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U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Impacts all Ohio Community Associations

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have the right to marry nationwide. The decision of the High Court invalidates gay marriage bans in more than a dozen states, including Ohio.  In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples and to recognize such marriages performed in other states.

Ohio’s constitution has prohibited same-sex marriages until now, and the State has refused to recognize same-sex marriage licenses issued by other states.  The refusal of Ohio and similar states to recognize gay marriage was previously upheld in federal court; however, this decision means that will no longer be the case.  As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, same-sex marriage couples are now entitled to the same legal rights as opposite-sex marriage couples in Ohio regardless of where the marriage license was issued.

One such right that impacts all Ohio community associations is the ability for the spouse of a titled unit owner to serve on the Board.  Both the Ohio Condominium Act and the Ohio Planned Community Act permit the spouses of unit owners to serve on the Board.  With Friday’s ruling,  the spouse of a same-sex unit owner who volunteers or is nominated to serve on the Board is eligible to be a candidate.  The ruling doesn’t take effect immediately because the losing side has approximately three weeks to ask for reconsideration.  However, Ohio counties including Cuyahoga and Franklin have already started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the ruling.  The bottom line: same-sex spouses are now qualified to serve on the Board.



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