Ohio changes mind on gay marriage

As the US Supreme Court hears oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8 case, it is worth noting the huge shift in opinion in Ohio on same-sex marriage in less than a decade. Ohio is a pretty socially conservative state. In 2004, this state easily passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage with 62% in favor of the ballot initiative.

But a new poll released yesterday says that now a 54-40% majority approves a measure to repeal that amendment and would “allow two consenting adults to marry, regardless of their gender.” A whopping 75% of those under age 35 approve of allowing same-sex marriages.

In general, I think that predicting how the Supreme Court will rule on cases is a waste of time. But of course I have a guess that is just as uninformed as anyone else’s and thought that I would share it. In the two cases being discussed today and tomorrow, I predict that by a 6-3 majority (with Scalia, Thomas, and Alito dissenting) the court will rule narrowly in ways that do not set back the cause of same-sex marriage. Either they will avoid ruling at all on technical grounds (such as standing or that the issue is not ‘ripe’ for adjudicating) or they will narrowly rule upholding the overturning of Proposition 8 in a way that reflects the special circumstances of California.

The best result to hope for would be a ruling in tomorrow’s case that DOMA is unconstitutional.

My prediction would be wrong if the courts rule that DOMA is constitutional and/or that the Appeals court ruling overturning Proposition 8 was wrongly decided and that Proposition 8 should stand. But even if they do that, it will not be long before Congress repeals DOMA and California repeals Proposition 8, so it will be a temporary setback.


  1. TGAP Dad says

    The writing is on the wall for marriage equality, as the seismic shift in the last ten years’ polling makes clear. Regardless of SCOTUS outcome, marriage equality will become reality in the U.S. within my lifetime, whether it happens state-by-state, DOMA is struck down or repealed.

    Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of civil rights issues being decided by the popular opinion of the electorate or patchwork of (gerrymandered) state laws. Ideally DOMA is struck down, which would I think be the first instance of the high court deciding that the constitutional guarantees of a civil right applies to homosexuals.

  2. gshelley says

    Prop 8 will be gone by 2016 either way, but DOMA will need either a Democrat majority (unlikely) or something pretty drastic in the Republican party.

  3. says

    @gshelley #2 – I’ve heard that Prop 8 is done and gone: the Supremes decided to punt. This means that the 9th Circuit ruling that struck Prop 8 down stands and marriage equality is once again a reality in California. By punting, however, the Court declined to issue any opinion or set any precedent on whether the voters of a state can take away rights that the state’s Supreme Court says are fundamental human rights.

  4. verna stine says

    May ALL people and the United States be guided by God to understand and follow His ways! Don t let His rath come down on the states because of their disobedience to His laws. Don t interpuret the bible in ways to suit your needs. Anyone with two good eyes and a brain knows that it says that it is an abomination against God to be a homosexual! Are they not afraid of intemit death and burning in hell forever. Once in hell there is no turning back.

  5. Frank says


    If one were to interpret the Bible to suit one’s own needs, one might disregard the prohibitions against planting two crops in the same field, eating pork, or committing adultery. Do you suggest that the US or the states enact these prohibitions into law?

  6. bad Jim says

    hoary puccoon, really?

    ’twas Brillig, and the slithy toves
    did gyre and gymbal in the wabe.
    All mimsy were the borogroves
    and the mome raths outgrabe.

    Did those immortal words never send a chill down your spine?

  7. badgersdaughter says

    They shouldn’t. They’re small rodents at the bottom of sundials, or something. 🙂

  8. Steve LaBonne says

    Is anybody in Ohio organizing a repeal petition drive yet? Though conceivably it would be best to time it to go on the ballot in 2016, since presidential-year electorates are younger and more diverse.

  9. Steve LaBonne says

    I didn’t know about that- thanks. And regardless of what is decided about the timing issue, I may need to shoot a few bucks to one or the other of the organizations involved.

  10. Deion says

    [Spotted the following snippet on the world wide net.]

    FOR GAYS ONLY: Jesus predicted that just before His return as Judge, there will be a strange, spontaneous, mind-twisting fad – a global steamroller notable for its speed, boldness, violence, and impudent in-your-face openness. In Luke 17 He called this worldwide craze the repeat of the “days of Lot” (see Genesis 19 for details). By helping to fulfill this worldwide mania quietly coordinated by unseen spirit beings, gays are actually hurrying up Christ’s return to earth and making the Bible even more believable!
    They’ve actually invented strange architecture: closets opening not on to bedrooms but on to Main Streets where kids can see naked men having sex in “Madam” Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco Brothel District. We wonder how soon S.F.’s underground saint – San Andreas – will get a 10-point jolt out of what goes on over his head (see the dire prediction about cities in Revelation 16:19)!
    What’s really scary is the “reprobate mind” phrase in Romans 1:28. A person can sear his conscience so much God turns him over to S, the universal leader of evil who can turn such a person into Mr. Possessed with a super-human strength that many cops together have trouble restraining.
    Remember, gays don’t have to stay bound to their slavery. Their emancipation is found in a 5-letter name starting with J – no, not James or Julia. As soon as they can find out the all-powerful J name, gays will really start living!

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