Judge orders Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages

Ohio is just one of a number of states with same-sex marriage cases in the appeals pipeline.
TNS Regional News
Apr 14, 2014


Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed elsewhere despite the state’s own ban on such marriages in its constitution, a federal judge in Cincinnati officially ruled today.

Attorney General Mike DeWine has said he will appeal the decision as he already has another by U.S. District Judge Timothy Black that required the state to recognize same-sex marriages on death certificates.

The latest ruling, promised by Judge Black more than a week ago, does not mean that same-sex couples may be wed in Ohio. But it strikes a blow against another portion of the constitutional amendment Ohioans adopted in 2004 that prohibits government from extending rights approximating those of marriage to same-sex and unmarried couples.

Federal Judge Timothy Black's ruling on Ohio's recognition of gay marriages

The case before Judge Black initially dealt solely with the issue of having the names of same-sex couples legally married in another state on the birth certificates of children born here. But Judge Black, a 2010 appointee by President Obama, went a step further by ordering the state to recognize all such marriages performed legally.

Judge Black wrote that the state’s defense “is staggeringly devoid of any legitimate justification for the State’s ongoing arbitrary discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and, therefore, Ohio’s marriage recognition bans are facially unconstitutional and unenforceable under any circumstances.”

The case was brought by four couples married in California, New York, and Massachusetts who have had or soon expect to have children in Ohio. Three are female couples in which one spouse was impregnated through artificial insemination while the fourth is a male couple who adopted a child born here.

Another plaintiff is Adoption S.T.A.R., an adoption agency that sued on behalf of future same-sex couples it will serve.

Judge Black ruled that Ohio’s ban unconstitutionally violates the couples’ 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law.

The court stayed its own general order pending possible appeal, but he noted in a footnote to his order that he is "inclined" not to delay his order as it pertains to the four plaintiff couples.

Ohio is just one of a number of states with same-sex marriage cases in the appeals pipeline with at least one likely to work its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court voted 5-4 decision last year to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act affecting the federal government. But it left the question at the state level unresolved when, without ruling on the substance of the case, it let stand a California ruling striking down that state’s ban.

"I've talked to judges and lawyers, and nobody has heard of a judge telling everyone ten days ahead of time how he's going to rule," said Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community values, the Cincinnati-based organization that spearheaded the 2004 vote.

"It's all about politics and legislating from the bench," he said. "He will be overturned by the 6th Circuit (Court of Appeals) when the case is appealed by Mike DeWine."

Mr. DeWine today certified a revised proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to overturn the ban even as the group behind it claims to have enough signatures to qualify the original for the November ballot.

The organization FreedomOhio will hit the streets to gather signatures for the new amendment, this time with the intention of submitting it first to the General Assembly in hopes it will vote to put the question to voters. Failing that, more petitions will be circulated to put the proposed amendment on the ballot.

The revised amendment specifies that a “religious house of worship,” which would not be forced to perform same-sex marriages, as one where “the primary activity is religious worship.”

The new wording also adds the requirement that “all legally valid marriages” be treated equally.

The General Assembly route would postpone a vote until at least November of 2015.

The revisions occur even as the gay-rights community remains divided over whether enough has changed in Ohio since the 2004 vote to make this year the right time to put the question to voters. Some are instead eyeing the 2016 presidential election.


By Jim Provance - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

Visit The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) at www.toledoblade.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


Dr. Information

One judge should not speak for the entire state. Let it all be put up for a vote. This too would get shot down very quick.

JMOP's picture

Black is a turncoat, an Obama appointee from Harvard. That should say enough.

I Can Read

What does Harvard have to do with this?

JMOP's picture


I Can Read

Sounds sinister, thanks!

JMOP's picture

Appointing a federal judge based on who you know, instead of merit is sinister.

You're welcome. :)


Mention a Harvard Graduate and I get afraid !


It's long overdue .


Yea, maybe they will approve that Congressman that wants to marry his sheep !


Ohio voted against same sex marriage already so why should one judge say he over rides our vote to recognize this? If he can do this why do we bother to vote.


The will of the people means nothing anymore. All it takes is a radical judge to undo anything the people vote on. Why do you think obummer is filling judicial spots with the most far left judges and lawyers he can find!


A very wise minister helped me to understand that the Bible is a GUIDE book not a RULE book. The Bible consists of man's interpretation of the will of GOD at that time in the author's life. We have individual communication with GOD through prayer. Each and everyone of us could record our own relationship to share. My God is kind and merciful above all else because He knows and understands our struggles. I am not judging anyone commenting. Anyone out there judging me for my position of the issue? I feel I have no right to tell anyone how to live their life.


Sad that you place your eternal trip based upon a 'wise' person who knows very little about God's judgment upon sin.

Your God is kind, merciful and understanding. What are you basing this upon, just your personal wants and feelings? Good luck with that.


Heaven forbid we actually become a more tolerant society.

Also, http://weknowmemes.com/wp-conten...


More tolerant??? So we become more tolerant to rapes, murders, thefts, kidnappings, I think not. This is no different. It is wrong and people need to stop trying to throw there mental issues down our throats!


Foodforthought, your logic is sickening. A person marrying someone else of the same gender is the same as rape and murder? It won't be long until gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, despite your ignorant opinion, so get used to it pal.


Yes it is the same, and it isn’t Foodforthought that is sickening but your perversions. Your bold and arrogant user name expresses your distain for anything considered respectable by others.

"'If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. “ the Bible.

You will say, 'That’s old testament!" , and to that I answer:
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" ALL Scripture, this is referencing the Old Testament because the New Testament was yet completed.

To use your words with a slight twist: "It won’t be long until God will judge everyone in ALL 50 states who disobeys Him, despite your IGNORANT opinion" It really doesn't matter what YOU think, fight the Lords commands and you will lose, maybe not in this life but in the second death when all are judged, and you really scored big time demerits with your latest post, I shudder to think of how we are judged for our attitudes against Gods commandments.