Ohio's FRI Submits Brief in Support of Abusive Boyfriend
We've reported before that lawyers representing abusers are using Ohio's civil unions and marriage ban to claim their clients can't be prosecuted under domestic violence laws. Such laws, they say, can apply only to married couples.
So far a couple of these have convinced two mid-level courts to side with them. Another is appealing a decision against him all the way to Ohio's Supreme Court.
When we talk about Ohio in order to point out potential far-reaching effects of the Wisconsin ban, supporters claim that we're engaging in "nothing more than a scare tactic." But, of course, they, like us, have no idea how courts will rule.
All anyone can know in advance is that this ban does in fact threaten domestic violence protections, and that is why the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the Milwauke Commission on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault oppose it.
Now we have more evidence, not only that these amendments will have far-reaching consequences, but also that they were in fact intended to have these consequences.
Ohio's version of the Family Research Institute, Citizens for Community Values (CCV), recently filed a friend-of-the court brief in the case supporting an abusive boyfriend. "CCV's strong interest in this case," they write, "is to ensure that the plain and unambiguous text of the Marriage Amendment is properly applied by this Court." In other words, not only does the ban invalidate domestic violence protections for unmarried couples, it does so plainly and unambiguously.
The brief isn't online, and mention of it appears nowhere on CCV's website. But it's an incredibly useful document. It gives us a good forecast of exactly how lawyers and groups like the Family Research Institute will use the Wisconsin ban if it passes.
CCV writes: "The focus of the second sentence of the Marriage Amendment is not on the benefits or obligations assigned to those in the relationship which is given a legal status--it is on the status itself" (emphasis in original).
Translation: it doesn't matter what benefits go into a recognition of gay families; what's unconstitutional is the recognition, period. And then, just in case there's any misunderstanding, they go on to say that the ban "proscribes the very legal recognition of the relationships in the first place, for any purpose" (and again, that's their emphasis).
Our ban shares a lot of language with Ohio's, especially that about "legal status" and recognition. Like theirs, the ban here seeks to prevent any public recognition of gay families--no matter what--"the status itself," "the very legal recognition of the relationships."
Voters in Wisconsin should make no mistake: the ban we're facing is far-reaching, and our opponents wanted it that way.
Tags: Far-reaching Consequences, National Developments