As I predicted when Ohio Issue 1 passed, and pointed out just six months later, controversy ensues over the amendment.
The Ohio Supreme Court heard a case today involving a domestic violence arrest after Issue 1 passed. Michael Carswell was charged with felony domestic violence against his live-in girlfriend. He’s arguing that’s an invalid charge, since Issue 1 says that there “shall not [be] a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.” I hate to, but I agree with Mr. Carswell and his attorneys. The definition of family or household member includes this definition:
â€œPerson living as a spouseâ€ means a person who is living or has lived with the offender in a common law marital relationship, who otherwise is cohabiting with the offender, or who otherwise has cohabited with the offender within five years prior to the date of the alleged commission of the act in question.
That certainly sounds like something that “approximates the design or effect of marriage.”
Those who suggest that assault laws can handle situations like this don’t understand the way DV laws work. There are different standards for how DV arrests are made, and escalating charges for successive DV charges. It just won’t work the way it’s set up now.
Sadly, I pointed this out to Christian friends before the election, and their only response was, “Well, maybe people shouldn’t live together then.”