Toledoans join state rally to support marriage equalityWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will determine the future of marriage equality in four states on Aug. 6, but supporters will rally outside the courtroom the day before.
Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people, straight allies, faith leaders, business owners, elected officials and more will be present at the rally, said Michael Aremo, campaign manager of Why Marriage Matters Ohio. Speakers at the rally will include State Rep. Nickie Antonio, Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.
The rally is a time to show that “Ohio is ready for marriage equality,” Premo said.
“This is the most important day in the legal fight in marriage equality in Ohio’s history,” Premo said. “When you have this many people who are willing to get in their cars and drive down to Cincinnati to participate in this rally … it’s incredible.”
The rally will be 5:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at Lytle Park, in Cincinnati and Toledo locals will be traveling to the location. Brent Rabie, volunteer and Equality Toledo board member, will lead a caravan and carpool to the rally. The group will leave from the Collingwood Arts Center, 2413 Collingwood Blvd., at 1 p.m. Aug. 5.
Supporters are encouraged to wear red the day of the rally to show support because red is the color of love, Premo said.
“The fight for marriage equality is about love and commitment,” he added.
On Aug. 6, oral arguments of five landmark cases will be presented in front of a three-judge panel, representing four states: Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Premo said the five cases focus on different issues. The plaintiff couples from Ohio and their attorneys will make the case that the refusal to recognize legal marriages performed in other states is unconstitutional.
After the arguments, the three-judge panel will issue their decision, upholding or overturning the lower court’s ruling that Ohio’s ban is unconstitutional, Premo said. He added that whoever does not get the decision they want has the option to appeal to the Court of Appeals or directly to the Supreme Court.
“The oral arguments, I believe, will reinforce how harmful and widespread marriage bans really are,” Rabie said. He added that this event can change the lives of many in the area.
Premo, who is a straight ally, has worked with Why Marriage Matters Ohio since December, and he said support for marriage equality has grown. Since Why Marriage Matters Ohio was founded in September, Premo said there has been a nine-point increase in public opinion in favor of marriage equality.
“Momentum is clearly on our side and we want to make that clear at this rally,” Premo said. “What we’ve been encouraging people to do since the beginning was to have conversations with their family and friends about marriage equality and why they support it and why it’s important to them. Those conversations have been bearing fruit in that people are starting to think about marriage equality in a way that they haven’t thought about it before.”
He also added that two polls from this year show 50 percent of Ohioans support marriage equality, which is a five-point increase from last year. Opposition has dropped four points as well.
Before working in Ohio, Premo worked with the marriage equality campaign in New Jersey, which he said was “tremendously gratifying.”
“I wanted to bring that experience here to Ohio,” he said. “Marriage equality is coming to Ohio. It is no longer a question of if; it’s a question of when.”
For more information on the rally, visit action.wmmoh.org/page/s/rally-for-marriage-equality. To RSVP for the carpool, visit marriageoh.org/rally.
Tags: bisexuals, business owners, Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach, Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Court of Appeals, elected officials, faith leaders, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, Gays, Kentucky, lesbians, Michael Arema, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, State Rep. Nickie Antonio, straight allies, Supreme Court, Tennessee, transgendered people, Why Marriage Matters Ohio