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A Look At Both Sides Of Ohio's Marriage Equality Fight: VIDEO


Like so many other places in the States, Ohio is currently embroiled in a fierce debate over marriage equality.

The Buckeye State banned same-sex nuptials with their own DOMA back in 2004. With other states and DC pass their own marriage laws, and President Obama endorsing equality, activists are now making a concerted effort to overturn that law and bring Ohio into the 21st century.

As part of their coverage of the ongoing battle, Columbus' WBNS-10 looked at two sides of the cultural divide. First up, David and Mark Cunningham, a gay couple who have been together for 20 years, have two children and are legally married in Connecticut. The rights bestowed there, of course, don't transfer across state lines, meaning the men are given the short end of the marriage stick. For example, if Mark dies, David doesn't get his pension.

On the other side, naturally, are conservative activists like National Organization for Marriage worker Jonathan Baker, who offers a familiar argument against Mark and David's union: "We believe the definition of marriage is important because it brings together two halves of humanity. It brings together a man and a woman, a mother and a father, that they are best suited to raise a child. We understand it doesn't always work out that way, but that is the best model."

While this all may sound rote to those of us who follow the LGBT scene, for many viewers in and around Columbus, it may all be new, and help give them some new insight into a debate that so often seems reserved for the coasts. And it can remind people on the coasts that there are countless LGBT people in the middle of the country who need support, too.

Watch WBNS-10's report AFTER THE JUMP.

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    Posted by: nico | Jun 27, 2012 9:25:51 PM


    Posted by: nico | Jun 27, 2012 9:28:50 PM

  3. I don't understand NOM's "logic" -- even if we were to agree that traditional marriage is the best model, why should that prevent gays from marrying? It doesn't prevent the infertile, the aged, the mentally disabled, and many other categories of people from participating in the institution.

    Of course, their hyper-workshopped nicespeak makes me puke because it only serves to conceal pure burning hatred.

    Posted by: Dan | Jun 27, 2012 10:53:41 PM

  4. Wait, so twenty years ago Donald Trump was married to the guy from Dukes of Hazard?

    Posted by: parkrunner | Jun 27, 2012 11:08:19 PM

  5. My partner of over twenty years was born and raised in Ohio, we met and lived in Ohio for six years before moving. In more ways than one, Ohio needs to be brought into the twentieth century before it can make it too the twenty-first. His family is there and we love them dearly, but there is no way would even consider moving back to there.

    Posted by: PatricknChuck | Jun 27, 2012 11:23:54 PM


    Come on, making generalizations like that isn't going to help anyone. We aren't all backwards cavemen here, just our politicians. :D Ohio really isn't any different from anywhere else in the country, let's not fool ourselves here. We ALL have a long way to go.

    Posted by: diogenes | Jun 28, 2012 1:12:35 AM

  7. Oh, give me a break that this is old news for the coasts and new for everyone else. This is as old as it is current news for all. Ohio is not in the middle of the country, look at a map much? Columbus is a great city in which to live. But don't tell many people, why don't want it too crowded.

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 28, 2012 2:39:14 AM

  8. I think the entire country should be open to civil unions! This way we as gay couples have the right-the some rights as those who are traditionaly marriged but those couples have about 1,300 rights! Now a gay couple have zero rights! I ask you all is that fair?? HELL NO! We need to rise up and tell our legisators to change the future!

    Posted by: KSbear | Jun 28, 2012 2:40:03 AM

  9. If they were so concerned about the children, they'd admit the estimated 2 million of them being raised by gay parents were worse off than their straight-raised peers from a legal standpoint. Their parents may be being denied tax breaks. Their parents may be torn apart due to a binational union. Filling out the FAFSA form is even more difficult.

    So they can take their already inaccurate talking point and shove it. Their mission to maintain second-class citizens ship for gay people results in producing second-class children.

    But it's never really been about "the children," and bigots like NOM know it.

    Posted by: neptune | Jun 28, 2012 5:18:33 AM

  10. In Columbus, more and more people are treating us like we are married, many just assume we are. After 27 years together we are in a kind of limbo, bank employees have used the language of "dower rights" on our home even though we really don't have them. We get a married discount on our insurance. Our neighbors in a non-gay ghetto middle class area express concerned about the other one when they don't see us together. Yes, we are those guys who are almost always together, even the 7 year old asks, "Where's Mr. Doug?" if I happen to be outside alone.

    From the conservative Catholic seniors next door to the West African Muslim immigrants on the other side, we are a couple. We are close enough for both households know we have more legal hoops to jump through, but I'm not quite sure how they would decide on marriage in the privacy of the voting booth. Strangely, I think they would be OK if the two of us got married...just not those other people.

    Posted by: Gus | Jun 28, 2012 5:35:09 AM

  11. @Gus My partner and I experience much the same thing in Columbus and that is exactly why this report needs to go out. many of my co-workers aren't even aware that I can't marry my partner. They also aren't aware that I can be fire for being gay and have no real redress in the courts. When the issue is talked about (and after I convince them that I am right) they are outraged. these aren't leftist - these are just your average office workers who know right from wrong. That is why we have to be open and honest about our lives in a matter of fact way. Not everyone can do that - I understand, but those of us who can can do more to change things for the good than the next celebrity who comes out on the cover of some magazine.

    One correction in the post though - Ohio's ban is not like DOMA. It is much much worse. It is in the state constitution and it goes so far to say that we can't approximate marriage. That calls into question our living wills, our advance directives, our co-titled mortgages, etc. It is a truly nasty provision.

    Posted by: jdswell | Jun 28, 2012 6:24:49 AM

  12. Bravo to 10tv for this report. The best quote though comes near the end of the interview when Paul Akers asks the question of the close-minded preacher, saying that the Bible was used to discriminate against inter-racial marriages. The preacher had only a babbling response, because he knows he has no legal ground to stand on.
    Ohio is my home, has been since I was born and we are working hard to bring our state into the present and future. There are bubbles of hope throughout the state, we just need those bubbles of hope to spread. It's a fight, but it's not just Ohio.
    While those of you in the states where we have marriage equality can celebrate, don't forget that there are still millions of us, struggling to gain our equality, and we need your help, just as much as you needed ours to get where you are. Don't leave us behind!

    Posted by: Tracy | Jun 28, 2012 7:08:30 AM

  13. Columbus is about as gay-friendly as a city can get - I won't speak for the whole state. Columbus also happens to be the city that is most often used as a test-market for the whole U.S. - whether a company is trying out a new brand of potato chips or a new washing machine - they choose Columbus. That's because, demographically, it is closely aligned with the entire country... black/white, gay/straight, rich/poor, liberal/conservative... Columbus is also a key city in a major swing state. Because of all this, Columbus is the perfect place to build support, then move out to the rest of Ohio.

    Posted by: John | Jun 28, 2012 9:39:23 AM

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