Ohio Equality Supporters Deliver 1,291 Petitions Thanking Sen. Portman for Supporting Marriage Equality

by HRC Staff

Columbus, Ohio — The Human Rights Campaign delivered 1,291 of petition signatures from pro-equality Ohioans to Sen. Rob Portman’s Columbus office today to thank him for supporting the Respect for Marriage Act – legislation that the U.S. Senate is expected to soon consider that will guarantee the rights, benefits, and obligations of marriages in the federal code, repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and affirm that public acts, records and proceedings should be recognized by all states.

Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison released the following statement:

“Ohio, the home of Jim Obergefell, has always been a focal point of the fight for marriage equality. The Supreme Court’s decision seven years ago resulted from decades of pro-equality voices organizing to have the rights of same-sex couples respected and validated in the eyes of the law. We can’t afford to go back. That’s why, with the Senate poised to take up the Respect for Marriage Act, we are grateful that Sen. Portman is backing this critical legislation to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ Ohioans and ensure our society continues to move forward.”

Ohioans are Champions for Marriage Equality.

  • 69% of Ohio residents support same sex marriage, according to a 2022 PRRI survey.

  • Ohio is home to 2 million Equality Voters, a voting bloc of demographically and geographically diverse people who are united by the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality. Equality Voters are younger, more racially diverse, and more female than the general electorate, they recognize and trust the HRC brand, and they are more likely to identify with issue-specific organizations than candidates or political parties.

Sen. Portman is one of five Senate Republicans to Support the Respect for Marriage Act

  • Rob Portman of Ohio is a yes on the bill. He said holding a vote on this issue sends an "important message," and that it's "obvious" Republican views have changed over time. He noted that his "own personal views on this changed" over time. Portman publicly announced his support for same-sex marriage after his son came out a few years ago. [CNN]

More Than Two-Thirds of Americans Support Marriage Equality.

  • According to Gallup, 71% of Americans support marriage for same-sex couples. The latest survey from PRRI this year found that support for marriage equality has increased by 14 percentage points since 2014 (54%). Republicans are now nearly evenly divided over marriage equality (48% support, 50% oppose), while 81% of Democrats and 73% of independents favor marriage equality. Today, majorities of most religious groups favor marriage equality. According to the last Census, about 58% (568,000) of couples in the nation’s 980,000 same-sex households were married and about 42% were unmarried partners.

Key Provisions of the Bill

The Respect for Marriage Act would ensure that marriage equality is protected nationally through several provisions:

  • Repealing the 1990s era Defense of Marriage Act. Passed in 1996, it discriminated in two important ways. First, Section 2 of DOMA purports to allow states to refuse to recognize valid civil marriages of same-sex couples. Second, Section 3 of the law carves all same-sex couples, regardless of their marital status, out of all federal statutes, regulations and rulings applicable to all other married people — thereby denying them over 1,100 federal benefits and protections. DOMA was rendered unenforceable, in two stages, by the Supreme Court’s 2013 Windsor v. United States ruling and the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling.

  • Establishing that “place of celebration” is the standard of recognition for federal benefits of a same-sex marriage. Under this provision, if marriage equality was ever to cease to be recognized in a given state, same-sex couples who travel to get married in another state – one where same-sex marriages are still recognized — would still retain federal marriage benefits.

  • Affirming that public acts, records and proceedings should be recognized by all states. Adoption orders, divorce decrees, and other public acts must be honored by all states consistent with the Full Faith and Credit clause of the US Constitution.

  • Codifying the federal protections conferred by the Obergefell and Windsor rulings. The landmark ruling stated that bans on marriage equality are unconstitutional.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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