1 will cause more harm than good
E D I T O R I A L
Issue 1 goes far beyond preventing gay marriage and limits the rights of many other groups.
Issue 1, a proposed amendment to Ohio's Constitution aimed at protecting traditional families by banning gay marriages, will hurt the very groups it's trying to serve.
We don't advocate the legality of gay marriage in Ohio. We believe the historic institution of marriage is still one man and one woman. But we see far too many pitfalls going forward if Issue 1 is approved as it's written.
First, we're fundamentally opposed to changing Ohio's Constitution over the social issue of the day. The constitution establishes how we govern our state, not the laws that dictate how we carry out our lives.
Furthermore, Issue 1 will eliminate rights, benefits and protections for all unmarried couples in Ohio and make our state one of the most restrictive in the nation.
Even many of the people who supported the Defense of Marriage Act -- including top Republicans -- say this amendment, placed on the ballot by initiative petition, is poorly written and too ambiguous.
While claiming to protect Ohio's families, opponents say Issue 1 actually will hurt senior citizens living together to protect pension benefits and unmarried couples seeking to jointly own property. It will also be bad for those who receive health benefits from domestic partner plans, unmarried women seeking maternity leave and adoptive children of unmarried couples.
Even if you don't support an individual's right to choose their own lifestyle, then consider the damage Issue 1 would inflict on the state's economy.
Crain's Cleveland Business publication said, "The ability to offer such (domestic partner benefits) is a critical tool to many companies and universities in Ohio ... Regardless of your feelings about gay marriage, this amendment deserves to be defeated because it is anti-business and anti-competitive."
This is a hot-button issue in Ohio and around the country these days. There is raw emotion on both sides.
But when you get past that emotion and look at the facts surrounding Issue 1, you will see it's not the right time to amend Ohio's Constitution over a social issue.
We urge your "no" vote on Issue 1 Nov. 2.
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Originally published Thursday, October 21, 2004