Issue 1 voted from the heart, headed to court

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Tribune editorial board

Early Wednesday morning as political watchers struggled to figure out which presidential candidate was leading the battle of the battleground states, Ohioans were clear on one issue: Issue 1.

By an overwhelming margin, Ohio voters made their collective voice heard on the issue of same-sex marriage and civil unions.

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Ohio already has one of the most pointed laws banning gay marriage.

On Tuesday, voters added to the restrictions by creating a constitutional amendment banning civil unions.

Issue 1's success reflects the massive moral outcry from voters.

The great majority of voters in the state feels as though gay marriage is wrong and do not believe any special treatment should be provided to unmarried couples, regardless of their sex. And, when you believe that something is wrong, you'll speak out and tell the world. That's just what voters did Tuesday.

The bottom line on the issue is that the people have spoken. They have spoken with their hearts.

Critics, however, argued that the amendment is not as simple as the issue of gay marriage. Issue 1, they say, will hurt lots of people, not just same-sex partners. And, they are correct, in a way. The wording of the law does, in fact, take away rights from unmarried, opposite sex unions, too.

The issue, in fact, creates a contradiction of sorts for the state. Mere months after a number of state universities agreed to offer benefits to same-sex partners, the voters have outlawed the act.

The issue has drawn criticism from both sides of the fence. We suspect that Issue 1, although decided in voting booths of the state on Tuesday, will ultimately be decided for good in the courtrooms of the state.

Unfortunately, such a battle will likely cost lots of money.

The people have spoken. Whether or not their words will ultimately stand the test of time is up to the courts.