John M. Becker

Ohio Judge Issues Stay Limiting Marriage Ruling

Filed By John M. Becker | April 16, 2014 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, Ohio, same-sex marriage, Timothy Black

judge-timothy-black.jpegU.S. Judge Timothy Black, who promised and then delivered a ruling striking down Ohio's ban on the recognition of legal same-gender marriages, has this afternoon issued a stay on his own ruling, limiting it to just the four couples who sued.

Black said he issued the stay to avoid "premature celebration and confusion" if it's later overturned.

The AP reports:

Judge Timothy Black stayed his ruling ordering Ohio to recognize the marriages of gay couples who wed in other states pending appeal in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The appeals process likely will take months.

Had Black not issued the stay, all married gay couples living in Ohio would have been able to immediately begin obtaining the same benefits as any other married couple in the state, including property rights and the right to make some medical decisions for each other.

Black said the stay does not apply to the four couples who filed the February lawsuit that led to the court case and ordered Ohio to immediately list both spouses in each relationship as parents on their children's birth certificates.

In explaining the stay, Black said that although he doesn't think the state's appeal will succeed, there is still a chance the 6th Circuit could overturn his decision.

"The court recognizes that recognition of same-sex marriages is a hotly contested issue in the contemporary legal landscape, and, if (the) appeal is ultimately successful, the absence of a stay ... is likely to lead to confusion, potential inequity and high costs," Black said.

So Ohio must recognize the marriages of the four plaintiff couples, but all other same-gender couples in the state will have to wait until the appeals process works itself out.

A copy of Judge Black's order is after the jump, via Equality Case Files.

1:14-cv-00129 #32 by Equality Case Files

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