After Finan left the Senate in 2003 because of term limits, Republican Rep. Bill Seitz sponsored the current bill and told the committee that a ruling in Massachusetts that declared the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional could affect Ohio.
"My concern is the cost of the courts rewriting statutes in ways we did not intend," Seitz told the committee.
His bill states that same-sex marriages would be "against the strong public policy of the state," and would prohibit unmarried partners of state employees from receiving benefits received by married partners.
However, the legislation would allow exceptions, including employees who gain such rights in negotiating under collective bargaining, he said. It would not apply to local governments or private companies.