“Ohio doesn’t want Delaware or Maryland to define who is married under Ohio law,” she said. “To allow that to happen would allow one state to set the marriage policy for all others.”
Black said constitutional rights trump Ohio’s gay marriage ban, questioning whether it was passed for a legitimate state interest “other than simply maintaining a ‘traditional’ definition of marriage.”
He quoted then-Gov. Robert Taft, who said in 2004 that the law was intended “to reaffirm existing Ohio law with respect to our most basic, rooted, and time-honored institution: marriage between a man and a woman.”
Black wrote that “the fact that a form of discrimination has been ‘traditional’ is a reason to be more skeptical of its rationality.”
“No hypothetical justification can overcome the clear primary purpose and practical effect of the marriage bans … to disparage and demean the dignity of same-sex couples in the eyes of the state and the wider community,” Black wrote.
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex weddings, up from six before the Supreme Court’s decision in June.
Also Monday, a federal judge in Utah allowed gay weddings to continue there, rejecting a request to put them on hold as the state appeals a decision that sent couples flocking to county clerks for marriage licenses.
Judge Robert Shelby overturned Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage on Friday, ruling the voter-approved measure is a violation of gay couples’ constitutional rights.
New Mexico’s highest court also legalized gay marriage Thursday.