Judge to strike down part of Ohio gay marriage law

State will have to recognize out-of-state marriages after Judge Timothy Black's April 14 ruling
Associated Press
Apr 4, 2014

A federal judge said Friday that he will order Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages, a move that would strike down part of the state's ban on gay marriages but stop short of forcing it to perform same-sex weddings.

Judge Timothy Black announced his intentions in federal court in Cincinnati following final arguments in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the marriage ban.

"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," Black said. "(They're) denied their fundamental right to marry a person of their choosing and the right to remain married."

Black said he'll issue the ruling April 14. The civil rights attorneys who filed the February lawsuit did not ask Black to order the state to perform gay marriages, and he did not say he would do so.

Gay marriage is legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Federal judges have also struck down bans in Michigan, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia, and ordered Kentucky and Tennessee to recognize out-of-state gay marriages, though stays have been issued pending appeals.

Pam and Nicole Yorksmith, a Cincinnati couple who married in California in 2008 and have a 3-year-old son, were among the four couples who filed the lawsuit challenging the gay marriage ban and said Black's comments Friday gave them validation.

"It also validates to our kids that we're bringing into our marriage that their parents are recognized by the state that we live in, and that's extremely important," Pam Yorksmith said. "We're teaching kids of future generations that all families are different and just because our family doesn't look like your family doesn't mean that ours shouldn't be recognized."

Nicole Yorksmith is pregnant through artificial insemination with the couple's second child and is due in June.

The Cincinnati-based legal team asked Black to declare that Ohio's gay marriage ban is "facially unconstitutional, invalid and unenforceable," and indicated that following such a ruling, the window would be open for additional litigation seeking to force the state to allow gay couples to marry in Ohio.

"This is a serious problem at the basic level of human dignity," civil rights attorney Al Gerhardstein told Black during Friday's arguments. "That human dignity is denied by the way Ohio treats same-sex couples. This is central to our whole commitment as a nation to equality."

Dan Tierney, a spokesman for Ohio's attorney general, said the state will appeal Black's order when it comes out but declined to comment further.

Attorneys for the state argued that it's Ohio's sole province to define marriage as between a man and a woman, that the statewide gay marriage ban doesn't violate any fundamental rights, and that attorneys improperly expanded their originally narrow lawsuit.

"Ohio has made its own decision regarding marriage, deciding to preserve the traditional definition," state's attorneys argued in court filings ahead of Friday's hearing.

They argued that striking down the law would "disregard the will of Ohio voters, and undercut the democratic process."

Black didn't say why he made the announcement on his ruling before he issues it. But by stating his intention ahead of his ruling, Black gave time for the state to prepare an appeal that can be filed as soon as he does. The state can also work on asking Black for a stay in his ruling pending appeal.

Gay rights organizations praised Friday's development.

"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," said Chad Griffin, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign.

"The court's forthcoming action shines a bright light on the fact that same-sex couples are denied their 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection," said Ian James of FreedomOhio, a group working to have voters overturn the state's ban as soon as this fall.

Phil Burress, who chaired the 2004 effort to ban same-sex marriage and is the president of Citizens for Community Values, said his group is prepared to fight any ballot initiative to repeal the ban.

He said he's confident the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and other courts will overturn Black's coming order and the seven recent rulings overturning statewide gay marriage bans elsewhere or ordering states to recognize out-of-state gay marriages.

"The domino effect you're talking about is going to be short-lived," he said. "This is not the will of the people. This is a Hail Mary pass to get everyone forced to recognize same-sex marriage by having the courts do their dirty work."

The lawsuit originally only asked Black to force Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages on birth certificates. Attorneys later expanded it for a broader and more significant ruling, a move that irked the state's attorneys.

"It could require a sea change in the way numerous government agencies and departments (not parties to this litigation) fulfill their duties," they wrote in court documents, referring to a ripple effect that could encompass Ohio statutes on insurance, mortgages, child guardianship and property.

The lawsuit built on the success of another one also filed by Gerhardstein that sought to force Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages on death certificates.

In December, Black granted that request, saying that Ohio's ban on gay marriage demeans "the dignity of same-sex couples in the eyes of the state and the wider community."

The state appealed that ruling, and the case is pending in the 6th Circuit appeals court.



I'm with Dr. Info! Majority rules. As far as folks siding with thi, it's because you have very low morals and values. Any of you guys on this board, I challenge you to put a big fat D in your mouth today and if something inside of you is not repulsed then your just sick in the head! we all have a moral compass some choose to follow others do not, but I know personally if I was to even think about performing a homosexual act my mind body and soul would scream to the heavens that this is not right. Christians are far from perfect and I must admit many go about trying to bring others to Christ in the wrong way and tone. If you have ever truly been "born again" the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do this because it is Not God's will. Again non Christians I don't expect you to get this but those of you that are born again, you understand.
In 50 years from now I seriously believe that Libs will deem it their "civil rights" to mate with animals we are lowering the bar everyday and before you know it the line in the sand will disappear.
I'm all for civil rights. A person can't control their race or color but you do have the choice to act out your sexual perversions or NOT!
Think Again! I admire you. At least you stand for something and won't back down because deep in your heart You also know this isn't right.
Just like libs think it's ok to kill babies but don't wanna see murderers be put to death.
I'm not smart and will never claim to be but I at least know we will ALL face judgment one day. We all have a soul and that soul lives on after the body is dead.


Don't forget, you will be judged also, and you have a lot of hatred in your heart. And you pubs want to limit contraception but once these unwanted children are born, you don't want anything to do with them.


Knuckledragger you bring up valid points as well, whether I agree with them or not.
Majority should decide and whatever they decide that should be it whether you agree or not with the homosexual stance.


So if the south voted to ban blacks and whites from being married to each other that would be ok because majority rules? No, some things are wrong, no matter what the vote is. Two men or two women being married affects you how?


It really is amazing to know that we are truly living in the last days. As followers of Christ, it is a God given Mandate that we go out and spread the good word of the Gospel. Unfortunately, the world views our "spreading of the good word" as shoving religion down their throats, or hateful bigotry. But if we don't spread the Word to the world, then on the last day when each and every living soul that ever walked the earth has to stand before the Throne of God and give account of everything he/she did in life, then we are held accountable for not preaching the gospel to the lost. It is a serious violation of the Christian faith to not spread the word. (In my opinion) The word of God tells us to Hate the sin, but love the sinner.

2 Timothy 3: 1-7

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

People I urge each and everyone of you to take a good look at whats going on around you. I challenge each and everyone of you to just do a little bit of research about the end times prophecies that are written in the Word of God. Do your research, please do not be ignorant of the biblical events that are unfolding each and every second of every day. The Evidence that you seek is everywhere around you. Remove the veil from your eyes. Don't let the devil trick you into thinking otherwise as he has done for thousands of years. God Bless you All.

Stop It


sorry, couldn't help myself. Musta been that fire and brimstone burp from supper. Either way, someone needs to come up with a better recipe book that leaves a good taste instead of that nasty one you try to rule by. Any god who spews hate is no god of mine.

Your handle comes so very close to the Greek god of war, I wonder if that was your intent.


Stop It
Fri, 12/27/2013 - 5:05am
“The gov't stole my home and my job. I’m old, unemployed and living with my mom. Been through catholicism , protestant, baptist , fundamentalist, evangelicalism, and pentecostalism.”

The truth is, life tested your faith, and unlike Job, who refused to curse God, you blame Him for all your shortcomings. Man up and except responsibility for your lot in life.

Now you’re just a bitter old Christaphobe, who spends his days trolling and lashing out after the comments of Christians. Mocking, ridiculing and blaming God and Christians to shore up your low self-esteem after failing at life.


Well there was the Loving family from Virginia, circa 1958.

Ralph J.

A federal judge said Friday that he will order Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages. Let's expand this to also allow all out of state people licensed to carry bring concealed handguns into Ohio and also allow out of state medical marijuana patients to bring marijuana into Ohio. That is just a start. How about legal prostitutes from Nevada come to Ohio to work? That is their occupation. Let the gays get a civil union in Ohio. Add to the Ohio law a "civil union" wording. That way, if the civil union does not work out, they can get a divorce and pay divorce lawyers, pay alimony, sell the house, split up assets, cash in life insurance policies and other costs including child support. In states where gay unions are legal, gay divorce is a legal nightmare.




huronguy, love how you have obviously thought about putting a Big Fat "D" in your mouth. Just joking, but made me laugh. But as a gay man, it is not about marraige, but equal rights. Whether you agree with them , or not. We, as all citizens ,should be recognized. I for one, do not want to be "married" just treated equal in the eyes of the legal system.


There are churches, and there are religions that will "marry" gay couples. I don't know of any churches or religions that marry multiples or include puppy dogs or farm animals but I suppose you could find one that is recognized by the State. So breaking it down by the State giving a civil union and a church to marry won't keep the term marriage from being used or accepted when it pertains to gays, multiples or critters. There will always be some church that is recognized, by the State, or some State, that will "marry" any two, any multiples, or any critter(s), as long as there is at least one human, in the group. So keeping "marriage", or at least that term, only for one man and one woman won't happen.

The State might not recognize the marriage between multiples or that includes a critter or so, but if marriage is redefined as marriage in the church, they might get masrried but not have a civil union, but they would be married.

Hope I made my point that the term marriage being determined by a church ceremony won't keep gays, multiples, or critters being married. You can find a church that allows almost anything.


America is maturing...slowly.

Once upon a time...
* Blacks were not given any rights and were held as property
* Native Americans were treated worse than animals
* Irish were considered as second-class citizens
* Italians were openly called Wops or Dagos
* Jews were ostracized
* Asians were treated as a lower class group
* Hindus and Muslims were shunned
* Blacks couldn't marry whites
* Japs were interned
* Mexicans were considered lazy
* Women couldn't vote

But some "God-fearing" Christians massed together silently behind their majority "walls of law" and pious thoughts of supremacy and looked the other way while Jesus wept again for His outcast children.


Yep women couldn't vote or own property but still comprise a majority of the population and are subjected to hate crime through rape and pornography; sold into slavery as girls and women; and still don't have equal rights in a nation that pays them less though they are better educated as a class than men.


To Kayla Miller,

I do not "know" you but I know your heart and that is enough for me to say the following. "You are brave. You are compassionate. You are passionate. You are sensitive. You are intelligent and I am proud and happy to see what you have written." "I also think you are probably empathetic, creative and...a GOOD person." "I wish I could somehow get to know you better." Few are capable of knowing the personal pains you may have felt and the indiscretions you may have had imposed upon you because of who you are.

Be safe, be healthy and be happy.



Thank you. Everything you wrote is true. I give the shirt off my back without thinking twice. I give money because it's materialistic. I help people because I want to not because I feel the need. I always get rejected or blamed. I usually get a slap in the face or someone telling me how wrong or how much better I can do. What happened to being kind and loving; generosity and people who care? Everyone is so fixated on looking at one problem or belief that they feel to be true that they forget to let go of themselves and just be there for people. I know you didn't have to write this, it was very kind and heartfelt.


Re:"I usually get a slap in the face or someone telling me how wrong or how much better I can do. What happened to being kind and loving; generosity and people who care?"

I am a very religious conservative elderly man and I just want you to know that although I do not know you personally I do love you. My love for God is no greater than the person I love the least the reason of course is that everyone is a creation of God. I do admit that at one time I did have a problem as there were persons that I did not feel that I could love. A priest and a very good personal friend of mine told me that I should try praying for the persons that I had a problem loving and remember to separate the person from what I felt was the wrong doing and it has worked very well. I do wish you well and hope you can really learn to just tune out the persons that are judging you and let us remember what Pope Francis said when the news media wanted him to comment about the subject he said "who am I to judge" and if you feel you are ready to meet your creator and judgement day do not pay any attention to the mere mortals on earth.


Jesus saves.



"You are so welcome." I know I "didn't have to write that" but I just felt a deep need to say what I wrote to and for you. It was...my pleasure. I hope in some way it helped you and others who feel that life can be made even more challenging due to the ignorance, greed and bigotry that permeates Mankind.

The world has too many people who could really care less for others while spouting loudly their venomous, shallow and small-minded thoughts and deeds.
It's unfortunate you, and too many others, have felt the sting of those whom hate. However, you are not alone as even those among them who chastise, criticize and trod on others are themselves subject to the wrath of their own kind.

Please...do not LET them fill your spirit with like-minded hatred. They are not worth your energy, time or consideration. Rather... always keep in your heart and mind that true goodness is greater than all their hate combined.

Move forward as best you can each and every day while you have the opportunity to walk upon our planet. Do what is good and right for others and let the rest go. Rejoice and be proud for who and what you are and forget those who don't understand and have no desire to listen.

Kayla...Shed your glowing light and gentle love where its warmth and healing powers will sprout more of the same. Leave the shadowy darkness and self-righteousness for others to hide and fester within.

Your task isn't to change the unchangeable or persuade the unwilling but is to bask in the sincere love shown by others and that which you so willingly give.

Carry on and have a great day!



Simply beautiful.



Thank you for your last post. And...thank you too for being you!

smiles and best wishes