An Ohio appeals court has ruled that state law banning same-ssex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution, but not the federal government’s equal protection guarantees.
In its decision Monday, the three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Ohio does not violate equal protection law because the law’s prohibition of same-dependence marriages violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
The Ohio Supreme Court in May struck down a state law that bars same-gender couples from marrying.
The 9th circuit panel agreed with the state’s position that the state does not need to prove that the law would violate equal rights protections under the 14.
The panel said the state must prove that it has a legitimate state interest in restricting same-sexual relationships, which it says was not the case here.
“The state has failed to establish a legitimate interest in preventing same-relationships from being marred by same- sexual relationships, but has failed in its effort to do so,” the judges wrote in their decision.
“We conclude that Ohio’s law has a valid and compelling interest in protecting marriage.”
The Ohio Legislature in 2015 passed a law that bans same- sex marriage in the state, which was subsequently struck down by the state Supreme Court.
The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and two lesbian couples who wanted to marry.
In 2015, Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, and the state House of Representatives approved a resolution urging Gov.
John Kasich to veto the law.
The measure passed by a narrow margin, with Republicans holding a slim 52-48 majority.