U.S. District Judge Timothy Black released a statement today affirming his intention to strike down Ohio's ban against same-sex marriages. His written order will be issued by April 14th.
According to USA Today, over 60% of Ohio voters approved an amendment to the state's constitution in 2004 that upheld the biblical definition of marriage, the union of a man and woman. The amendment also prohibited any legal status for same-sex couples.
Ohio will not have to perform gay marriages when the ban is lifted, but it will have to recognize out-of-state gay marriages as legal. 18 states currently allow same-sex marriages. Lawyers for the state maintain that the voters have already spoken.
"Ohio has made its own decision regarding marriage, deciding to preserve the traditional definition," state attorneys wrote, according to ABC News. The court filings went on to say that striking down the gay marriage ban will "disregard the will of Ohio voters, and undercut the democratic process."
Judge Black's decision comes after his December ruling that gay surviving spouses must be listed on Ohio death certificates. National Organization for Marriage (NOW) President Brian Brown called Judge Black "a judge gone gone wild."
"The voters have already decided in Ohio," Brown said, according to USA Today. "I trust that voters understand the profound consequences if you redefine marriage."
In a statement released today, Brown goes on to condemn Judge Black's decision:
"This is an affront to the rule of law and to the people of Ohio who voted overwhelmingly to define marriage solely as the union of one man and one woman. The judge joins a list of others who have shamefully substituted their own views for the considered judgment of the people of America.
"We call on the US Supreme Court to establish for good that the sovereign states have the ability to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman."