Judge grants Ohio a stay of his order on recognizing same-sex marriage

U.S. District Judge Timothy Black warns against "premature celebration" of his ruling on same-sex marriage while it is under appeal.
By Frances Burns  |  Updated April 16, 2014 at 12:57 PM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 16 (UPI) -- A judge granted Ohio's request Wednesday to stay his order on same-sex marriages contracted in other states except for the eight plaintiffs in the case.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Black, who ruled Monday that Ohio must recognize marriages contracted elsewhere, said the Supreme Court is likely to make the decision in the case. While he predicted his ruling will stand, he said a reversal without a stay “is likely to lead to confusion, potential inequity, and high costs."

Like Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Black cited a news story that said many same-sex couples in the state were preparing to marry elsewhere.

“Premature celebration and confusion do not serve anyone’s best interests,” Black said.

Black ruled in a lawsuit brought by four couples who want to be listed as parents on their children's birth certificates. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said that three of the couples are female partners where one is now pregnant.

“Today at least for these four couples the Constitution stands on the side of love," Al Gerhardstein, the lead lawyer, told The Columbus Dispatch. "The birth certificates of their children will list both parents."

Ohio voters approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2004 that bans both same-sex marriage and civil unions. If Black's ruling stands, it will not have any direct impact on the amendment.

One of Ohio's most prominent Republican officials, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, has said he supports a move to change the Constitution again.

[The Columbus Dispatch]

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