Rights in Ohio

Historical considerations

  • Ohio’s sodomy law created in 1885 repealed in 1972.
  • The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
  • April 14, 2014 - Judge Timothy Black declared Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.
  • “Homosexuality” was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) as a psychological disorder in 1972.
  • Legal Name Change in Ohio.


Current Legal Considerations

  • Only 10 cities (Columbus, Cleveland Heights, Toledo, Cleveland, Yellow Springs, Athens, Dayton, Cincinnati, Oberlin, Lakewood) and 2 counties (Franklin County, Cuyahoga County) in Ohio offer partner benefits through domestic partnerships
  • Single LGBTQ individuals are permitted to adopt in Ohio. Despite no explicit prohibition, courts have largely not allowed same-sex couples to adopt.
  • Housing discrimination is legal in Ohio - Learn more
  • Discrimination based on sexual orientation, but not gender identity, is prohibited within state employment that was signed in January of 2011.  There is no statewide protection in Ohio for sexual orientation and gender identity outside of state employment. However, the 2020 Supreme Court ruling of Bostock v. Clayton County may lead to new Ohio legislation. 
  • Ohio’s hate crime law addresses violence based on race, color, religion or national origin but not on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • If you are not married in the state of Ohio, you will not receive the following benefits:
    • Tax Benefits, Estate Planning Benefits, Government Benefits (social security), Employment Benefits (FMLA), Medical Benefits (visitation rights), Death Benefits (making burial arrangements), Family Benefits (adoption, child support), Housing Benefits, Consumer Benefits (family rates for health, auto, house insurance. Tuition discounts)