Exodus board member Phil Burress is the president of Ohio’s misnamed Citizens for Community Values, which identifies itself as “Officially Associated with Focus on the Family and Family Research Council as a Family Policy Council in Ohio.”

According to the Dayton Daily News (Oct. 15), Burress’ organization is seeking to overturn Ohio’s 27-year-old law against domestic violence, claiming that it conflicts with the state’s new gay-marriage ban.

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear State v. Carswell in December. If the court strikes down part of the domestic-violence law, it could wipe out longstanding legal protections for unmarried Ohioans in abusive relationships.

According to the Dayton Daily News,

In the past two years, more than 60 men accused of domestic violence against their girlfriends have argued that Ohio’s domestic-violence law conflicts with the ban:

• The constitutional amendment bars state or local governments from granting a legal status to relationships that approximate marriage.

• The domestic-violence law protects people “living as a spouse.”

CCV filed an amicus brief against part of the domestic-violence law. According to the Dayton Daily News,

CCV argued that while the group deplores domestic violence, the marriage amendment should be broadly applied and part of the law ruled unconstitutional.

“CCV believes a case such as this could lead to an inadvertent narrowing of the scope of the amendment by the court, as the motivation is great to preserve an understandably popular statute in its present form,” CCV attorney David Langdon wrote. … [snip]

CCV, Carswell’s attorney and the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers argue that the part of the domestic violence law that includes people “living as a spouse” conflicts with the constitution because it grants a legal status to relationships that approximate marriage.

In other words, CCV’s opposition to any social recognition of unmarried couples trumps society’s need to reduce violent crime, and the needs of abused partners.

Previous XGW coverage of Exodus board member Phil Burress and CCV.

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