The New York Times
Domestic Violence Law
By AP from
nytimes.com on the Web, July 29, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 25 --
Ohio’s domestic violence laws do not conflict with its ban on same-sex marriage,
the State Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
In a 6-to-1 decision, justices rejected an argument that the domestic violence
law was unenforceable in cases involving unmarried couples because it refers to
them as living together “as a spouse.”
Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer wrote that lawmakers included many groups under
the domestic violence law, and that describing people’s living arrangements was
not the same as creating a law approximating marriage.
The same-sex marriage ban prohibited the government from creating any such
The case was being closely watched around the country for the precedent it could
set affecting a dozen similarly worded laws.
The decision came in the case of Michael Carswell of Warren County, who was
accused of assaulting his live-in female companion.
Mr. Carswell argued that the section of law under which he was charged
conflicted with the marriage amendment.
Twenty-seven states have constitutional language defining marriage as between a
man and a woman, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.