U.S. News


Federal Judge Says Ohio Will Recognize Gay Couples

The federal judge did not strike down the state's ban on gay marriages but says the ban on recognizing gay marriages is unconstitutional.
Posted at 9:02 PM, Apr 04, 2014

A federal judge announced Friday he plans to strike down Ohio's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed outside of the state. U.S District Court Judge Timothy Black called the state's current ban unconstitutional and said he plans to issue a statement nullifying it later this month. 

The Columbus Dispatch reports Black's ruling will not, however, affect Ohio's 2004 constitutional amendment which limits marriages to just one man and one woman. (Via The Columbus Dispatch)

The announcement stems from a case brought by same-sex couples who sued so they could place the names of both parents on the birth certificates of newborns. (ViaWCPO)

Buzzfeed reported on Black's similar ruling in December which centered around death instead of new life. He ordered Ohio officials to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples for the purpose of considering them married on death certificates. The state has since appealed that ruling.

One writer for The Plain Dealer said by announcing his intentions ahead of time, Black gives the state's attorneys enough time to prepare an appeal, which Ohio's Attorney General Mike DeWine said is the next step in the process. 

DeWine told WVXU he expected Black's ruling, but said this case, or a similar case from another state, will ultimately be decided in the U.S. Supreme Court. 

A USA Today infographic shows that Kentucky, Tennessee and Oregon are states that recognize same-sex marriages but do not allow them to be performed in state. Judges in five other states — Michigan, Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah — have OK'd same-sex marriages pending appeals. 

Currently 17 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriages. Black said he plans to issue his ruling April 14.