The questions of gay marriage and gay divorce are still largely unanswered in Ohio. The state has a ban on same sex marriage established in 2004, but the recent Supreme Court decision that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act has many in the state hopeful that the prohibition on same sex marriage and divorce may soon be lifted in Ohio.
While the Supreme Court decision will likely have long-reaching implications across all states that currently ban same sex marriage and therefore same sex divorce, the fact remains that Ohio officially forbids these unions and the dissolution of these unions. Currently it is not possible to seek a same sex marriage in the state, forcing same sex couples to travel across state lines to get married.
Although it is a gray area of the law, this law against same sex marriages appears to prevent same sex divorces too, although not all judges are holding to this rule. There have been several instances of judges either intending to grand a same sex divorce or actually doing so in spite of the same sex marriage ban. This is good news for those wishing to get a same sex divorce in Ohio, but unfortunately it is no guarantee that the result with be the same for new married couples seeking to end their same sex marriages in the state.
While the Ohio Attorney General has attempted to defend the state's actions concerning same sex marriages, not everyone in positions of authority are on-board with this position. Attorneys representing the vital statistics registrar for Cincinnati have been quoted saying that the city of Cincinnati will not do anything to defend Ohio's current ban on same sex marriages. However, it can also not do anything to break the laws of the state.
A private Franklin County judge has also granted a same sex divorce. Because the state only bans same sex marriages and does not say anything specifically about same sex divorces, the judge did not technically break the law. However, most judges are hesitant to grant such divorces because of the current prohibition against same sex marriages.