Taft said Ohio had to act because the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in recent opinions “redefined marriage” and cleared the way for nuptials between same-sex couples (See Massachusetts Court Says Gays Entitled to Marry ), according to a Reuters news report.
Two Canadian provinces have also approved them, and Vermont and smaller localities permit civil unions. “As a result, Ohio could have same-sex couples who were ‘married’ in Massachusetts taking legal action in Ohio to recognize that marriage and to obtain the resulting benefits,” Taft said.
“First and foremost, this is not a law of intolerance,” Taft said. “I do not endorse, nor does this law provide for, discrimination against any Ohio citizen.” The Republican-led Ohio Legislature gave final approval to the measure earlier in the week (See Ohio Passes Bill to Bar Same-Sex Unions ).
With the law’s enactment, Ohio reaffirmed a stance already adopted in more than three dozen other US states that do not recognize the legality of same-sex unions, sure to be a hot-button political issue in this presidential election campaign.