A federal judge's decision ordering Ohio authorities to recognize gay marriages on death certificates is expected to spark further litigation aimed at striking down the state's ban on gay marriage.
In a ruling Monday, Judge Timothy Black says Ohio's ban is unconstitutional and that states cannot discriminate against same-sex couples simply because some voters don't like homosexuality.
Although the ruling applies only to death certificates, his statements about the ban were sweeping and are expected to incite further litigation challenging the law. Ohio's attorney general said the state will appeal.
Black rejected arguments by state's attorneys who said Ohio should be able to decide whether it will recognize gay marriage.
Black says constitutional rights trump that argument and that the ban effectively disparages and demeans the dignity of same-sex couples.
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