Ohio judge to strike down state's same-sex marriage ban

[JURIST] On Friday a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio [official website], Timothy Black, vowed to overturn the state's ban on the recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages. Black, who has issued other limited opinions [JURIST report] recognizing same-sex marriages in narrow contexts, stated that Ohio's refusal to recognize marriages entered into in other states is unconstitutional. In a statement made prior to the issuing of the actual opinion, Black was careful not to discuss the issue of Ohio same-sex couples marrying in the state. The opinion is expected to be issued [Reuters report] by April 14. This announcement will give Ohio officials a chance to prepare an appeal, which Attorney General Mike DeWine [official website] says will come once the opinion is issued. Supporters of same-sex marriage argue that Ohio's marriage amendment [text] prevents same-sex couples from receiving equal benefits under the law. Opponents, on the other hand, claim that Black should overturn the law which Ohio voters passed with significant popular support.

Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] is one of the most hotly debated topics in the US legal community today. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed two lawsuits in March challenging same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Florida [JURIST reports]. Earlier in March a judge for the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee [official website] granted a preliminary injunction [JURIST report] ordering the state of Tennessee to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state until the lawsuit challenging the ban can be heard. A week prior, four couples filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in Wyoming state court challenging that state's ban on same-sex marriage. Last year the US Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act [text; JURIST news archive] in US v. Windsor [SCOTUSblog backgrounder; JURIST report].

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.