Judge: Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages

“The record before this court ... is staggeringly devoid of any legitimate justification for the state’s ongoing arbitrary discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation”
Associated Press
Apr 15, 2014
A federal judge on Monday ordered Ohio to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states, and civil rights attorneys and gay marriage supporters immediately began looking ahead to their next fight: a lawsuit seeking to force Ohio to allow gay couples to marry.

Judge Timothy Black’s ruling was a partial but significant victory for gay rights supporters, who called it a stepping stone for full marriage equality in Ohio.

Black ruled that Ohio’s refusal to recognize gay marriage is a violation of constitutional rights and “unenforceable in all circumstances”

“The record before this court ... is staggeringly devoid of any legitimate justification for the state’s ongoing arbitrary discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation” Black wrote.

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.

Al Gerhardstein, the Cincinnati civil rights attorney who filed the lawsuit that led to Black’s ruling, said Monday that he’s been speaking with several gay couples who want to win the right to marry in Ohio. He plans to file a lawsuit in the matter in the next couple of weeks.

He called Black’s ruling “a sweeping declaration” in favor of gay marriage and thinks the judge has given a clear indication that he would rule in favor of forcing Ohio to allow gay couples to marry in the state.

Black delayed deciding whether to issue a stay of Monday’s ruling pending appeal until after attorneys on both sides present arguments on the issue by Tuesday.

However, Black said he’s inclined to put the ruling on hold pending appeal, except for a portion that applies to the four gay couples who filed the February lawsuit that led to the court case. That would mean the state would immediately have to recognize their marriages and list both spouses as parents on their children’s birth certificates.

If Black declines to stay his ruling, that would allow gay couples in Ohio to obtain the same benefits as any other married couple in the state, including property rights and the right to make some medical decisions for their partner.

Ed FitzGerald, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor in the November election, said Black’s ruling “begins to open the door to full marriage equality in Ohio” and criticized Republican Gov. John Kasich for opposing equal rights.

Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said in a statement: “The governor believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, he supports Ohio’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and we’re glad the attorney general is appealing the ruling”

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told The Associated Press last week his job is to defend Ohio’s statutes and constitutional provisions and that he will continue to do so.

He declined to speculate what the outcome of the state’s appeal will be or the future of gay marriage rights as a whole.

“Every state is having a lively debate over this and I think that’s a proper thing to do,” he said. “I think it’s pretty obvious that all these issues are going to be resolved by the 6th Circuit and some cases are going to get to the Supreme Court. They’re going to have a decision in the United States Supreme Court, and we’re all going to have to accept that”

Ian James, co-founder of the pro-gay marriage group FreedomOhio, called Black’s ruling a landmark decision that brings Ohio closer to marriage equality.

Separately from the court action, FreedomOhio is seeking to put gay marriage back on the Ohio ballot as early as November, asking voters to require that all legally valid marriages be treated equally under the law, while keeping clergy from being forced to perform same-sex marriages.

Comments

hollienewton

Yeah!!!

thinkagain

When Jesus quoted Genesis 1:27, He affirmed marriage is a union of a man and a woman and that God is the One who joins men and women together in marriage.

It is God’s institution, not man’s – so it is fair to say that God's rules apply in marriage - NOT some liberal judge’s warped interpretation.

They’ve decided sin is not to be sin any longer. God just needs to "evolve" to fit their definition of Him.

Sodomy will always remain a sin and a perversion.

Jesus warned us these times would come!

The Big Dog's back

Somehow I missed in the Constitution where Jesus was appointed leader of our country.

pntbutterandjelly

And Jesus ALSO took the outcast, diseased and poor unto Him.
LET HE WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRT STONE. ALL sins are equal in God's eyes.

pntbutterandjelly

Hey Big Dog....Good one! (First they want "Rule of law" then when there IS a ruling they don't like...they want to institute Biblical law.) Never mind they look the other way with wage decreases, taxes on unemployment compensation and all the while they applaud tax DECREASES for the millionaires and billionaires.) The Rothchilds of the world are alive and very well off. And everyday people are suffering everyday.

Spartacus

Religion is the oldest and biggest scam on earth.
Religious groups should not be tax exempt because it is a huge money
making enterprise.

Stop It

+1

SamAdams

Discriminate however you like on your own time. Have religious objections to one thing or another? Okay. Don't like people who look different from you? Don't care. None of what you think or how you choose to live or teach your children has anything to do with how anybody else thinks, lives, or teaches.

That argument, however, doesn't apply to the government. The state of Ohio and its laws have an effect on every person who lives here, not just those who are white or male or Catholic or rich. While those persons who make UP the state government may or may not think a certain way, the government itself MUST remain neutral. The federal government is constrained to do so by the Constitution; states cannot have Constitutions which contradict the federal documents, so they're similarly liable to treat all persons fairly.

I don't care who you marry, or IF you marry. But if the government bestows certain benefits on those of a certain status (married vs. single), then it's clearly discriminatory, and thus unconstitutional, if it fails to offer the same bonuses to others.

I DO oppose forcing any religious institution to perform or even to recognize gay marriages. But churches aren't governments! Just think: This debate wouldn't even exist if the government hadn't decided years ago to poke its nose where it didn't belong!

Truth2u

.

Nor'easter

Separate Church and State! Marriage is a defined Sacrament. A civil union is a contract between 2 individuals. Law should control the contract, not the sacrament. What gives the state the right to re-write history, definitions, values and religions?

SamAdams

Sorry, Nor'easter, it'll never happen. Why not? Because you're talking about the government, and what you say actually makes complete and good sense!

Informed

Marriage is a sacrament in some churches, not in government. The law does control the contract. Marriage is a legal term as far as the government is concerned.
People are ignorant when they can't see that when the government refers to marriage, they are referring to the legal definition, not a religious one.

hilltop

Lyrics to Whatever Happened To Sin by Steve Taylor

A Christian counselor wrote, quote,
"It's the only human choice ahead
If you can't support it
Why don't you abort it instead?"
You say you pray to the sky
Why? when you're afraid to take a stand down here
'Cause while the holy talk reads like a bad ad-lib
Silence screams you were robbing the crib

Say it ain't none of my business, huh?
A woman's got a right to choose
Now a grave-digger
Next you pull the trigger
What then?
Whatever happened to sin?

I heard the Reverend say
"Gay is probably normal in the Good Lord's sight
What's to be debated?
Jesus never stated what's right"
I'm no theology nut, but
The Reverend may be a little confused
For if the Lord don't care
And he chooses to ignore-ah
Tell it to the people
Of Sodom and Gomorrah (woah)

Call it just an alternate lifestyle, huh?
Morality lies within
Consciences are restin'
Please repeat the question again
Whatever happened to sin?

When the closets are empty
And the clinics are full
When your eyes have been blinded
By society's wool
When the streets erupt
In your own backyard
You'll be on your knees
Praying for the national guard
If you don't care now
How the problems get solved
You can shake your head later
That you never got involved
'Cause the call came ringing
From the throne of gold
But you never got the message (got the message)
'Cause your mind's on hold

A politician next door
Swore he'd set the Washington Arena on fire
Thinks he'll gladiate them
But they're gonna make him a liar
Well he's a good ole boy
Who was born and raised
In the buckle o' the Bible Belt
But remember when you step
Into your voting booth
He'll never lie
He'll just embellish the truth

Promises were made to be broken, right?
You've gotta play the game to win
When you need supporting
Tell 'em that you're born again
Whatever happened to sin?

Truth2u

Your arguments aren't with me but with the God who said not to allow sodomy to be practiced. Many chose this day who you stand for, its recorded for all eternity, you told Jesus Christ that His commands isn't as important as the rights of those He declared to be immoral.

"Chose this day whom you will serve..." Joshua 24.
Several have shown with eloquence whom you chose to be their leader.

Oh, and I think the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution would know what is and is not constitutional, and ALL of them took a stand against this immoral act and declared that the death sentence should be applied for those who practiced it. The seventh written law of this new country was against sodomy, and yet people talk like they know more about what is constitutional than those who wrote it! http://www.freerepublic.com/focu...

SamAdams

Your link is invalid...

I'd be interested in knowing, though, which of the Founding Fathers wrote that homosexuality was deserving of the death penalty. I've read quite a bit from them, and I don't recall such an instance -- and I think I would! So let's see your evidence. The worst case scenario is that I'll learn something. Best case? YOU will.