<center><h1><a href=http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1105785144152810.xml>Gay marriage ban hits the fan</a></h1></center> <blockquote>Be it Resolved by the People of the State of Ohio: That the Constitution of the State of Ohio be amended by adopting a section to be designated as Section 11 of Article XV thereof, to read as follows: Article XV Section 11. Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.</blockquote> Issue 1, as it was listed on the balllot in November, was passed by around 61% of Ohio voters. The problem is, they didn't read it very carefully. As a result, the first steaming legal dogpile its passage left behind has been steppped in. In Cuyahoga County, the Public Defender's Office is using this amendment in an attempt to dismiss domestic violence cases involving unmarried individuals who are living together and have no children. Their rationale is that, under this amendment, the state can only recognize the relationship bewteen a married couple of different genders. However, if the state recognizes that domestic violence occurs between two unrelated, unmarried people who are cohabitating regardless of gender, the state would be recognizing that relationship. Based upon this interpretation of Ohio's Constitution, that is simply not allowed. The crux of the issue here is that this interpretaion would place the amendment in violation of the equal protection clause of the US Constitution. Maried couples would have protections under domestic violence laws which are unavailable to unwed couples who are living together. And, like it or not, that protection applies to same gender couples as well. If it doesn't, the Constitution isn't worth the match it would take to burn it. It applies to all, or it applies to none. Deal with it.