akron" 14 SEP 00
R3.4 outlook: Private Club Fined for Transgender Discrimination 11 MAR 13
C3.3 CourtWeb: Jason W Koran v. The Ohio Bell Telephone Company Case No. 1:11-CV-2674 PDF 115.67kb, 14 AUG 12
R3.2 ThinkProgressLGBT: Ohio Judge Recognizes Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII 21 AUG 12
C3.1 CourtWeb: Shari Hutchinson v. Cuyahoga County Board of County Commissioners PDF 151.43kb, 25 APR 11

GayLawNet®™ "Exclusive" Sponsorship of this page IS available
Estates, Inheritance, Property, Succession, Wills Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 07 October 2015, lawyer Marilyn Maag outlined the opportunity same-sex couples have to provide for each other financially, in ways that were not available to them previously [R1.1].

R1.1 DaytonBusinessJournal: What you need to know about estate planning opportunities for same-sex couples 07 OCT 15
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

In August 2002, Ohio reportedly had sanctioned marriages between "same-sex" partners, where one was born the opposite sex, however a heterosexual couple has been denied a marriage license because the hopeful groom is transsexual [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

On 13 July 2016, the City of Cleveland voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 1446-13 expanding the existing nondiscrimination law that covers public accommodations to include transgender people, allowing transgender individuals to use almost any restroom in town consistent with their gender identity [L2.3], [R2.2].

On 30 November 2009, the Cleveland city council unanimously passed an ordinance that will change antidiscrimination laws to add protections for transgender people in employment and housing [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 16 December 2016, the US Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit ruled 2-1 that an 11-year-old m2f identifying transgender Ohio child Jane Doe must be allowed to continue to use the girls' restroom while the Highland Local School District appeals a court ruling in her favor, declining the motion for a stay of injunction [C3.9], [R3.8].

On 26 September 2016, US District Judge Algenon L Marbley ruled in favor of transgender elementary school student Jane Doe seeking to use the Highland Elementary School restroom consistent with her gender identity, ordering the school to ''treat Jane Doe as the girl she is'', which includes referring to her by female pronouns [C3.7], [R3.6].

On 02 May 2014, Judge Algenon Marbley in the US District Court Judge for the Southern District of Ohio ordered the state to permanently continue providing Mansfield Correctional Institution inmate Whitney Lee with hormone treatments for the rest of her time behind bars [R3.5].

On 02 April 2014, Judge Algenon L Marbley in the US District Court granted the application of Antione S Lee for a temporary restraining order and ordered that hormone treatment be forthwith resumed by Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, with a preliminary injunction hearing set down for 01 May [C3.4], [R3.3].

On 16 August 2002, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a male transsexual who wants to live as a woman can legally take a female name [R3.2].

The court followed its own July 31 decision on a similar case involving a lesbian couple to rule that Richard Maloney of Butler County can change his name [R3.1].


On 08 August 2002, Trumbull County magistrate Thomas Norton denied Howland residents Jacob B. Nash, 37, and Erin Barr, 30, a marriage license on August 8. Norton says that Nash is really female, and granting the license would violate Ohio's prohibition on same-sex marriages [R1.1].

R1.1 Gay People's Chronicle: Hetero Couple Denied Marriage: One is TG 30 AUG 02
L2.3 Ordinance: Ordinance No. 1446-13 PDF 390.96kb 13 JUL 16
R2.2 LGBTQnation: Trans bathroom law passes in Cleveland just as GOP lifts lid on Trump 14 JUL 16
R2.1 The Advocate: Cleveland Approves Trans Protections 01 DEC 09
3. Courts & Tribunals
C3.9 Order: Board of Education of Highland School v. Jane Doe No. 16-4117 PDF 112.42kb 15 DEC 16
R3.8 ReutersUS: Transgender Ohio child may continue to use girl's restroom: appeals court 16 DEC 16
C3.7 Opinion & Order: Board of Education of the Highland Local School v. United States Department of Education, et al. No. 2:16-CV-524 PDF 150.63kb 26 SEP 16
R3.6 WashingtonBlade: Judge to Ohio school: 'Treat Jane Doe as the girl she is' 26 SEP 16
R3.5 LGBTQ Nation: Judge orders Ohio to resume hormone treatment for transgender inmate 02 MAY 14
C3.4 Order: Antione S Lee v. Brad Eller 2:13-CV-0087 PDF 41.47kb, 02 APR 14
R3.3 GenderIdentityWatch: Judge OKs Transgender Inmate’s Hormone Treatments 02 APR 14
R3.2 Columbus Dispatch: Court Lets Transsexual Man Take Female Name 17 AUG 02
R3.1 Associated Press: Lesbian Couple Allowed Name Change 31 JUL 02
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [VIOLENCE]
1.

State

There is no state-wide hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation or gender identity. Federal law only covers LBGT persons for bias-motivated acts based on sexual orientation and gender identity if the crime poses a threat to interstate or foreign commerce [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

On 02 December 2014, Toledo City Council voted 12-0 to add gender identity to the city's hate crime ordinance that already includes protections on the basis of sexual orientation [R2.3].

In 2008, Columbus expanded hate-crime laws in the city code to include LGBT persons [R1.1].

In February 2003, the Cincinnati City Council passed an expanded hate-crimes law that allows additional penalties for misdemeanor crimes committed against a person based on sexual orientation [R2.2].

The law makes it a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail, to harass, menace or deface someone's property because of his or her sexual orientation, age or disability [R2.1].

The law, first passed in 1995, already applied to crimes motivated by hatred based on race, color, national origin or religion [R2.1]

R1.1 TheColumbusDispatch: Lawmakers reluctant to add LGBT to Ohio’s hate-crime law 10 JAN 16
R2.3 LGBTQnation: Toledo city council expands hate crimes ordinance to include gender identity 03 DEC 14
R2.2 Associated Press: Ohio City Council Expands Hate Crime Law 06 FEB 03
R2.1 Cincinnati Enquirer: Hate-crime law expanded 06 FEB 03
Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Cities & Towns

On 09 December 2015, Cincinnati Council voted 7-2 to pass a new Chapter 769, “Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Change Efforts”, of Title VII, “General Regulations”, of the Cincinnati Municipal Code, which prohibits therapy designed to change sexual orientation or gender identity for minors, and imposes a $200-a-day fine on violators [R1.2].

On 26 August 2014, it was reported that starting next year, the City of Cincinnati employee health insurance benefits will cover transition-related procedures deemed “medically necessary” by a professional mental health counselor [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 02 May 2014, Judge Algenon Marbley ordered the state to permanently continue providing Mansfield Correctional Institution inmate Whitney Lee with hormone treatments for the rest of her time behind bars [R2.6].

On 02 April 2014, Judge Algenon L Marbley in the US District Court granted the application of Antione S Lee for a temporary restraining order and ordered that hormone treatment be forthwith resumed by Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, with a preliminary injunction hearing set down for 01 May [C2.5], [R2.4].

On 28 March 2014, attorney Al Gerhardstein said the Complaint in Cowger and Wesley v. Kasich was voluntarily withdrawn after family health insurance cover was obtained [R2.3].

On 19 February 2014, a Complaint was filed on behalf of a couple in the US District Court of Ohio seeking a declaration that Ohio's statewide ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, interfering with their fundamental rights of family and parenting and preventing them from purchasing family health insurance policies [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.2 TheAdvocate: Cincinnati Approves 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Ban 09 DEC 15
R1.1 PinkNews: Cincinnati to cover transition-related procedures under health insurance 26 AUG 14
R2.6 LGBTQ Nation: Judge orders Ohio to resume hormone treatment for transgender inmate 02 MAY 14
C2.5 Order: Antione S Lee v. Brad Eller 2:13-CV-0087 PDF 41.47kb, 02 APR 14
R2.4 GenderIdentityWatch: Judge OKs Transgender Inmate’s Hormone Treatments 02 APR 14
R2.3 EdgeOnTheNet: Ohio Couple Drops Lawsuit Over Gay Marriage Ban 29 MAR 14
C2.2 Complaint: Cowger and Wesley v. Kasich Case: 1:14-cv-335 PDF 76.04kb, 19 FEB 14
R2.1 EdgeOnTheNet: Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Ohio’s Gay Marriage Ban 19 FEB 14
HIV Aids Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

In July 2005, a court awarded damages against a company for discriminating against an employee after learning he was HIV-positive [R1.1].

R1.1 MCV: HIV+ Man Wins McDonalds Case 15 JUL 05
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Ohio Revised Code, Title [29] XXIX Crimes – Procedure, Chapter 2907: Sex Offences, 2907.07 Importuning [L1.3]

(A) No person shall solicit a person who is less than thirteen years of age to engage in sexual activity with the offender, whether or not the offender knows the age of such person.

(B) No person shall solicit another, not the spouse of the offender, to engage in sexual conduct with the offender, when the offender is eighteen years of age or older and four or more years older than the other person, and the other person is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of the other person.

(C) [ ... ] (F)

Previously:

In December 1972, (Sodomy) House Bill 511 passed, completely overhauling Ohio's criminal codes and in part repealing Ohio's sodomy law criminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults [R1.2].

Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.07 Importuning reportedly made it a first-degree misdemeanor to ask anyone of the same sex to engage in sexual activity "when the offender knows such solicitation is offensive to the other person, or is reckless in that regard" [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 08 June 2011, the Supreme Court held In re D.B., 129 Ohio St.3d 104, 2011-Ohio-2671 that a statutory rape law was unconstitutional, as applied to a twelve year old boy who had sexual contact with an eleven year old boy [C2.3], [R2.2].


On 13 September 2001, in an appeal in Ohio's Eighth District Court of Appeals (City of Cleveland v Joseph Maistros No. 79007, 2001WL1110295, 2001 Ohio App. Lexis 4102) heard in July, it was argued that the importuning ordinance should be stricken from the books because it turns on the gender of both the offender and victim and violates the U.S. Constitution's equal-protection clause and the Court reversed and vacated the decision and sentence of Cleveland Municipal Judge Robert J. Triozzi that fined Maistros $150 and sentenced him to 180 days in jail but suspended the jail time on the condition that he stay away from Cleveland State University [R2.1].

L1.3 Ohio Revised Code: Chapter 2907: Sex Offences (Accessed 15 NOV 09)
R1.2 Gay People's Chronicle: Sodomy repeal may have led to Ohio"s importuning law 22 FEB 02
R1.1 The Advocate: Challenge to Ohio Law Under Way 06 JUL 01
C2.3 Supreme Court of Ohio: In Re D.B. 129 Ohio St.3d 104, 2011-Ohio-2671 PDF 47.84kb, 08 JUN 11
R2.2 Lesbian/Gay Law Notes: Statutory Rape Conviction of Twelve Year Old Boy For Having Sex With Male Peer Overturned by Ohio Supreme Court PDF 652.99kb, US (CA) 08 JUN
R2.1 The Plain Dealer: State Importuning Law Will Be Challenged (Ohio v Maistros) 03 JUL 2001
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry and all states must fully recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in any jurisdiction [C2.30, [R2.29]. See 2. Courts & Tribunals below .

Ohio Revised Code, Title [31] XXXI Domestic Relations – Children, Chapter 3101 Marriage [L1.6]

3101.01 Persons who may be joined in marriage …

(A) […] (C)

(C)(1) Any marriage between persons of the same sex is against the strong public policy of this state. Any marriage between persons of the same sex shall have no legal force or effect in this state and, if attempted to be entered into in this state, is void ab initio and shall not be recognized by this state.

(2) Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex in any other jurisdiction shall be considered and treated in all respects as having no legal force or effect in this state and shall not be recognized by this state.

(3) The recognition or extension by the state of the specific statutory benefits of a legal marriage to nonmarital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes is against the strong public policy of this state […]

(4) Any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state, country, or other jurisdiction outside this state that extends the specific benefits of legal marriage to nonmarital relationships between persons of the same sex or different sexes shall be considered and treated in all respects as having no legal force or effect in this state and shall not be recognized by this state.


On 03 April 2012, Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) approved the petition language for an amendment that would redefine marriage in Ohio as “a union of two consenting adults, regardless of gender”. 385,253 valid signatures of registered Ohio voters must be gathered in order to put the marriage equality amendment on the Ohio ballot in 2013 [R1.5].

On 02 November 2004, voters passed ballot Amendment 1 62–38 percent to:-

Amend the Ohio Constitution to recognize marriage as a union between one man and one woman; neither the state nor counties can give legal status to unmarried individuals whose relationships are intended to approximate the design or effect of marriage” [R1.4].

In December 2003, the Republican-controlled House voted 69–23 to pass a bill that would ensure that gay marriage would not be recognized in Ohio and state employees could not obtain health insurance and other benefits for their unmarried partners [R1.3].


In May 2001, House Bill 234, a "Defence of Marriage Act" bill, was reintroduced to the legislature, seeking to establish that Ohio law limits the institution of marriage to heterosexual relationships between one man and one woman [R1.2].

The Bill would also prohibit marriage benefits for unwed couples, gay or straight.

It was passed by the House 68–29 October 2001 [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 10 December 2015, the State filed a notice attesting to having complied with the 02 November 2015 same-sex marriage order of US District Judge Timothy S Black to publish the Court's Final Judgment and Declaratory Judgment and Permanent Injunction on the Ohio Department of Health website [C2.44], [R2.43].

On 30 September 2015, it was reported that Judge George McCarthy in Athens County Common Pleas Court had now granted Brenda Mohney and Erin O'Leary a divorce. On 18 December, the Judge vacated his 25 November decision granting a divorce decree, not realising they were a same-sex couple. Brenda Mohney refiled after the US Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges [R2.42].

On 07 August 2015, The Supreme Court of Ohio Board of Professional Conduct issued an opinion concluding that a judge who performs civil marriages may not refuse to perform same-sex marriages while continuing to perform opposite-sex marriages or discontinue performing all marriages, in order to avoid marrying same-sex couples, based upon his or her personal, moral, and religious beliefs, acts contrary to the judicial oath of office and may raise reasonable questions about his or her impartiality in legal proceedings where sexual orientation is at issue [C2.41], [R2.40].

On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry and all states must fully recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in any jurisdiction [C2.39, [R2.38].

On 16 January 2015, the US Supreme Court agreed to consider the four same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, consolidated and heard together on the question as to whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to licence same-sex marriage and to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. A ruling is expected before the current term ends in late June [C2.37], [R2.36].

On 23 December 2014, the US Supreme Court confirmed that the same-sex marriage cases of Bourke v. Bashear (Kentucky) , DeBoer v. Snyder (Michigan), Obergefell v. Hodges (Ohio) and Tango v. Haslam (Tennessee) were distributed to the Justices for consideration at their 09 January Conference, when the case of Robicheaux v. George (Louisiana) will also be conferenced [R2.35].

On 18 December 2014, Athens County Common Pleas Court, Judge George McCarthy vacated his 25 November decision granting a divorce decree to Brenda Mohney and Erin O'Leary because Ohio statutory law and the Ohio constitution do not recognize same-sex marriage and he did not realise at the time that the parties were of the same gender [R2.34].

On 14 November 2014, a joint petition was filed in the US Supreme Court seeking a review of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion upholding the same-sex marriage bans in Ohio and Tennessee. Responses are due by 15 December, perhaps earlier. Petitions are also expected in the Kentucky and Michigan 6th Circuit cases [C2.33], [R2.32].

On 06 November 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld same-sex marriaage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. In contrast, the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits have struck the bans down, making it more likely that the US Supreme Court will eventually make a ruling [C2.31], [R2.30].

On 04 November 2014, Judge George P McCarthy in the Athens County Common Pleas Court adopted the recommendation of Magistrate Melinda Bradford that a divorce be granted to Brenda Mohney Erin O'Leary who were married in 2008 in California however, Judge McCarthy said he signed an entry without recognizing it was a same-sex divorce and will now hold a hearing on whether the ruling should be vacated [R2.29].

On 25 September 2014, visiting Judge Judith Nicely (quaere for Judge Norman Zemmelman) in the Lucas County Court of Common Please, Domestic Relation Division, Toledo, granted the divorce to Gregory Ethan Stone and Stewart Mack Swanson, who were married in Massachusetts in 2004. Although Ohio bans same-sex marriage, the Judge ruled the court has jurisdiction because “Ohio gives full faith and credit to all marriages that were legally entered into and recognized in another state” [C2.28], [R2.27].

On 16 June 2014, the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinatti, in four separate notices, set 06 August at 1 pm as the single day to hear arguments in the five marriage equality cases pending before the court [R2.26].

On 30 April 2014, lead plaintiffs Michelle Gibson and Deborah Meem and four other same-sex couples filed a lawsuit challenging the denial of "marriage's many benefits and responsibilities" [C2.25], [R2.24].

On 03 March 2014, ahead of a federal judge's same-sex marriage ruling, Labor arbitrator Sarah Rudolph Cole decided against the state denial of bereavement leave and in favor of gay and lesbian state employees Federico Reyes and Michael Rose and Kelly Hedglin and Bonnie Bish, who were legally married out of state [C2.23], [R2.22].

On 14 April 2014, US District Court Judge Timothy S Black ruled Ohio's marriage recognition bans are facially unconstitutional and unenforceable under any circumstances. The Court STAYS enforcement of the Order and the Permanent Injunction until the parties have briefed whether or not the Court should fully stay its Orders until completion of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court [C2.21], [R2.20].

On 28 March 2014, attorney Al Gerhardstein said the Complaint in Cowger and Wesley v. Kasich was voluntarily withdrawn after family health insurance cover was obtained [R2.19].

On 19 February 2014, a Complaint was filed on behalf of a couple in the US District Court of Ohio seeking a declaration that Ohio's statewide ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, interfering with their fundamental rights of family and parenting and preventing them from purchasing family health insurance policies [C2.18], [R2.17].

On 16 January 2014, the attorney general's office filed its notice of appeal in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati against Judge Timothy Black's 23 December ruling ordering the recognition of gay marriages on death certificates [R2.16].

On 23 December 2013, Judge Timothy Black in the Ohio US District Court that state officials must recognize the unions of same-sex couples,specifically addressing the matter of the issuance of death certificates and touching upon all aspects of the state law denying marriage equality [C2.15], [R2.14].

On 25 September 2013, US District Judge Timothy Black approved a request to expand the James Obergefell et. al. v. John Kasich lawsuit (Case: 1:13-cv-00501-TSB) - seeking to have the out-of-state marriages of two gay Ohio couples recognized on death certificates - has been expanded to include all similarly situated couples [R2.13].

On 03 September 2013, US District Judge Timothy Black ruled that the state of Ohio must recognize the out-of-state marriage of a gay couple, even though the state established a ban on marriage equality for same-sex couples in 2004, granting a temporary restraining order that David Michener of Cincinnati be listed as the spouse of his husband William Herbert Ives on Ives' death certificate [C2.12], [R2.11].

On 13 August 2013, Federal Judge Timothy Black extended his previous order, set to expire in less than a week, until 31 December, which will protect John Arthur and James Obergefell's marriage as their lawsuit against state and local authorities proceeds, preventing authorities from recording Arthur, who's dying of Lou Gehrig's disease, as “single” on his death certificate and not listing Obergefell as his spouse [R2.10].

On 22 July 2013, US District Judge Timothy Black temporarily restrained Ohio state officials “ … from accepting a death certificate for Plaintiff John Arthur that does not record his status at death as “married” and his surviving spouse as “James Obergefell” [C2.9], [C2.8], [R2.7].

On 19 July 2013, James Obergefell and John Arthur of Cincinnati filed a complaint in US District Court, Southern District against Ohio's governor, attorney general and the Cincinnati health department registrar who files death certificates, asking the court to rule Ohio's law and constitution violate their rights including equal protection [C2.6], [R2.5].

On 22 August 2012, Franklin County Judge James Mason found he could not approve the dissolution of the marriage of Laura Christina Thompson and Evangeline Grace Roller, who married in Toronto, Canada in 2007, because of Ohio's 2004 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage [R2.4].

On 17 August 2012, Judge Donald A Cox, a private, court-appointed judge, approved a divorce for two gay men: Oleksandr Dzhembaz and Oleksandr Volkov, of Milford Center, Ohio. They were married in Linn County, Iowa, in 2009 [R2.4].

On 15 March 2012, Judge Donald Cox a private judge appointed by Franklin County Domestic Relations Court, granted a divorce to Jonathan Baize and Stephen Wissman – who were married in New York on 01 September 2011 – on the basis that 2004 amendment to the Ohio constitution defines marriage as an opposite-sex institution and does not mention divorce [C2.3], [R2.2].

In August 2002, Ohio had reportedly sanctioned marriages between "same-sex" partners, where one was born the opposite sex, however a heterosexual couple had been denied a marriage license because the hopeful groom is transsexual [R2.1].

L1.6 Ohio Revised Code: Chapter 3101: Marriage (Accessed 15 NOV 09)
R1.5 Huffington Post: Same-Sex Marriage Amendment In Ohio Gets Green Light 03 APR 12
R1.4 Wikipedia: List of U.S. state constitutional amendments banning same-sex unions by type (Accessed 03 APR 12)
CNN: Ballot Measures 02 NOV 04 (Accessed 03 APR 12)
R1.3 Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio House comes out against gay marriage 11 DEC 03
R1.2 Gay People's Chronicle: Ohio Marriage Ban Bill Gets First Hearing 05 OCT 01
R1.1 Columbus Despatch: Three House Bills Reflect Conservatives' Power 01 NOV 01
2. Courts & Tribunals
C2.44 Final Judgment and Declaratory Judgment and Permanent Injunction: James Obergefell, et al., v. Richard Hodges, et al. 1:13-cv-501 PDF 02 NOV 15
R2.43 nbc4i: Ohio publicizes judge's gay marriage ruling with web posting 11 DEC 15
R2.42 TheAthensMessenger: Judge grants divorce in same-sex marriage 30 SEP 15
C2.41 Opinion 2015-1: Judicial Performance of Civil Marriages of Same-Sex Couples PDF 511.75kb, 07 AUG 15
R2.40 Cleveland.com: Ohio judges cannot refuse to perform gay weddings based on personal views, state board advises 10 AUG 15
C2.39 Opinion: Obergefell, et al v. Hodges et al No. 14-556 PDF 428.77kb, 26 JUN 15
R2.38 ScotusBlog: Opinion analysis: Marriage now open to same-sex couples 26 JUN 15
C2.37 Order List: 574 U.S.: Certiorari Granted PDF 42.84kb, 16 JAN 15
R2.36 USAtoday: Supreme Court agrees to rule on gay marriage 16 JAN 15
R2.35 SCOTUSblog: Same-sex marriage cases ready, scheduled 23 DEC 14
R2.34 AthensOhioToday: Same-sex divorce vacated because marriage legally invalid 18 DEC 14
C2.33 Joint Petition for a Writ of Certiorari: Henry v. Hodges and Obergefell v. Hodges No. 14-556 PDF 1.29MB, 14 NOV 14
R2.32 EqualityOnTrial: Supreme Court asked to review Ohio, Tennessee marriage cases 14 NOV 14
C2.31 Opinion: April DeBoer, et al. v. Richard Snyder, et al., James Obergefell, et al., v. Richard Hodges, Brittani Henry, et al. v. Richard Hodges, et al., Greghory Bourke, et al. v. Steve Beshear, Valeria Tanco, et al. v. William Edward "Bill" Haslam, et al., Timothy Love, et al. v. Steve Beshear Nos. 14-1341, 14-3057, 14-3463, 14-5291, 14-5297, 14-5818 PDF 361.86kb, 11 JUN 14
R2.30 EqualityOnTrial: Sixth Circuit upholds same-sex marriage bans 06 NOV 14
R2.29 WOUB: Judge To Take Second Look At Divorce Granted To Same-Sex Couple 28 NOV 14
C2.28 Appearance Docket: Gregory Ethan Stone v. Stewart Mack Swanson No. DR20140634, 25 SEP 14
R2.27 TheBlade: 14 OCT 14
R2.26 WashingtonBlade: Appeals court sets August 6 for marriage arguments in four states 16 APR 14
C2.25 Complaint: Michelle Gibson and Deborah Meem & Ors., v. Lance Himes & James Cissell 1:14-cv-00347-MRB, 30 APR 14
R2.24 UPI: Six couples file legal challenge to Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage 30 APR 14
C2.23 Opinion and Award: Ohio Civil Service Employees Association and State of Ohio, Public Utilities Commision of Ohio and Department of Commerce No. 1129 Grievance Nos. 07-00-201217-0019-01-14 and 26-00-20130327-02-01-07 PDF 300.99kb, 03 MAR 14
R2.22 ColumbusDispatch: Arbitrator rules in favor of two gay state employee couples 16 APR 14
C2.21 Order: Brittani Henry, et al., v. Lance Himes, et al. 1:14-cv-00129 PDF 175.91kb, 14 APR 14
R2.20 EqualityOnTrial: Federal judge strikes down Ohio’s ban on recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages 14 APR 14
R2.19 EdgeOnTheNet: Ohio Couple Drops Lawsuit Over Gay Marriage Ban 29 MAR 14
C2.18 Complaint: Cowger and Wesley v. Kasich Case: 1:14-cv-335 PDF 76.04kb, 19 FEB 14
R2.17 EdgeOnTheNet: Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Ohio’s Gay Marriage Ban 19 FEB 14
R2.16 EdgeOnTheNet: Ohio Appeals Gay Marriage Ruling 16 JAN 14
C2.15 Declaratory Judgment and Permanent Injunction: James Obergefell v. Theodore W Wymyslo Case No. 1:13-cv-501 PDF 26.59kb, 23 DEC 13
R2.14 TheAdvocate: Ohio Judge Swipes At Marriage Ban 23 DEC 13
R2.13 LGBTQ Nation: Lawsuit over same-sex marriage, death certificates expanded in Ohio 25 SEP 13
C2.12 Temporary Restraining Order: James Obergefell et. al. v. John Kasich PDF 66.62kb, 03 SEP 13
R2.11 The Advocate: Federal Judge: Ohio Must Recognize Marriage of Gay Couple 04 SEP 13
R2.10 SFGN: Gay Ohio Couple Win Extension Recognizing Marriage 14 AUG 13
C2.9 Temporary Restraining Order: James Obergefell and John Arthur v. John Kasich PDF 72.18kb, 22 JUL 13
C2.8 Order & Decision Granting Termprary Restratining Order: James Obergefell et al v. John Kasich et al PDF 68.84kb, 22 JUL 13
R2.7 The Advocate: 22 JUL 13
C2.6 Verified Complaint: James Obergefell and John Arthur v. John Kasich No. 1:13-cv-00501-TSB PDF 39.01kb, 19 JUL 13
R2.5 EdgeOnTheNet: Ohio Men Challenge State Law Denying Gay Marriage 20 JUL 13
R2.4 The Columbus Despatch: Judge refuses lesbians a divorce 24 AUG 12
C2.3 Franklin County Clerk of Courts: Jonathan E Baize v. Stephen J Wissman 12 DR 00275,
R2.2 GayPeople'sChronicle: Marriage is banned, but Ohio judge divorces men 06 APR 12
R2.1 Gay People's Chronicle: Hetero Couple Denied Marriage: One is TG 30 AUG 02
See also: Freedom to Marry
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

After the US Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, joint adoption is lawful. See 2. Courts & Tribunals below at [R2.6].

Previously:

Permits single GLBT adoption. Does not clearly prohibit joint gay or second-parent adoption.

Ohio Revised Code, Title [31] XXXI Domestic Relations – Children, Chapter 3107: Adoption [L1.1]

3107.03 Who may adopt

The following persons may adopt:

(A) [ ... ]

(B) An unmarried adult;

(C) [ ... ] (D)

However, post the US Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, joint adoption is lawful. See 2. Courts & Tribunals below at [R2.6].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 09 September 2015, Franklin County Probate Magistrate Carrie Wambaugh was reported to have granted David Cunningham joint adoption with husband Mark Cunningham of teenage sons Mitchell and Clayton, who Mark adopted as infants [R2.6].

On 09 August 2012, the 10th District Court of Appeals, Franklin ruled that a custody order in favour of Maggie Gross no longer applied because the man Jennifer Herrick (her former partner) had married after breaking up with Ms Gross had adopted the child [C2.5], [R2.4].


On 08 December 2010, the Ohio Court of Appeals ruled that a gay man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple so they could conceive a child, and who subsequently obtained a declaration of paternity, was obligated to pay for support of the child [C2.3], [R2.2].


On 13 December 2002, the Ohio Supreme Court amended an opinion after a lesbian couple seeking equal custody of their children argued that the ruling in their case inadvertently prohibited ''second-parent adoption'' in Ohio [R2.1].

Through second-parent adoption, a gay partner can acquire parental rights without forcing the other partner to relinquish such rights. [R2.1].

L1.1 Ohio Revised Code: Chapter 3107: Adoption (Accessed 15 NOV 09)
C2.5 Decision: State ex rel. M.L.G. v. Montgomery Nos. 12AP13, 12AP401 PDF 115.29kb, 14 AUG 12
R2.4 PinkNews: Court reverses custody ruling for lesbian’s former partner 04 SEP 12
C2.3 Curtis v. Prince, 2010-Ohio-5999, 2010 Westlaw 5071195 (9th Dist., Dec. 8, 2010)
R2.2 Gay City News: Gay Sperm Donor Owes Support 02 FEB 11
Lesbian/Gay Legal News: Ohio Appeals Court Rules Sperm Donor Who Sought Paternity Declaration Must Pay Child Support to Lesbian Mom PDF 133.56kb, JAN 11
R2.1 Dayton Daily News: 'Second-parent' adoption phrase deleted 14 DEC 02
Privacy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 18 December 2002, an Ohio appeals court ruled that police can hide video cameras in public restrooms without warrants from courts [R1.2].

The decision puts Ohio at odds with U.S. Supreme Court rulings that people in public restrooms have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" [R1.2].

The plaintiff's attorney Sam Pate said the case will be appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court [R1.1].

R1.2 Gay People's Chronicle: Court Okays Police Cameras in Restrooms 27 DEC 02
R1.1 Gay People's Chronicle: Police Toilet-camera Case Headed to Ohio High Court 17 JAN 03
Violence: Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [HATE CRIMES]
1.

State

In December 2011, legislators were urged to act on HB No. 208 (introduced 20 April 2011) which would if passed into law, “ … amend section 3313.666 of the Revised Code to require that school anti-bullying policies prohibit harassment, intimidation, or bullying that is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of a student” … including sexual orientation and gender identity [R1.1].

L1.2 Ohio Legislature: HB No 208 As introduced PDF 8.22kb
R1.1 The Press: Ohio bill would help protect teens from school bullies 15 DEC 11

GayLawNet®™ "Exclusive" Sponsorship of this page IS available