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The lawsuit originally only asked Black to force Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages on birth certificates. Attorneys later expanded it for a broader and more significant ruling, a move that irked the state’s attorneys.
"It could require a sea change in the way numerous government agencies and departments (not parties to this litigation) fulfill their duties," they wrote in court documents, referring to a ripple effect that could encompass Ohio statutes on insurance, mortgages, child guardianship and property.
The lawsuit built on the success of another one also filed by Gerhardstein that sought to force Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages on death certificates.
In December, Black granted that request, saying that Ohio’s ban on gay marriage demeans "the dignity of same-sex couples in the eyes of the state and the wider community."
The state appealed that ruling, and the case is pending in the 6th Circuit appeals court.
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