A second judge in Cleveland has agreed that the state’s new constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage also weakens the state’s domestic violence statute.
On Thursday, Cleveland Municipal Judge Lauren C. Moore ruled that a man accused of physically abusing his live-in girlfriend could not be charged with domestic violence, because of Issue 1, which voters approved last fall. That amendment to Ohio’s constitution says the state cannot give legal status to unmarried couples.
Moore’s ruling came one day after another Cuyahoga County judge reached the same conclusion. In that case, where a man was also charged with striking his girlfriend, Judge Stuart Friedman reduced a felony domestic violence charge to a charge of misdemeanor assault.
Ironically, while Issue 1 was designed to deny legal status to same-sex couples, the vague wording of the amendment is now affecting heterosexual couples, as evidenced by the two judges’ rulings.