US: Gay rights group seeks to intervene in challenge to Ohio same-sex marriage ban

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A leading gay rights group seeks to intervene in a case challenging Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban to push for a ruling to allow gay couples to marry in the state.

Four gay couples and gay rights group Equality Ohio filed documents in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday asking to be able to intervene in the case.

Judge Timothy Black’s official ruling came earlier this month, meaning the state must recognise out-of-state same-sex marriages. He announced the intention make the week before making the ruling, and halted the enforcement of the ruling shortly afterwards.

The leader of Equality Ohio Elyzabeth Holford has now said she wishes for the court to allow the group to join the case, in order to push for a ruling to allow same-sex couples to marry in the state.

Equality Ohio is also represented by attorney Roberta Kaplan, who argued at the US Supreme Court last year to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Kaplan admitted in her filing that intervention at this stage of a lawsuit is rare, but argued that it was appropriate, given other same-sex marriage lawsuit across the US.

“The Ohio Constitution impermissibly discriminates against gay and lesbian couples not only by denying their right to marry, but – even more outrageously – by denying them legal recognition in any form whatsoever, thus going far beyond simply prohibiting marriages between gay people,” Kaplan wrote.

A separate ballot measure to overturn the US state of Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban was earlier this week given the green light.