Ohio bans same-sex marriages

Feb. 6, 2004 at 10:17 PM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Ohio Gov. Bob Taft signed a same-sex marriage ban into law Friday, described as one of the toughest in the nation.

Taft said the bill, which becomes law in 90 days, was necessary to safeguard Ohio's marriage laws because the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled a denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples was a violation of the Massachusetts Constitution.

Thirty-seven states have passed laws recognizing only marriages between men and women.

Besides banning same-sex marriages, the Ohio bill prohibits state employees from getting marital benefits spelled out in state law for their unmarried partners -- whether homosexual or heterosexual, reports said.

"This is not a law of intolerance," Taft said. "I do not endorse, nor does this law provide for, discrimination against any Ohio citizen."

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