UPDATE: Federal Judge Orders Ohio to Recognize Gay Marriage

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 4/14/14 @ 11:45 a.m.
CINCINNATI (AP) - A federal judge has ordered Ohio authorities to recognize the marriages of gay couples performed in other states.

Judge Timothy Black's ruling on Monday criticized the state's "ongoing arbitrary discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."

He says the state's marriage recognition bans are unconstitutional and unenforceable.

Black's order doesn't force Ohio to allow gay marriages to be performed in the state.

The state plans to appeal Black's ruling, arguing that Ohio has a sovereign right to ban gay marriage, which voters did overwhelmingly in 2004.

Black delayed deciding whether to stay his ruling pending appeal until attorneys on both sides present their arguments on the issue by the end of Tuesday.



UPDATE 4/7/14 @ 4:30 p.m.
CINCINNATI (AP) - A state lawmaker has reiterated his call for the impeachment of a federal judge who plans to order Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages.

Republican Rep. John Becker of Union Township first called for Cincinnati-based Judge Timothy Black's removal in September, after Black issued an order in a separate lawsuit involving gay marriage.

On Friday, Black said he plans to issue a ruling April 14 forcing the state to recognize the marriages of gay Ohio couples who have wed in states that allow same-sex marriage.

Becker said in a news release Monday that Black has allowed "personal political bias to supersede jurisprudence."

Becker has filed a resolution for Congress to impeach Black. Black has declined to comment on Becker's efforts.

Congress has removed only eight federal judges in history.



ORIGINAL STORY 4/4/14 @ 2:10 p.m.
CINCINNATI (AP) - A federal judge says he will strike down Ohio's voter-approved ban on gay marriage, meaning the state must recognize marriages of gay couples who legally wed elsewhere.

Judge Timothy Black made the statement Friday following final arguments in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the marriage ban.

He says he'll issue the ruling April 14 prohibiting Ohio officials from enforcing the ban, which he says violates constitutional rights to equal protection and due process. Black's ruling will not mean Ohio has to allow couples to marry there.

Attorneys for the state had argued that it's Ohio's sole province to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

By announcing his intention ahead of his ruling, Black gives time for the state to prepare an appeal that can be filed as soon as he rules.


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