The marriage equality train keeps creeping closer to the station in Ohio, as Judge Timothy Black has ruled that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state:
As promised, federal judge Timothy Black has issued a ruling Monday ordering the state of Ohio to recognize same-sex couples’ marriages performed in other states for all purposes. It builds off Black’s previous decision ordering such recognition for the sole purpose of death certificates.
The order does not specifically address whether Ohio must issues same-sex marriages because that was beyond the scope of the complaints filed, but Black unequivocally concluded that “Ohio’s marriage recognition bans are facially unconstitutional and unenforceable under any circumstances.”
What’s particularly delicious about this ruling is the way that Black specifically calls out the anti-gay arguments proffered in these cases for how amazingly wrong and stupid they are:
“Given that all practicing attorneys, as well as the vast majority of all citizens in this country, are fully aware that unconstitutional laws cannot stand, even when passed by popular vote, Defendants’ repeated appeal to the purportedly sacred nature of the will of Ohio voters is particularly specious.”
“Here, Defendants’ discriminatory conduct most directly affects the children of same-sex couples, subjecting these children to harms spared the children of opposite-sex married parents. Ohio refuses to give legal recognition to both parents of these children, based on the State’s disapproval of their same-sex relationships.”
“The overwhelming scientific consensus, based on decades of peer-reviewed scientific research, shows unequivocally that children raised by same-sex couples are just as well adjusted as those raised by heterosexual couples.”
The line I bolded is incredible, and incredibly true. No matter how much wailing the religious right does about “activist judges” (translation: the entire judiciary, basically), the fact that people have voted for these bans is irrelevant, because unconstitutional laws are unconstitutional. The only problem, as Snipy at Wonkette points out, is that far too few wingnuts actually understand that:
Actually, we’re pretty sure that plenty of conservatives who are all het up about gay marriage are unclear on this concept and think that if you win the vote, you win America. We’re talking about people who deeply misunderstand the First Amendment and think it can be invoked any time someone makes fun of them, believe the Second Amendment is sacrosanct above all else, and are actually unable to name any of the remaining amendments. Towering geniuses these people are not.
The line about the scientific consensus is a particularly nice slap in Mark Regnerus’s face as well.
Even though Ohio is not all the way to marriage equality, this is a nice new ruling for the 6th Circuit, which is faced with marriage equality lawsuits from every state in their jurisdiction, and every lower court so far has ruled in our favor.