COLUMBIS, Ohio – For seven years, Ohio lawmakers have been trying without success to get a gay-marriage ban (search) passed in their state.
Then came the recent Massachusetts court decision recognizing same-sex matrimony. In the wake of that ruling, Ohio became the latest state, joining 37 others, to pass a Defense of Marriage Act (search), modeled after the federal legislation to ensure same-sex marriages carried out in other states won't be recognized in that state and to clarify that "marriage" is between one man and one woman.
"This bill is anything but gay bashing, demagoguery, grand standing," said DOMA supporter, state Sen. Jay Hottinger (search ), a Republican. "We have long held that marriage in the state has been between one man and one woman. Because of Massachusetts, that poses a real threat."
But opponents say because the state had a definition of marriage on the books for 200 years, DOMA in Ohio was unnecessary and the true motive behind it is discrimination.
"We are a state that believe in intolerance," said state Sen. C.J. Prentiss (search ), a Democrat who is against DOMA. "We're a state that says, 'If you're different than us, go home.'"
Unlike many states' DOMA laws, Ohio's specified that the partner of an unmarried state employee — regardless of his or her sex — is ineligible for benefits. But private companies in Ohio may still grant benefits to same-sex couples.
Click here to watch a fair and balanced report by Fox News' Jeff Goldblatt.