LGBT Couples and Families Lack Significant Legal Protections in Ohio.
Ohio's LGBT couples and families are not fully protected by state law. Ohio limits marriage to "one man and one woman" by statute and does not recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships. In addition, the state's Constitution was amended in 2004 to say:
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.
Loving and committed couples who are LGBT and wish to adopt children or be a custodial parent of their partner’s biological child face significant barriers to full protection under the law. Ohio courts do not allow a same-sex couple to adopt a child together, nor do they allow second-parent adoption when the second parent is the same sex as the first parent.
What Ohio Voters Truly Believe:
Ohioans understand that LGBT couples and families deserve to be treated with fairness and dignity. A 2009 poll of Ohio voters told us that:
- 91% of Ohioans support hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples;
- 64% of Ohioans support legal inheritance rights for same-sex couples;
- 58% of Ohioans support health benefits for domestic partners of state employees; and
- 52% of Ohioans support civil unions for same-sex couples.
Currently, there is no statewide recognition of hospital visitations rights, legal inheritance rights, domestic partner benefits, or civil unions.
Protecting Our Children
LGBT couples who wish to adopt children, or who seek to be a custodial parent of their partner’s
biological child, face serious challenges and barriers to full protection under the law. In Ohio,
unfortunately, the courts have not been willing to allow two same-sex individuals to adopt a child
together, nor have they approved of a second-parent adoption when the other parent is the same
sex as the first parent.