US: Judge halts enforcement of ruling that Ohio must recognise same-sex marriages

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After two days of deliberation, a federal judge has delayed the enforcement of a ruling which requires the state of Ohio to recognise out-of-state same-sex marriages.

Judge Timothy Black’s official ruling came on Monday, meaning the state must recognise out-of-state same-sex marriages. He announced the intention make the ruling last week.

He released a four-page opinion today in which he agreed a request from the state of Ohio to put a stay on the ruling meaning it does not immediately effect same-sex couples in the state.

Judge Black noted that the US Supreme Court and 6th Circuit Court of Appeals have both issued stays on similar rulings, quoting a federal judge who struck down Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban but then issued a stay.

“It is best that these momentous changes occur upon full review, rather than risk premature implementation or confusing changes,” Judge John Heyburn wrote in his Kentucky ruling. “That does not serve anyone well.”

Judge Black wrote: “Premature celebration and confusion do not serve anyone’s best interests.”

The state filed a five-page opinion in support of the stay.

Attorneys representing four same-sex couples who sued the state of Ohio for recognition of their out-of-state marriages yesterday argued against issuing a stay on the ruling.

Black already in December issued a limited ruling which ordered the state to recognise same-sex marriages for death certificate purposes.

An Ohio US Representative last week called for the impeachment of Black for his intention to strike down the ban.