Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

January 12, 2006

Gay Groups Endorse Non-Domestic Violence

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:44 pm

Well, actually that headline is a bit of a distortion — but less of a distortion than their take on this story:

Domestic abuser goes free – thanks, gay marriage ban! An Ohio man has been acquitted of domestic abuse charges on the grounds that under the state’s new ban on civil unions – gay and straight- the defendant could not be guilty of domestic abuse because he was not married to his live-in girlfriend.

Well no, that’s not true — he didn’t go free. But, his charge was reduced to misdemeanor assault, according to this story in PlanetOut:

On Wednesday, the judge reduced the felony charge against Burk to a misdemeanor assault charge.

What is the relationship between a constitutional definition of marriage and a domestic violence law? According to PlanetOut:

[T]he language of Ohio’s Issue 1 was the most broad, prohibiting any state or local law that would “create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals.”

Ohio’s 25-year-old domestic violence law, however, recognizes relationships between unmarried couples. According to Friedman, Issue 1 has rendered that part of the domestic violence statute unconstitutional and thus unenforceable.

It should be obvious to anyone not wearing ideological blinders that the problem here is not “legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals,” but rather a law that treats non-domestic violence more leniently than domestic violence.

In other words, if The Advocate has the story right, Ohio law appears to say, “It’s OK to beat up someone who’s not your spouse.”

And that seems to be fine with certain gay-marriage advocates, as long as they can use this fact to get gay marraige legalized. See Apostropher, these commenters, The Advocate, and PlanetOut.

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