No marriage, no domestic violence


13 comments posted
Theater of the absurd

So if the boyfriend shot the girlfriend and she died, the guy would be charged with a manslaughter charge instead of murder one?

Is the Ohio law a license to kill? The 007 law?

If this were Monty Python, the cartoonist might pop open Judge Friedman's head for a quick peek over at the portion of his brain that deals with "okay behavior of a man toward a woman." It would have aspects to it that say it is okay for a man to physically assault a woman.

The point is that just as murder is murder regardless of whether the murder is joined in civil union or not to the victim, assault is assault. To use this law in this way in order to justify a man's attack on a woman--that is very telling. Maybe he is thinking, "the bitch had it coming"--who knows? It reveals a boys-will-be-boys attitude about battery that lawyers and cops seem all too often to share. Friedman believes that hitting a partner is part of civil union and part of a long tradition going back to Og the caveman--otherwise the penalty for assault would be, ceteris paribus, the same across the board and not different because of whether this was a civil union or not.


Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 24 March 2005 - 7:45am
Civil Union is not marriage

You quoted,

[the alleged assailant's]public defender, David Magee, had asked the judge to throw out the charge because of the new wording in Ohio's constitution that prohibits any state or local law that would "create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals."

I ask, would people who had a legally recognized civil union, and not ever gone through a religious ceremony, be denied equal protection?

If the word is "marriage," then we are indeed speaking about the establishment of religion, a first amendment violation and a denial of equal protection as fallout of this for it discriminates in favor of "marriages," a religious concept over "civil unions," which in actuality is what the state controls.

For the state to be involved in "marriages" involves the state in religion, as I said above. It makes the odd outcome for the battered partner, "I better marry the lunk so I have legal recourse if he beats or stalks me or rapes me."

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 24 March 2005 - 8:00am
In Ohio

They specifically prohibited civil unions. It's just outrageous, and now the people are starting to pay the consequences.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 24 March 2005 - 9:52am
Clearly against the First Amendment

Establishes a religion and that is un-American. Since many, if not the majority of our Nation's founders did not believe in the Christian God and people came here to escape from established state religious beliefs, then the Ohio law is against what America stands for.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 24 March 2005 - 9:58am
For much more info...

If anyone's interested for further context on this decision, I humbly submit the following link to my blog.

(Sorry for self-promotion in the comments section. The TrackBack feature seems to be currently producing errors. If I could've used that, I would've used that.)

The post includes a link to the judge's full decision, relevant Ohio statutes, and commentary on the facts that the judge was quite reluctant to render this decision and that the defense is alleged to have adopted this rather despicable strategy of invoking Ohio's new marriage amendment in order to discredit this amendment.

William Kaminsky's picture
Posted by William Kaminsky (not verified) on 25 March 2005 - 1:16am
Bad law

Bad lawmaking makes for bad law. Considering that the guy gets off with a misdemeanor for a felonious act, I doubt that the first motive of counsel was to discredit the very law that was cutting his client a break.

The law deserves discrediting. This case is just one instance.

It's ridiculous to try to build a legal status around a religious idea, while at the same time banning civil solutions. This Ohio amendment is an obscenity. It violates privacy, separation of church and state, equal protection -- it's an amendment to take away rights from a certain group of people. If you're against gay marriage, then don't do it!

Meanwhile this law makes unmarried people (of any orientation) into second-class citizens such that violent crimes done against them are necessarily treated as less serious.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 25 March 2005 - 1:31am
Abandonment of the 14th Amendment

If the principle of equal under the law were paramount, the Ohio case and other such outcomes would be a less likely. But starting off with a law that abandons equal protection --damn, when did they repeal the 14th Amendment?--we get these kinds of outcomes.

My friend the legal scholar (who has practiced trial law and pleaded cases and is not a corporate-type) is positively grim when saying, "the law does not have to be consistent," and in this sense "consistent" means "equal."

The right has realized that laws are inconsistent. Schlafly said this early on about "special right," a la "special interests." When you have a group that has "special" rights--men, corporations, Christians--then this is an outcome and it is not knew to law. The scholar says this goes way back to the earliest of days when a Lord could merely pay a fine for a capital crime.

The law we live is the mythology we believe about ourselves. This gets very Joseph Campbell and the progressives are in an odd way "the hero" against the Empire. The Christian mythology that only they are saved and they are chosen plays out in how they apply laws to non-Christians or who do not share so narrow a view of Christianity.

It goes to their marrow.

The hero's quest goes on.

The hero is not nicey-nice, but he does not get tempted by the Dark Side, as the Emperor so much wanted Luke to feel rage at the end of "Return of the Jedi."

We stand up for the rights of all, not just of some.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 25 March 2005 - 9:13am
I rather doubt that the defen

I rather doubt that the defense had the SEKRIT GOAL to undermind Ohio's marriage amendment. The defense adopted this strategy because that's their job. There is nothing unprofessional or unethical about pointing out that a law does not apply to your client.

The result of the judge's decision was awful, but it was legally correct. This sort of thing is the direct and long-predicted result of amendments that try to outlaw civil unions along with same-sex marriage.

Don't blame the defense attorney, who was doing his job; blame the Ohioans who voted for this POS amendment. They probably think the domestic violence statute shouldn't apply to those living in sin, anyway.

mythago's picture
Posted by mythago (not verified) on 27 March 2005 - 1:45pm
Any question it's deliberate?

I would like to be able to believe this is just a law written in haste, that the judiciary didn't think through properly. Unfortunately, I can't buy that. After all, how many states had laws on the books even as recently as the 1980's stating that a wife had no right to deny her husband sex? Marital rape only because a crime 20+ years ago, folks.

I don't even buy that the motive behind this is that people are so convinced marriage is right for everyone that they must legislate it into the lives of the poor bastards who haven't figured that out yet. It's far more insidious.

I think the 52% divorce rate suggests that most people get married because "well, that's what people do, isn't it?" and really have no clue who they are or what they're about, let alone how to connect with another human being. Then they have children for the same reason, and you see the results - people who are so apathetic or have such low self-esteem they can't begin to love themselves, let alone anyone else. "Why am I here?" indeed. Because mommy and daddy thought, "that's what people do" was reason enough to bring a human life into the world.

They're jealous of those who took the time (and the hassle) to figure out who they are and what they want. Who may be rejecting marriage for religious, legal or philosophical reasons, or who may simply be biding their time until they find someone they really might be able to love a lifetime.

BetaCandy's picture
Posted by BetaCandy on 8 June 2005 - 10:37am
with regard to spousal abuse

with regard to spousal abuse it is actually rare. More abuse happens in co habitation. When people live together without being married. I am a woman and I dont suport violence if a man is beating me I would leave. But the data is there. In marriage violence by both mena and woman spouses is low.

anonymous lurker's picture
Posted by anonymous lurker (not verified) on 19 September 2005 - 3:57am
What does "low" mean?

The data is where? What does it quantify? Reported abuse? Spousal abuse goes unreported because the consequences of reporting are greater. What is this data?

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 19 September 2005 - 8:31am
What's the frequency, Lurker?

Anonymous Lurker may be thinking that spousal abuse doesn't exist at the level of plain old cohabitation b/c marriage is more common in upper/middle classes and they are less likely to report it out of shame.

gballsout's picture
Posted by gballsout on 28 September 2005 - 10:19pm
There are also financial disincentives bring in the po-lice. Where do you go? How do you eat? And when the police won't enforce restraining orders, what confidence do women have that calling them would help, anyway?

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 28 September 2005 - 10:52pm