Two Columbus men married in New York were granted a divorce by a private judge appointed by Franklin County Domestic Relations Court.
Jonathan E. Baize, 31, and Stephen J. Wissman, 31, were granted a divorce last week by Judge Donald A. Cox after a 10-minute, “unremarkable” hearing, said attorney Thomas J. Addesa. He represented only Baize in the case.
Baize and Wissman were married in New York on Sept.1 last year, but later agreed to divorce.
It is one of the first cases of a same-sex divorce approved in Ohio since gay marriage was barred by a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2004. The amendment defines marriage as solely between one man and one woman.
The Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage, the group that spearheaded the effort to pass the constitutional ban, filed a legal brief in the case. However, there is no indication that the judge considered the group’s argument, Addesa said.
Cincinnati lawyer David Langdon, representing the Campaign to Protect Marriage, argued that the court couldn’t grant a divorce for a same-sex couple because doing so, by default, would acknowledge that they were married.
Langdon was not present at the hearing, which was held in a meeting room outside the courthouse.
“Unfortunately, there are and probably always will be a few rogue judges who are going to ignore the Constitution. For our part, we will continue to urge them to uphold it,” Langdon wrote in an e-mail to The Dispatch.
What the Columbus Dispatch fails to mention in this article is that the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage is nothing more than a front for Ohio’s anti-gay hate group called the Citizens for Community Values that not only “spearheaded” Ohio’s 2004 State DOMA, which is one of the most anti-gay in all 50 states they WROTE it. The CCV is also affiliated with the Family Research Council and the American Family Association and its from those two groups that the CCV gets most of its funding.
Attorney David Langdon represents the CCV in every anti-LGBT action in the state and in in 1993 Langdon was the driving force alongside the CCV behind Issue 3, a successful ballot initiative that explicitly prohibited city lawmakers from passing any measures that guaranteed equal rights for homosexuals which was later repealed.