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Ohio judge rules gay marriage ban narrows domestic violence law

[JURIST] A trial court judge in Ohio ruled Wednesday that the state's new constitutional amendment banning gay marriage [text] prevents domestic violence charges from being filed against unmarried people. Ohio's domestic violence law was not limited to married people. The public defender of the accused, however, argued Ohio's constitution prohibits any state or local law which "creates or recognizes a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals." Prior to the passage of the amendment, prosecutors, under the domestic violence law, defined a family as including an umarried couple living together as would a husband and wife. The judge said the new amendment changes the confines of this law. Ohio's gay marriage amendment is regarded as very broad because it bans legal status to all unmarried couples. Read the trial court opinion [PDF]. AP has more.

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