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Government and Politics

Federal Judge to rule part of Ohio's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional
Federal judge in Cincinnati believes Ohio would have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states

Jo Ingles
Federal Judge Tim Black is promising to rule against a key part of Ohio's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.
Courtesy of United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
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It appears Ohio’s constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage is in jeopardy. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports a federal judge is promising to strike down a main part of that law.


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Cincinnati area Attorney Al Gerhardstein, the attorney who has been fighting the state’s ban on recognizing gay marriages performed in other states for purposes of death and birth certificates, says Federal Judge Tim Black is poised to rule a key part of Ohio’s law unconstitutional.

“What this means is Judge Black is saying that he will declare the marriage recognition ban in Ohio unconstitutional so that if you are in a same sex marriage from another state and you come to Ohio, Ohio will have to recognize your marriage," Gerhardstein says. "That has implications for death certificates, birth certificates, taxes, bequests, child custody privileges in court. There will be many, many ramifications from this ruling.”

A spokesman for Ohio’s Attorney General says he cannot comment on the ruling until it has been released. But Dan Tierney says even if the judge does what Gerhardstein says, it will not make gay marriage legal in Ohio.

“The order would be limited to the recognition of marriages performed outside the state of Ohio according to other state’s law," Tierney says. "It does not address the overall issue of the law as performed in the state of Ohio.”

Tierney says Ohio will fight the ruling when it comes down. Gerhardstein says in other cases where the states have challenged similar rulings, the federal edicts have ultimately prevailed.

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