Federal judge expected to force Ohio to accept gay marriages from other states

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A federal judge is poised to issue a ruling that is expected to recognize same-sex marriages in Ohio that were performed elsewhere and make the state grant the accompanying benefits.

Ohio currently bans gay marriage within state borders, and voters shot down the idea of allowing such ceremonies years ago.

Judge Timothy Black is expected to issue the ruling Monday, citing the Constitution and civil rights laws, The Associated Press reported.

Once issued, any gay married couples living in Ohio will be granted access to the same benefits as heterosexual couples, including property rights and medical rights, AP said.

The state is likely to appeal, legal experts said.

“My job as attorney general is to defend statutes and defend Ohio’s constitutional provisions,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who added a few days ago that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman and that voters in the state said similarly when they passed a ban on gay marriage in 2004. “This was voted on by voters so my job is to do that.”

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