Ohio will continue to have a ban on same-sex marriage after a recent court ruling — but some Ohio State students said they don’t think that ban will last much longer.
On Thursday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. The issue could now head to the U.S. Supreme Court for a final ruling.
Ohio remains one of 18 states where same-sex marriage is not legally recognized.
Anthony Milian, a first-year in athletic training who is gay, said he was surprised by the court’s decision.
“It’s honestly kind of shocking that it’s still looked down upon and that people aren’t allowed to do what they want,” Milian said. “It’s not really affecting them, it’s affecting the gay people and how they want to live their life.”
Support for the recognition of same-sex marriages has been increasing, according to Gallup polls. A poll released in May found that 55 percent of Americans supported making same-sex marriage legal. In 1996, though, only 27 percent of Americans thought same-sex marriage should being recognized legally.
Carrington Conerly, a second-year in environmental science who is gay, said that’s one reason why the court’s ruling both surprised and saddened him.
“I felt that the country as a whole was moving in the right direction and I’m surprised that Ohio is not,” Conerly said. “It saddens me a little bit, but I feel that this will spur more social reform within the state so that come next time it will be passed.”
Milian said no matter the ruling, he thinks same-sex marriage will be legal nationwide in the near future.
“In the next five years, I definitely think there won’t be a ban and that people will eventually (accept same-sex marriage),” he said. “In younger generations, they don’t see as much of an issue with gays or gays getting married, but in the older generations, it’s definitely a little more taboo.”
According to Gallup’s May poll, 78 percent of people ages 18-29 and 54 percent of people ages 30-49 thought same-sex marriage should be legal, while that figure fell below 50 percent for age groups above 50.
The court’s Thursday decision was 2-1 — Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey dissented.
“The author of the majority opinion has drafted what would make an engrossing TED Talk or, possibly, an introductory lecture in Political Philosophy,” she said in her dissent. “But as an appellate court decision, it wholly fails to grapple with the relevant constitutional question in this appeal.”
Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote the majority decision and cited history and the states’ definition of marriage as reasons to uphold the ban.
“From the founding of the Republic to 2003, every state defined marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, meaning that the Fourteenth Amendment permits, though it does not require, states to define marriage in that way,” Sutton said.
Caroline Kinnen, a second-year in communication and political science, said she was disappointed with the outcome.
“I am very discouraged by the court’s decision and I think one day we are going to be on the wrong side of history,” she said. “Times are changing and people are becoming more accepting and it’s for the best.”
Milian said he thinks Ohio would support same-sex marriage if it came to a vote because of the large gay population in some cities, including Columbus.
Community Research Partners, a Columbus-based research center, found Columbus had the highest number of same-sex couples per 1,000 households out of Ohio’s larger cities, based on U.S. Census data through 2012.
“If it came to where the people had to vote for it, I really think it would pass,” Milian said. “Columbus is the biggest city in Ohio … and one of the biggest gay cities in the nation with a lot of advocacy and a lot of gay people.”