Mahoning County ready for marriage equality ruling

Marriage equality

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling on the Affordable Care Act and the Fair Housing Act.

Now, it is up to the justices to make a decision on marriage equality. Ohio currently bans same-sex marriage, but that could change with the ruling.

“I don’t expect much. I believe that there is individuals that are going to want to come and get married. So I think we are going to have a little bit of an increase in numbers,” Mahoning County Probate Judge Robert Rusu said.

Judge Rusu said his office is ready if the Supreme Court strikes down the gay-marriage ban. It is one of three scenarios facing the justices: Making same-sex marriage legal nationwide, allowing states to ban same-sex marriage, and requiring states to recognize marriages valid in other states.

“We are prepared that if the ruling comes down that they strike down the ban, we will go ahead and just make that change. It should be pretty seamless,” Rusu said.

The Mahoning County Probate court has ordered new marriage applications with “bride” and “groom” changed to “applicant one” and “applicant two.” But, Rusu said birth records could change as well.

“I do think we are going to see an increase in the number of birth record corrections because the same-sex couples are going to want to be recognized on those birth records,” he said.

Rusu expects adoption record changes to be popular, too. As of now, only one parent in a same-sex relationship can be listed in Ohio. Changes can be made at the probate court office.

Depending on the ruling, Rusu asks that people remain patient.

“There is going to be a lot of unanswered questions that we are going to have to work through. The legislature, the courts, we are all going to have to work through it and see how it develops and plays out,” Rusu said.

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