Friday, March 11, 2005

Dayton Nutbags: Marriage Is Protected; Everyone Else Can Kiss Off

As many loyal ZPT fans know, I lived in Dayton, Ohio for many years. So this comes as no surprise to me. It saddens me, but doesn't surprise me:

Lawyers say law only for married pairs

By Rob Modic
Dayton Daily News

DAYTON Two assistant public defenders contend the state's domestic violence laws do not apply to unmarried couples in Ohio.

Montgomery County assistant public defenders Michael Pentecost and Scott M. Calaway, using an argument raised in nearly a dozen Cleveland-area cases, said the state's recently passed constitutional amendment defining marriage prevents the state from "recognizing any legal relationship between unmarried cohabitants."

In pre-trial motions, they seek dismissal of domestic violence charges against David McIntosh and Gary W. Brown, because they are not married to their alleged victims.

While no Ohio judge has ruled on this argument — a judge in Cleveland has said he will rule by Feb. 18 — the filings dismayed Patti Schwarztrauber, executive director of Dayton's Artemis Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence.

"I would think the ramifications would be astronomical," she said. "It would be terrible for cohabiting victims in this case."

The amendment was approved by voters in November.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias H. Heck Jr. said the amendment "was solely intended to address the legal definition of marriage in Ohio. The voters never intended to disparage a victim's rights to be protected against violence due to the nature of their relationship with the abuser."

Public Defender Glen Dewar said his office planned to raise the same issue in every such case. Pentecost's motion carries the argument a step further, challenging a domestic violence protection order that is the basis for a second felony against his client, McIntosh. Violating a protection order, a third-degree felony, can lead to five years in prison.

Judge Dennis J. Langer is scheduled to rule on Brown's motion by March 11. Judge Mike Tucker will also rule on McIntosh's motion in March.

Ohio's 1979 domestic violence law has traditionally been used in situations involving married and unmarried couples. They provide additional protections for victims beyond simple assault laws, A first offense of domestic violence is a misdemeanor; a second offense is a third-degree felony.

The defenders point to the amendment to the Ohio Constitution: "This state and its
political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationship of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."

The amendment "prevents the state of Ohio from recognizing any legal relationship between unmarried cohabitants," Pentecost contended in a motion filed Wednesday.

Calaway filed a similar motion Feb. 1.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that, "in contrast to stranger violence, domestic violence arises out of the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim."

In that case, the court said the relationship could occur when perpetrator and victim are "cohabiting."

Pentecost contends that ruling demonstrates the domestic violence law creates a legal relationship between unmarried individuals who are "cohabiting."

In the case Pentecost is moving for dismissal, the defendant, Tina R. Browning of Dayton, obtained a domestic violence civil protection order in May against

McIntosh, 39. The order shows their relationship to be "cohab."

Riverside police arrested McIntosh, of Fairborn, on Dec. 29 and he was indicted on single counts of domestic violence and violating the protection order, both third degree felonies that carry penalties of as much as five years in prison.

Schwarztrauber, of Artemis Center, said the McIntosh case was the first she had heard of in the area, although the issue has been raised in nearly a dozen cases in Cleveland courts and a prosecutor in New Philadelphia has refused to filed complaints that do not involve married couples.

"I don't think the amendment should supersede this law," Schwarztrauber said. "That the safeguard would not apply to persons because they are not legally married is ludicrous, in my opinion.

"The end result could be that cohabiting parties could feel the law applies less to them."

This just goes to show how shitty a) lawyers and b) the anti-gay-marriage nutbags will go in support of their agenda. Funny how they constantly claim there is this mystical "gay agenda," when the only agenda I see is the one perverting basic rights in this country to exclude one segment of society based on religious tenents only, which we aren't supposed to do in America the Beautiful, Land of the Free...unless you're homosexual.

That said, I repeat: I am not surprised by this. Dayton, in general, doesn't give a flying shit. There is very much a "boys will be boys" attitude prevelant in the police force. For a long time, the cops wouldn't even arrest a man unless they personally witnessed the abuse. Come on, how many abusers are gonna beat the shit out of their wives in front of a cop?!? They're assholes, but they're not that stupid.

A pox on the lawyers, for trying to take steps to allow abusers to beat the shit out of their significant others and get away with it. A pox on the abusers, for hiring lawyers to help them get away with it, and authorizing this shit. A pox on the voters of Ohio, for passing a law to discriminate against homosexuals that can now be used to further victimize not only gays but unmarried women who are already between a rock and a hard place. And a pox on the system....just because.

If you aren't outraged by this should read it again, with your brain in the "on" position.

That is all.



At 11:46 PM, Blogger Pixie LaRouge said...

The interesting thing about this how many states have passed laws to clarify "domestic violence" as including any violence between persons in any relationship, be it familial, fraternal or romantic. (You can tell I'm tired because I'm long-winded and verbose). I found that out when a former friend turned stalker on me, and my primary protection came from the domestic violence laws.

So these nutbags are, in their hysteria over the "gay agenda" (wtf is that, anyway? I have yet to discover, and I've annoyed most of my gay friends by twitting them about it), just being nucking futz. WHY does "gay" mean "different?" Good LORD this kind of crap pisses me off...

At 1:40 AM, Blogger Zen Angel said...

It pisses me off, too, Pixie.

I also have a stalker, so I know how vital those domestic violence laws are, and how essential it is that EVERYONE is protected.


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