US & World

Judge to end Ohio ban on recognizing gay marriage

Attorney Al Gerhardstein, left, stands with several same-sex couples at a news conference, Friday, April 4, 2014, in Cincinnati. Civil rights attorneys are arguing in Federal Court on Friday that a federal judge should prohibit Ohio officials from enforcing the state's ban on gay marriage.
Attorney Al Gerhardstein, left, stands with several same-sex couples at a news conference, Friday, April 4, 2014, in Cincinnati. Civil rights attorneys are arguing in Federal Court on Friday that a federal judge should prohibit Ohio officials from enforcing the state's ban on gay marriage.
Al Behrman/AP
Attorney Al Gerhardstein, left, stands with several same-sex couples at a news conference, Friday, April 4, 2014, in Cincinnati. Civil rights attorneys are arguing in Federal Court on Friday that a federal judge should prohibit Ohio officials from enforcing the state's ban on gay marriage.
File photo: Supreme Court building, June 26, 2013 in Washington DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Attorney Al Gerhardstein, left, stands with several same-sex couples at a news conference, Friday, April 4, 2014, in Cincinnati. Civil rights attorneys are arguing in Federal Court on Friday that a federal judge should prohibit Ohio officials from enforcing the state's ban on gay marriage.
File photo: A gay man holds the gay and lesbian flag with the US flag during a demonstration in West Hollywood, California, May 15, 2008, after the decision by the California Supreme Court to effectively greenlight same-sex marriage.
Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images


A federal judge says he will strike down Ohio's voter-approved ban on gay marriage, meaning the state must recognize marriages of gay couples who legally wed elsewhere.

Judge Timothy Black made the statement Friday following final arguments in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the marriage ban.

He says he'll issue the ruling April 14 prohibiting Ohio officials from enforcing the ban, which he says violates constitutional rights to equal protection and due process. Black's ruling will not mean Ohio has to allow couples to marry in the state.

Attorneys for the state had argued that it's Ohio's sole province to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

By announcing his intention ahead of his ruling, Black gives time for the state to prepare an appeal that can be filed as soon as he rules.