A judge in Ohio has ruled in favor of four same-sex couples suing to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages.
Judge Timothy Black’s ruling on Monday, April 14 criticized the state’s “ongoing arbitrary discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” adding that the state’s recognition ban is unconstitutional and against citizens’ constitutional rights.
Black said on April 4, “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, violates the rights secured by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” according to the Huffington Post. “[They are] denied their fundamental right to marry a person of their choosing and the right to remain married.”
Attorney General Mike DeWine has already said the state plans to appeal against the ruling.
Black has not put a stay on his ruling, allowing attorneys on both sides to present their arguments on the issue by the end of the day on Tuesday, April 15.
In December 2013, Black also issued a limited ruling, which ordered the state to recognize same-sex marriages for death certificate purposes.
Ohio is one of an overwhelming number of states currently facing or who have already faced lawsuits opposing same-sex marriage bans. There are now only five states with marriage equality bans that are not currently facing lawsuit challenges.
Lambda Legal said in a press release shared with 429Magazine, “[we]brought this case on behalf of four married same-sex couples seeking an order requiring the State to place the names of both parents on the birth certificates of their children. Three of the married couples are women expecting children to be born in Ohio and one is a married same-sex couple living in New York City whose adopted son was born in Ohio.
“We are knocking down the barriers to equality for same-sex couples and their children faster and faster across the country. Same-sex couples may not yet have the freedom to get married in Ohio, but as a result of this ruling, they have the freedom to [remain]married in Ohio. And married same-sex couples will be fully recognized as the legal parents of their children.”