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Federal Judge Rules Ohio Must Recognize Out-Of-State Gay Marriage

A federal judge has ordered Ohio authorities to recognize the marriages of gay couples performed in other states.  Judge Timothy Black's ruling on Monday criticized the state's "ongoing arbitrary discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."

He says the state's marriage recognition bans are unconstitutional and unenforceable.

Rick Cauthen and his partner of nine years, were married in New York in 2012. He says when they had their taxes done this year, it was a reminder that Ohio considers their marriage invalid.

“When it comes to the state of Ohio, [we] had to do them separately, and they even had to develop a special form for same gender couples who are being respected by our federal government, but Ohio still won’t acknowledge,” says Cauthen.

Black's order doesn't force Ohio to allow gay marriages to be performed in the state.

The state plans to appeal the ruling, arguing that Ohio has a sovereign right to ban gay marriage, which voters did overwhelmingly in 2004.

But Paul Croushore, a lawyer, specializing in discrimination litigation in Ohio, expects Black’s decision to stand.  He says there’s legal precedent.

“It’s like when Nevada reduced their waiting period for getting a divorce to six weeks in the 1930’s, people immediately began to flock to Nevada to get divorces...”

Croushore says those Nevada divorces had to be recognized in all states.

So far, 17 states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.
Stories from the Associated Press.