Federal judge will issue ruling that Ohio must respect same-sex couples’ marriages

Today, during the closing arguments of a hearing in Henry v. Wymyslo, U.S. District Court judge Timothy Black announced that he would issue a ruling within ten days, and that he anticipates striking down part of Ohio's anti-marriage law. The decision is expected to declare that the state of Ohio must respect the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states. 

A court summary today declared: "A written decision will issue on or before 4/14/14. The Court anticipates striking down as unconstitutional under all circumstances Ohio's bans on recognizing legal same-sex marriages from other states."

Originally, the lawsuit sought respect for same-sex couples' marriages for the purpose of listing both spouses on children's birth certificates. Today, the complaint was expanded to seek overall respect for marriages performed in other states. 

Earlier this year, Judge Black ruled that the state of Ohio must respect the legal marriages of same-sex couples for the purpose of listing a spouse on a death certificate. That ruling, in Obergefell v. Wymyslo, is currently being appealed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson celebrated the news today. He said:

This decision will make a real difference to legally married gay Ohio couples, affirming that their home state may not deny them and their families legal protections and the basic dignity of treating them as what they are: married. Couples should not have to wonder whether they are still married or not depending on what state line they've crossed. This common-sense and constitutional ruling adds to the momentum across the country in favor of the freedom to marry.

Over the past four months, we've seen nine huge federal court victories in states across the country, and in total, there are more than 60 lawsuits seeking the freedom to marry or respect for same-sex couples' marriages working their way through the system in 29 states or territories. Keep track of what's going on in state, federal, and trial courts with Freedom to Marry's Litigation Resource

Special thanks to Kathleen Perrin at Equality Case Files for the filing.