CINCINNATI -- 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.
Black's order doesn't force Ohio to allow gay marriages to be performed in the state.
The state plans to appeal Black's ruling, arguing that Ohio has a sovereign right to ban gay marriage, which voters did overwhelmingly in 2004.
Black delayed deciding whether to stay his ruling pending appeal until attorneys on both sides present their arguments on the issue by the end of Tuesday.
Reaction statements to ruling:
Statement from State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood):
"Ohio has always recognized out-of-state marriage certificates, and quite frankly it's about time that someone condemned the discrimination same-sex married couples experience," said Rep. Antonio. "We have a long journey down the road to marriage equality in Ohio, but this ruling reassures me that we're on the right track towards the granting of full citizenship and marriage equality for same sex couples in Ohio. This ruling gives me hope that sometime in the near future I too could marry Jean Kosmac -- my partner of 20 years -- a decision the State of Ohio denies to me today."
Statement from Sen. Nina Turner (D-Cleveland):
"Judge Black's ruling today is another step in the march toward equality in Ohio. In upholding the ideals of the U.S. Constitution, the judge has affirmed that every Ohioan deserves to be treated equally and fairly by our laws. It is my hope that other leaders in our state will respect this progress and work toward a more inclusive Ohio. "I look forward to a time when elected officials in our state do not expend time and taxpayer dollars excluding certain Ohioans from a critical social institution such as marriage."
Statement on ruling from Why Marriage Matters Ohio:
"This is a historic day for all Ohioans. Judge Black ordered the State of Ohio to treat every legally married couple the same. This ruling is about love, stability and family; and it is a victory for the families that have been denied equality under the law. We thank Judge Black for his ruling, which is a great step in the right direction toward full marriage equality.
We are excited about today's ruling, but we know that our work must continue. We will keep talking to Ohioans about why marriage matters and highlighting the amazing stories of loving and committed couples that are being denied the dignity of marriage. We will continue to encourage everyone to talk to their friends, family and neighbors about marriage equality because we know that it strengthens families and communities.
Whether through the courts or the voting booth, we will achieve full marriage equality here in Ohio. Until that day comes, we will continue to work to ensure that all Ohio families are treated equally."
Statement on ruling from FreedomOhio:
"This is a landmark decision for Ohio's LGBT families because it proves that the Constitution exists to protect the rights of all Americans, regardless of who they love. This ruling will allow same-gender couples legally married out-of-state to have their marriages recognized here in Ohio, a significant change we are all incredibly excited about."
"While celebrating the positive change today's ruling will bring, FreedomOhio will continue to work toward true marriage equality. Ohioans are proud of our state and our communities, and we believe that each and every Ohioan should have the freedom to marry and raise their family here in our state. This ruling brings us closer, but there is still more work to be done."