CINCINNATI, Ohio -- A federal judge appointed by Barack Obama has ordered the state of Ohio to recognize out-of-state same-sex ‘marriages,’ despite a 2004 voter-approved amendment enshrining marriage as being defined solely as the union of a man and woman.
While the order does not mandate that the state allow homosexuals to marry in Ohio, it does require officials to recognize certificates from other states where same-sex “marriage” is legal.
“Ohio’s marriage recognition bans are facially unconstitutional and unenforceable under any circumstances,” wrote U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black in a 45-page ruling on Monday. “The record before this court … is staggeringly devoid of any legitimate justification for the state’s ongoing arbitrary discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”
“When a state effectively terminates the marriage of a same-sex couple married in another jurisdiction by refusing to recognize the marriage, that state unlawfully intrudes into the realm of private marital, family, and intimate relations specifically protected by the Supreme Court,” he said.
Attorney General Mike DeWine told reporters that he plans to appeal the ruling, as the majority of voters had approved an amendment in 2004 signifying their desire to preserve the definition of marriage in the state. He also contends that states should have a right to sovereignty.
“We defend a lot of laws and a lot of challenges,” DeWine said, according to USA Today. “This is a hotly debated issue, and we believe it’s better to allow every state to make its decision.”
Gov. John Kasich expressed his support for the appeal and underscored his belief in biblical marriage.
“The governor believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, he supports Ohio’s constitutional ban on same sex marriage,” spokesperson Rob Nichols told reporters. “We’re glad the attorney general is appealing the ruling.”
As previously reported, Black similarly issued a ruling in December that required state officials to recognize same-sex “marriages” on death certificates. He rejected the state’s sovereignty argument at that time as well.
“[T]he question is presented whether a state can do what the federal government cannot – i.e., discriminate against same-sex couples … simply because the majority of the voters don’t like homosexuality (or at least didn’t in 2004),” he wrote. “Under the Constitution of the United States, the answer is no.”
Consequently, Rep. John Becker (R-Union Township), a born-again Christian, is seeking to have Black impeached as he believes that the judge is rather trampling the state and federal constitutions.
“[Judge Black] persists in allowing his personal political bias to supersede jurisprudence,” he wrote in a recent statement.
Becker has submitted an impeachment resolution to the state assembly, but it has not yet come up for a hearing.