Gay marriage supporters held banners and donned rainbow flags in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse Saturday to celebrate United States District Court Judge Timothy Black’s decision to strike down Ohio’s ban from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.
The event; “The faraway good guy: U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black; and the unseen bad ones: Attorney General Mike Dewine and Governor John Kasich,” celebrated Black’s decision, while condemning Dewine’s decision to challenge the ruling after it is officially made. Black is expected to make his official ruling Monday.
The rally — organized by Support Marriage Equality in Ohio — drew about 50 attendees who were in support of Black’s decision.
“Five couples went to court fighting to put both of the partners’ names on adoption papers, because if one of them dies the kid adopted would get taken away,” said Adam Hoover, a 19-year-old gay rights activist. “[The potential parents] said ‘We deserve the same rights as heterosexual partners’ and Black overturned the ban.”
Dewine, a Republican backed by Kasich, has said he will fight this ruling and appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to prevent its implementation.
“We’ve been making phone calls to Dewine, writing letters and signing petitions,” Hoover said. “Everything Black does is appreciated.”
Dayton activist Charles Rentz attended the rally and handled the written petitions.
“I’m my own guy,” Rentz said. “I’m straight. But humans are humans and that’s about as simple as you can get.”
While Black’s ruling would legally recognize legal same-sex marriages preformed in other states, it will not directly affect Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriages. Several efforts are currently underway to put the issue on the ballot. Ohio voters banned same sex marriage in 2005.
“But I’ll give us that leading edge in changing Ohio,” Hoover said.
Though the group stationed at the corner of Fifth and Walnut streets earned plenty of honks, yells and hugs from passersby, Hoover was disappointed more participants didn’t show up.
“I was expecting a few hundred, but you know, welcome to Cincinnati, Ohio,” Hoover said.