BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — Same-sex couples in Michigan can start applying for marriage licenses as soon as Monday, after a federal judge on Friday ruled the state’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.
“Nothing says family like the marriage license that says we are legally a family and that’s what we’re hoping for,” said April Doboer, a plaintiff in the Michigan lawsuit.
Michigan, like Ohio, banned same-sex marriage in 2004. State Rep. Bob Hagan, D-Youngstown, said court rulings across the country will have an impact on the Buckeye State.
“It’s a civil rights, gay rights, human rights issue. Those of us who believe in it will continue to fight for it no matter who stands in the way,” Hagan said.
The support for gay marriage in Ohio continues to grow. According to a Quinnipiac University Poll released earlier this year, seven of every 10 people under 29 support same-sex marriage; and exactly half of all Ohioans back the measure.
“I wish that every state had it yesterday,” said Amber Freeman.
She works at a gay bar in Youngstown and said it’s time for equal rights for everyone.
“If you’re in love and that’s what you want, you should be able to get married,” Freeman said.
But, not everyone in Ohio or Michigan agrees.
“The people, the public has spoken and God has spoken,” a Michigan protester said.
Freedom to Marry Ohio is working to put a same-sex marriage issue on the ballot this fall. The group said they have received enough signatures, but they are looking at other factors before moving forward for this general election.
“I think what’s happening around us is significant. We’re seeing some court rulings that will have an impact on Ohio, on how we treat people,” Hagan said.