Federal judge rules against Ohio ban on recognizing same-sex marriage

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A federal judge said on April 4 that he will strike down the voter-approved ban against recognizing same-sex marriage in Ohio.

The announcement from Judge Timothy Black came after final arguments in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ban.

Black, according to The AP, said, "I intend to issue a declaration that Ohio's recognition bans, that have been relied upon to deny legal recognition to same-sex couples validly entered in other states where legal, violate the rights secured by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution."

The judge didn't indicate he would order the state to allow same-sex couples to marry in Ohio, and he wasn't asked to do that in this case.

The AP said Black's decision to preview his ruling provides the state time to work on an appeal.

The case is Henry v. Wymyslo.

In another case, Obergefell v. Kasich, Black previously ruled that the state's marriage ban is unconstitutional in prohibiting the state from including the names of surviving same-sex spouses on death certificates. That case is on appeal.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said on April 4, "For the second time, Judge Black has affirmed that the marriages of committed and loving same-sex couples must be recognized by the state of Ohio. Since the Supreme Court's landmark marriage equality rulings last June, not a single state marriage ban has survived a federal court challenge. It's only a matter of time before marriage equality is the law of the land in not just Ohio, but every corner of America."

"Judge Timothy Black’s announcement represents another step forward in the march toward full LGBT equality in Ohio," added ACLU of Ohio executive director Christine Link. "We are committed to achieving LGBT equality in all aspects of life, including employment, housing, and marriage. While this is by no means the final court to weigh in on this question in Ohio, this announcement brings us one step closer to the promise of full rights and freedoms for all Ohioans."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin has challenged the voter-approved constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage in Wisconsin.