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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
June 29, 2007

Ban amendments will be overturned, says law professor

Hudson, Ohio--“The U.S. Constitution will be used to strike down [Ohio’s marriage ban amendment] but it will take a few years,” said University of Akron constitutional law professor Wilson Huhn.

“At a minimum, let us go to the legislature to petition for marriage,” Huhn said.

Huhn spoke to 22 people at the Hudson Library on June 19 in conjunction with the “Love Makes a Family” photo exhibit touring the state. According to its sponsor Bill Libby,  five people were Akron PFLAG members and the rest were from the broader community.

The exhibit, which is comprised of 20 photos of families headed by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their stories, is making seven stops in small Ohio communities in June and early July as part of an Equality Ohio initiative to talk about LGBT families in areas of the state where such public conversations do not usually happen.

The stops are Youngstown, Wooster, Chillicothe, the Cleveland-Akron suburbs of Hudson and Twinsburg, the Columbus suburb of Westerville, and nearby Granville.

Most of Huhn’s presentation was answering questions of people concerned with rights of their loved ones since the passage of the amendment in 2004.

Huhn said the best examples of leaders for the LGBT rights movement are Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr., because they had the ability to change the next generation’s minds.

To those who do not see the struggle for LGBT equality as the equivalent of the struggle for racial equality, Huhn advised, “Look to Thurgood Marshall.”

Huhn explained that Marshall, who as a lawyer successfully argued Brown v. Board of Education against school segregation and Loving v. Virginia that struck miscegenation laws, dissented as a Supreme Court justice from its Bowers v. Hardwick support of sodomy laws. The court reversed that 1986 ruling with Lawrence v. Texas in 2003.

“There’s no question where Marshall would be on same-sex marriage today,” said Huhn.

While Huhn spoke inside, six members of the Catholic group American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and property, including two pre-teen children, demonstrated outside the library by chanting “Hail Marys.”

The “Love Makes a Family” exhibit ends June 29 in Westerville, then moves to Chillicothe on July 16 and Granville for July 815. See Charlie’s Calendar for details, or www.equalityohio.org

 

 

 

 

 

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