Court Orders Ohio to Recognize Gay Marriages Performed in Other States

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 14 2014 6:01 PM

Court Orders Ohio to Recognize Gay Marriages Performed in Other States

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A federal judge rules Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages performed legally out-of-state.

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday ordered Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The ruling strikes down only portions of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage that prohibit the recognition of marriages performed in other states. Even still, the ruling is “a partial but significant victory for gay rights supporters,” according to the Associated Press.

“Ohio’s marriage recognition is facially unconstitutional and unenforceable under any circumstances,” Judge Timothy Black said in a written statement. The suit was filed in February by four couples, married in other states, who were seeking to have the names of both parents on their children’s birth certificates. The state’s non-recognition of legal same-sex marriages performed elsewhere meant that only one parent’s name could appear on a child's birth certificate.

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Black’s ruling does not affect Ohio’s 2004 ban on same-sex marriages performed in the state because, as Cincinnati’s WVXU reports, “the lawsuit did not seek to allow same-sex partners to get married in Ohio, just the recognition of marriages from other states.” In handing down his decision, Black stayed the enforcement of the order pending appeal, meaning that the ruling, for the time being, will only apply to the four couples in the suit.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office said it will appeal the ruling.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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