Federal judge rules Ohio must recognize legal gay marriages

By Kyle Johnson,

A federal judge ruled that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states, but did seem willing to potentially stay his decision during the appeals process.

U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black, who indicated earlier in the month he would make this ruling, officially revealed his decision on Monday, reports the Columbus Dispatch.

Black said, "Ohio's marriage recognition is facially unconstitutional and unenforceable under any circumstances." He also noted that the law allowed Ohio to illicitly intrude "into the realm of private marital, family and intimate relations specifically protected by the Supreme Court."

Though he is set to force Ohio to recognize out of state same-sex marriages, Black said he would consider staying his decision pending appeal arguments from both sides, according to The Associated Press. Attorneys on either side must submit their arguments for or against a stay by Tuesday afternoon.

The stay, however, would not apply to the four gay couples who launched the lawsuit against the state over their law.

The ruling also does not strike down Ohio's 2004 gay marriage ban, but simply would force the state to recognize couples already married elsewhere.

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