Ohio Judge Rules That The State Must Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Performed Elsewhere
On Friday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Timothy Black announced that he would issue a ruling to get Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. According to a spokesperson, Black said that he would issue the decision by April 14. This announcement was made right after attorneys delivered their closing arguments.
Initial reports from Associated Press's Twitter accounts stated that Black was issuing a ruling to strike down Ohio's constitutional amendment of same-sex marriage, which was approved in 2004. However, as The Columbus Dispatch reported soon after, that didn't turn out to be the case. The ruling Black will issue in 10 days will not directly affect that marriage equality ban.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit were four same-sex couples who sued the Ohio and Cincinnati health departments to put both their names on their children's birth certificates. The attorneys eventually convinced the plaintiffs to expand their lawsuit into one more broadly about the treatment of same-sex couples in Ohio.
But the case only dealt with out-of-state same-sex marriages — not with Ohio's own laws about conducting marriages in-state, as Attorney General Mike DeWine stated. DeWine also announced that he'd appeal Black's ruling as soon as possible.
Here are some responses Twitter users have had to the news — many of them in response to the incorrect initial reports.
And when clearing up AP's mistake:
BuzzFeed's legal editor, Chris Geidner, also brazenly called out AP for its mistake:
But it may not have been just AP's mistake. One Tweet from a Dispatch reporter showed that several groups both for and against same-sex marriage did not understand Black's ruling.
However this ruling turn out, it is part of the pro-marriage equality mentality erupting across the nation. One week ago, the federal government announced it would recognize same-sex marriages in Michigan, and just yesterday on Thursday, Mozilla Firefox CEO Brendan Eich stepped down after receiving widespread criticism for donating to Prop 8.