A Toledo Lawyer Explains LGBT(QIA) Law in OHIO

May 13, 2014

First, I have never been huge on political correctness, so while I will attempt not to offend anyone, I make no promises.  But, I think that LGBT law in Ohio is a very important issue, and it is certainly something that is in flux at the current moment.

Toledo Lawyer Explains LGBT Law

You hear in the news about gay marriage and Defense of Marriage Act and courts overturning certain cases, and ordering Ohio Courts to recognize gay marriage. Regardless of your stance, or your religious beliefs or your thoughts and feeling on the subject, there is some very interesting things going on right now.

First there is Obergefell v. Himes, in which U. S. District Judge Timothy S. Black ruled that Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional on Equal Protection grounds. It’s being appealed and were going round and round.  The briefs are due today (May 13, 2014).  We shall see where we end up.

There is also Henry v. Himes and Cowger v. United States.  While some interesting things may have come from these cases, they won’t have as much impact as Obergerfell. 

I think what is important to take from the state of the legislature and these cases, as well as cases that will inevitably come, is that it takes a lot of work for a same-sex couple to get the same treatment and protection as an opposite-sex couple.

I’ve been involved in several cases where same-sex couples were involved.  It is no picnic.  First of all, as an attorney, I must look at jurisdiction.  Lucas County Domestic Relations Court is generally the place to go when someone wants a divorce.  Luckily Lucas County has taken the position that legally married couples (regardless of the gender) are entitled to a divorce.  So if a same-sex couple was legally married in another jurisdiction that is an easy one.

But what if they weren’t married?  Then I generally have to walk into several court houses to accomplish the same thing.  If there are children, then we have to deal with them in Lucas County Juvenile Court.  If there is real property, we are usually in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.  If there are personal property issues, we may have to deal with them in Toledo Municipal Court.  It is a mess.

Then in each of these courts there are new issues to deal with, like a Co-Custody Agreement.  I could write a whole blog (or a dozen) on Co-Custody agreements (and I probably will in the future.)  I think that the important take-away here is that if you are a same-sex couple and you have to step into Court, make sure that you have an attorney that knows what he or she is doing.

Call Toledo lawyer Michael E. Bryant today for all of your legal needs.

Find Michael E. Bryant online at www.mebryantlaw.com, visit our law office in Toledo, OH on the second floor of 1119 Adams St. or call us at (419) 243-3922.