Ohio’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages from other states will stay in effect until its constitutionality is resolved on appeal, a federal judge ruled, saying he’s seeking to avoid creating confusion.
Today’s order by U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black in Cincinnati, who declared the law unconstitutional on April 14, aligns his case with a similar one in Louisville, Kentucky, where federal Judge John G. Heyburn invalidated that state’s parallel law. He, too, stayed his decision pending appeal.
“Premature celebration and confusion do not serve anyone’s best interests,” Black said in a written ruling. “The federal appeals courts need to rule, as does the United States Supreme Court.”
Ohio probably won’t prevail, he said.
Both the Ohio and Kentucky cases would be reviewed initially by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati and then by the Supreme Court if it’s asked and agrees to take up the issue.
Same-sex marriage has been legalized in 21 states and the District of Columbia. Rulings that struck down laws in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Michigan have also been put on hold pending appeal.
A U.S. appeals court panel in Denver last week heard argument on the Utah case and will take up the Oklahoma case tomorrow.
Black’s four-page order today carved out an exception for the gay couples who filed the suit, directing Ohio to issue their sought-for birth certificates listing both lawfully married same-sex spouses as parents of their children.
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