CINCINNATI, Ohio (WTVN) -- A federal judge has ordered Ohio to recognize the marriages of gay couples performed in other states.
Judge Timothy Black’s ruling on Monday criticized the state’s “ongoing arbitrary discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”
He says the state’s marriage recognition bans are unconstitutional and unenforceable.
"We think it's a historic ruling and we're very grateful that the judge ruled that Ohio must recognize all married couples equally," said Mike Premo with Why Marriage Matters Ohio.
Black’s order doesn’t force Ohio to allow gay marriages to be performed in the state.
The state plans to appeal Black’s ruling, arguing that Ohio has a sovereign right to ban gay marriage, which voters did overwhelmingly in 2004.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has no choice but to appeal, according to his spokesman Dan Tierney.
"This was passed by voters in 2004 and is part of the Ohio Constitution and he has a duty to defend the Ohio Constitution," Tierney said.
Premo hopes DeWine avoids an appeal.
"We think that any attempt to delay the inevitable is a waste of our tax dollars and an injustice to the families being denied the legal recognition they deserve," said Premo.
The decision does not make any changes for now. Black delayed deciding whether to stay his ruling pending appeal until attorneys on both sides present their arguments on the issue by the end of Tuesday.
Click here to read the full ruling.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story)