Federal Judge Timothy Black ruled as he said he was going to, striking down a portion of Ohio's gay marriage ban that blocks recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states. (there is a stay on the order except for the four couples involved. Attorney Al Gerhardstein says the earliest the stay would be lifted is Wednesday.)
The ruling follows a lawsuit filed by four same-sex couples, demanding both partners be listed on their child's birth certificates. One baby is due next month and two others are expected in June. A New York couple adopted a child from an Ohio adoption agency and want their names on the birth certificate.
Here is the conclusion of Monday's ruling by Judge Black:
Accordingly, based on the foregoing, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Declaratory Judgment and Permanent Injunction (Doc. 18) is hereby GRANTED. Specifically:
1. The Court finds that those portions of Ohio Const. Art. XV, § 11, Ohio Rev. Code § 3101.01(C), and any other provisions of the Ohio Revised Code that may be relied on to deny legal recognition to the marriages of same-sex couples validly entered in other jurisdictions, violate rights secured by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in that same-sex couples married in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is lawful, who seek to have their out-of-state marriages recognized and accepted as legal in Ohio and the enjoy the rights, protections, and benefits of marriage provided to heterosexual married couples under Ohio law, are denied significant liberty interests and fundamental rights without due process of law and in violation of their right to equal protection.
2. Defendants and their officers and agents are permanently enjoined from (a) enforcing the marriage recognition ban, (b) denying same-sex couples validly married in other jurisdictions all the rights, protections, and benefits of marriage provided under Ohio law, and (c) denying full faith and credit to decrees of adoption duly obtained by same-sex couples in other jurisdictions. The Court will separately issue an Order of Permanent Injunction to this effect.
3. Defendants shall issue birth certificates to Plaintiffs for their children
Cincinnati Councilmember Chris Seelbach says other same-sex couples will try to get their out-of-state marriages recognized if the stay is lifted. He says a lot has changed since voters banned same-sex marriage in 2004. "I think the hearts and minds of Ohioans and the people around the nation have changed quickly and I think most people believe gay and lesbian families deserve to be treated fairly and equally under the law."
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office says the decision is stayed right now, except for the four couples named in the suit. However, he adds he's looking into the language of the stay in Judge Black's ruling to see exactly what it means.