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Ohio Attorney General Appeals Same-Sex Marriage Recognition Ruling

A federal judge ordered Ohio and local officials to recognize the same-sex marriages conducted outside Ohio on death certificates. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is appealing the decision to the 6th Circuit.

Posted on January 16, 2014, at 12:54 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is appealing a December order that the state recognize same-sex couples' marriages conducted out of the state.

The case itself is a narrow one, limited to the request that the state list the couples married out of state as married on death certificates. Under Ohio's 2004 marriage amendment, the state can neither grant marriages to same-sex couples nor recognize those marriages if performed elsewhere.

In December, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black ruled that, "[U]nder the Constitution of the United States, Ohio must recognize on Ohio death certificates valid same-sex marriages from other states."

DeWine's office, which had previously said it would appeal the decision, filed a notice with Black's court on Thursday that it would be appealing the case. The appeal will be heard by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Black's ruling was limited to the narrow request made in the case, but his reasoning likely would be used by other couples seeking recognition of their marriages by the state. More broadly, Black suggested he would likely reach a similar ruling if asked whether Ohio's constitutional amendment banning the state from granting such licenses is constitutional.

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