Ohio Legislator Says Same-Sex Partner Benefits Illegal

November 28, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Ohio State Representative Tom Brinkman, Jr. has sued the Miami University of Ohio saying its offering of health care benefits to same-sex partners violates a state constitutional amendment.

The university began offering same-sex partner benefits in 2004, the same year Ohio voters passed an amendment banning the recognition of same-sex marriage. The Associated Press reports that the suit says Miami is trying to provide “a legal status which approximates marriage to those in a relationship whose composition disallows it to qualify for status as a marriage.”

Brinkman’s attorney said he took the action as a taxpayer and father of two Miami University students, according to the AP. The suit says Brinkman “desires that his tax dollars and tuition payments be utilized lawfully, and not applied by the university to finance the constitutional violation.”

The suit seeks a declaratory judgment and injunction against the university’s domestic partnership policy, plus legal fees.

In a similar suit in Michigan, the court found that same-sex benefits did not violate the state’s constitutional amendment, saying health care was a benefit of employment, not marriage (See MI Gay Rights Group Wins Benefits Ruling ).