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Ohio LGBT groups rally to support federal judge's gay marriage ruling

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Marriage equality supporters held a rally in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday to support Judge Timothy Black's decision to strike down a portion of Ohio's gay marriage ban. Black, a federal judge based in Cincinnati, will require Ohio to recognize same-sex couples who wed in states where gay marriage is legal.

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Several clergy members attended the rally. "We're supporting Judge Black's ruling that Ohio has to recognize legal marriages from other states, even if Ohio does not permit those marriages to be solemnized here," said Paula Jackson, Rector at the Church of Our Savior (Episcopal) in Cincinnati.

"Of course, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine promises to appeal the ruling, at taxpayer expense, even though he is at liberty not to appeal," Jackson said. Judge Black has said he will issue the ruling on Monday. Ohio Governor John Kasich supports DeWine's decision to appeal.

"DeWine is choosing to deny our 14th Amendment right to equal protection under law," said Joshua Alan Snyder-Hill, who married his partner Stephen in Washington, D.C. They will celebrate their third anniversary on May 3. Stephen Snyder-Hill was serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq when he was booed for posing a question to Rick Santorum during a Republican debate in 2011.

The Snyder-Hills are able to benefit from filing their federal income taxes as a married couple, but not their Ohio taxes. "There are couples all over this state who are married, who have kids that deserve to be protected," Joshua said. "If one of them gets sick, what happens? If one of the parents is traveling, and the other is not legally their guardian, he can be denied access to his own children."

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has not appealed a similar ruling by a federal judge, noted Ian James, Executive Director of FreedomOhio. "There is precedent for not appealing these cases," he said.

A counterdemonstrator stopped in front of the rally, driving a pickup truck and trailer with messages calling for the demonstrators to repent. He drove away after the crowd began singing the refrain of "Jesus Loves Me."

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