A federal judge in Ohio stayed his ruling that the state must recognize out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples, though he carved out an exception for the four couples that originally filed suit against the state.
District Court Judge Timothy Black said he issued the stay for the benefit of the public because the state is planning to appeal his original decision, the Columbus Dispatch reports. “The federal appeals court needs to rule, as does the United States Supreme Court,” Black said, citing the potential for confusion and high legal costs if same-sex couples were to act on his ruling.
The state asked Black to stay his decision to avoid “premature” reactions from same-sex couples, such as traveling to other states to get married. The four couples’ attorneys argued the decision caused unnecessary harm because three of the couples are expecting children and want to name both parents on birth certificates. In Wednesday's decision, Black said the state must recognize the marriages of the four couples that filed suit against the state. Three of the couples are Ohio residents and one couple lives in New York.
Judges have acted similarly in several cases where state bans on same-sex marriage and recognition of same-sex marriage have been challenged.