Central Ohioans Await Historic Marriage Hearing Wednesday


UPDATED: Wednesday August 6, 2014 4:12 AM

Same-sex marriage supporters are anxiously awaiting a key hearing Wednesday in Cincinnati that could change the course of Ohio history for gay couples.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear arguments from attorneys in six cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee on challenges to state bans on gay marriage.

Supporters held a rally Wednesday night ahead of the hearing.

Thomas Grode and Rick Neal brought their adopted daughters from Columbus to the Cincinnati ‎rally with an eye on tomorrow's historic court hearing.

"It's extremely important because we have two adopted children. We were married in Massachusetts but it's not recognized in Ohio and that's a problem for our kids," said Grode.

"There have been so many victories for us in the courts this past year, it looks like we're moving in the right direction," said Neal.

It's a direction that former governor Ted Strickland supports. He says it's up to the courts, not voters, to overturn Ohio's ban on same sex marriage.

I don't think this should be decided ballot initiative and why do I say that? The courts are saying this is a constitutional issue and constitutional rights should not be subject to the ballot," said Strickland.

Not everyone agrees.

Linda Harvey of Mission America believes supporting gay marriage and homosexuality in general is an aspect of what she calls the hyper-sexualization of our society.

She believes homosexuality has health consequences and says it is not inborn in people but something they can change. She told 10TV any court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage has dire consequences.

"This changes the cultural norm and it's a revolution. The people who say, 'oh, its no big deal' are kidding you and kidding them self because it is a very big deal, it changes what children are taught," said Harvey.

Attorney General Mike DeWine also released a statement. He said "These cases are not about whether Ohio should recognize same sex marriage, but instead they are about who should make that important public policy decision: the voters of Ohio or unelected judges."

Grode said he just hopes opponents will keep an open mind.

"Everyone has the right to their own opinion.  ‎I think most of these people are good. And I would say open up your hearts and remember not everyone is like you," said Grode.

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