Champaign County Probate Court was ready to issue same-sex marriage licenses following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Friday decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.
The local court has been preparing for other services legally-married same-sex couples will have available to them – divorce, custody, inheritance and adoptions, for example.
Probate Judge Lori Reisinger said Friday she had been watching the events unfold and read the Supreme Court decision. Family court will abide by the new law and issue same-sex marriage licenses, she said.
“The Supreme Court has voted, and the decision is very clear,” she said.
No couples had applied for marriage as of midday Friday, she said.
Reisinger said she was part of a group of probate court judges who were meeting to consider how to adapt to whatever decision came down from the high court. Some of the changes include changing “bride” and “groom” indicators on the marriage license to “applicant.”
The high court’s ruling affects more than marriages, Reisinger said. Now, couples of any gender can divorce, inherit property, obtain custody and adopt a child together in Ohio.
Reisinger said that prior to the decision, only married couples or single individuals could adopt a child. The Supreme Court decision changes this to encompass same-sex married couples. And, custody will apply for same-sex married couples.
Divorces will be able to be performed in Ohio for same-sex couples married in another state. Reisinger said she has seen two cases of same-sex married couples seeking divorce. In one case, the judge granted the divorce, but in a separate case the presiding judge did not.
Same-sex surviving spouses will be able to inherit their spouses’ estates after they die, she added.
“It has far-reaching effects,” she said.
Elected officials react to gay marriage ruling
Jim Jordan statement:
U.S. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) made the following comments regarding Friday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide:
“In today’s ruling, five judges overturned the sound public policy that was democratically enacted by millions of Americans in states across the country, including Ohio. This ruling follows what seems to be a recent trend on the Supreme Court: rulings based on the desires of the justices, and not the letter of the law and the framework of the Constitution.
“I am also concerned that this ruling opens the door for discrimination against those who believe in traditional marriage, and I believe Congress must work to ensure that no American is forced to violate their beliefs on this important issue, to ensure that all Americans, regardless of their beliefs, can co-exist peacefully. That’s why I am co-sponsoring Senator Lee and Congressman Labrador’s First Amendment Defense Act, a bill that promotes tolerance for all Americans by preventing any federal agency from discriminating against any individual, association, or business based on their marriage views.”
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine statement:
“The Attorney General’s Office has an obligation and duty to defend the constitutionality of Ohio laws, including constitutional amendments passed by Ohio voters. Ohio’s involvement in this case has been to defend the voter-passed amendment. While Ohio argued that the Supreme Court should let this issue ultimately be decided by the voters, the Court has now made its decision.”
Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio says he welcomes the high court’s decision “as a father.”
Portman in 2013 announced he was changing his position to support same-sex marriage in the aftermath of his son Will’s disclosure to him and his wife that he is gay.
Portman says he would have preferred that the issue be resolved by the democratic process because that builds a lasting consensus. But he says he hopes the ruling means “we can move past the division and polarization the issue has caused.”
Some conservatives opposed to same-sex marriage have said they won’t support Portman in his 2016 re-election bid.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is saying the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of gay marriage must be respected.
Kasich, a Republican, says he has always believed in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. But he said Friday that the high court has spoken.
Kasich, in his second term as governor, has been visiting early nomination states ahead of an expected announcement he’s running for president.