Trditional Marriage News

Thursday, April 24, 2014
April 24, 2014|7:33 am

W. Bradford Wilcox, AEI visiting scholar and associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, where he directs the National Marriage Project.

WASHINGTON—College students with fathers who were involved in their lives were 98 percent more likely to graduate than students with uninvolved fathers. This was one of the findings presented Wednesday by W. Bradford Wilcox at an American Enterprise Institute presentation, "Graduation day: How dads' involvement impacts higher education success."

Wilcox is an AEI visiting scholar and associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, where he directs the National Marriage Project. His data came from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which first interviewed a nationally representative sample of adolescents in 1994-'95, and has interviewed the same group three additional times, most recently in 2008.

The study had several questions that Wilcox used to measure paternal involvement. Respondents were asked how involved their fathers were in their sports activities, helping with homework and talking about personal problems, for instance.

Eighteen percent of the sample reported no involvement from their fathers. The remaining 82 percent were divided into three equal size groups: less involved, involved and highly involved. Those with involved fathers were 98 percent more likely than the uninvolved fathers group to graduate college, and those with highly involved fathers were 105 percent more likely to graduate college than the group with uninvolved fathers. Biological, adoptive and step fathers were all included in the same category for those results.

Marriage made a difference, though. Students whose biological father was married, and stayed married, to their birth mother were more likely to report their father was involved or highly involved in their lives, Wilcox found.

Wilcox also found some class differences in the data. Using the mother's education as a proxy for socioeconomic status, those with a mother who was a college graduate were more likely to have biological, married parents who stayed together and to have a father who was highly involved. Those whose mother was a high school dropout were less likely to have involved fathers and less likely to be raised by their married birth parents.

Wilcox suggested four possible reasons that fathers make a big difference in college graduation:

1) Dads can provide educational stimulus. This can be through helping with homework or simply through their everyday interactions with their children.

2) Families with fathers have more financial stability, which can help pay for private schooling or housing in better school districts. It could also be that dads who have a strong connection to their children are more likely to devote a high amount of financial resources to their college costs.

3) Research shows that dads have different parenting styles than moms. Fathers are more likely to push their children to embrace difficult challenges, for instance. This contribution may "help kids face difficult assignments, take on important opportunities" that could help them in college.

4) Dads protect their kids from situations that could hurt their chances at getting a college education. Research has shown that boys who have a good relationship with their father are less likely to engage in delinquent behavior and girls who have a good relationship with their father are less likely to get pregnant while a teenager.

The presentation included three discussants: Kay Hymowitz, the William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Patrick Patterson, who manages President Barack Obama's National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, and Richard Yoder, a first-year Jefferson Scholar at the University of Virginia.

You can watch the full presentation below:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

American Values, FRC Release New Poll Showing GOP Voters Want Politicians to Support Natural Marriage

WASHINGTON, D.C. (04-22-14) – American Values and Family Research Council (FRC) released the results of a commissioned national survey conducted by Wilson Research Strategies showing that 82 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independents believe marriage "should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman." In fact, 74 percent strongly agreed with this statement.

The same survey found that the voters want their elected leaders to promote this view in public policy: 75 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters disagree that "politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples."  67 percent strongly disagreed with this statement. 

American Values President Gary Bauer made the following comments in response to the survey:

"Public policy makers are doing a great disservice to themselves and future generations by continuing to misread the convictions of the American people, who overwhelmingly support the institution of marriage as a unique union of one man and one woman. The misinformation campaign waged by media elites muddies the debate and attempts to isolate those who support the time-honored traditions and values shared by every major world religion throughout human history.

"Incredibly, the debate is no longer about privacy and tolerance.  Religious liberty, free speech and rights of conscience are now at stake. This survey should remind political and cultural leaders that this debate is far from over.  If anything, it is taking on a new sense of urgency for millions of men and women of faith."

FRC President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"Republican voters continue to resist the demands of cultural elites who want to see the party abandon the very core values that gave rise to American exceptionalism.   The vast majority of the GOP base continues to believe that marriage is a non-negotiable plank of the national platform and want to see their elected officials uphold natural marriage as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage and promote in law. 

"The results of this survey are no surprise especially considering what has taken place in recent months. Republican voters, like everyone else, has seen that redefining marriage is really about fundamentally altering all of society. Redefining marriage undermines our fundamental freedoms of speech and religion and in the case of the Mozilla CEO, even the ability to engage in the democratic process without the fear of losing one's livelihood."

To view the results of the survey, click here

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
By MAGGIE HABERMAN | 4/22/14 6:01 AM EDT

Two conservative groups are pushing back on moves by the GOP to drop opposition to same-sex marriage from party platforms, releasing a poll of base voters taken last month that found in favor of defining marriage “only” as between a man and a woman.

The poll, commissioned by groups led by conservatives Gary Bauer and Tony Perkins, runs counter to a wide variety of opinion polls that show movement on the question of same-sex marriage, with more voters favoring it than opposing it.

Last week, the Nevada GOP removed opposition to same-sex marriage from its platform, with the state chairman saying the move was indicative of where the party is headed.

The survey by the GOP polling firm Wilson Research Strategies was of Republican and Republican-leaning independents and was taken over a month ago, sampling 801 people from March 18 through March 20, with a 3.5 percent margin of error.

The survey showed 82 percent agreeing with a statement that marriage should be between “one man and one woman.” It also found 75 percent disagreed that “politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.”

A number of Republican influentials and elected officials have voiced support for same-sex marriage, and public polling has show independent voters increasingly supporting it.

At the recent Conservative Political Action Committee gathering in Maryland, the topic was mentioned far less frequently than it was in the past. But same-sex marriage supporters acknowledge it remains a difficult issue with a number of the party’s base voters, although they’ve argued for focusing on inclusion to broaden the GOP’s appeal after getting battered in the 2012 elections.

Bauer, the president of American Values, faulted a “misinformation campaign waged by media elites” and insisted that “public policy-makers are doing a great disservice to themselves and future generations by continuing to misread the convictions of the American people … this survey should remind political and cultural leaders that this debate is far from over. If anything, it is taking on a new sense of urgency for millions of men and women of faith.”

Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, added that the “vast majority of the GOP base continues to believe that marriage is a non-negotiable plank of the national platform and want to see their elected officials uphold natural marriage as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage and promote in law.”


Monday, April 21, 2014

In a speech earlier this week, Lisa O. Monaco, President Barack Obama’s assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, insisted that American parents must be vigilant because their “confrontational” children could be on the verge of becoming terrorists.

Monaco’s full, prepared text is available here. She presented the speech, entitled “Countering Violent Extremism and the Power of Community,” at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government on April 15.

Monaco began her remarks by eloquently describing the lives tragically lost last year during the Boston Marathon bombings. Interestingly, the Harvard grad failed to mention the religion or the motive of brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Muslim terrorists behind the Boston bombings.

In the very next paragraph, Monaco specifically noted racist and disgustingly anti-Semitic beliefs of Frazier Glenn Miller, the 73-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader accused of gunning down three people at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas last Sunday.

The White House bureaucrat then settled into the heart of her speech: That Obama “has been laser-focused” on preventing “violent extremism” “by homegrown violent extremists” right here “in the United States.”

The president can’t do it all, though. He needs “local communities” to assist in observing “warning signs a person” is becoming “radicalized to violence.”

This is where the American parents of American children in America’s towns, cities and countryside can provide the greatest assistance, Monaco said.

“For instance, parents might see sudden personality changes in their children at home—becoming confrontational,” she asserted.


Schoolteachers and community members can help as well.

“Teachers might hear a student expressing an interest in traveling to a conflict zone overseas,” she added—in an ambiguous allusion to various religious conflicts around the world.

“Or friends might notice a new interest in watching or sharing violent material.”

Monaco then went on to explain some of the localized initiatives that various government entities have initiated to thwart terrorist activities in the United States.


Thursday, April 17, 2014
April 16, 2014|5:04 pm

President Barack Obama met with several faith leaders at the Oval Office on Tuesday to discuss what he called a "broken" immigration system. They highlighted the pain it has caused families and called on Congress to come to a bipartisan agreement for change.

"I disagree with the President on some serious issues of human life, marriage, and religious liberty, but this is one issue where the country isn't divided up into red and blue. I don't know anyone who thinks the status quo immigration policy is working," said Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

"Our border isn't secure, we don't know who is and who isn't in the country, and we have families torn apart by an incoherent and capricious system. I encouraged the President to work with Republicans to get beyond partisan bickering and fix this broken system."

The U.S. immigration system has been a contentious issue throughout Obama's presidency. The White House, Christian groups, and bipartisan efforts have repeatedly called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, though House Speaker John Boehner has warned that Republican distrust of Obama's administration is making it difficult to move forward with legislation.

Obama thanked the faith leaders for their leadership on the issue and expressed his commitment to seeing through immigration reform.

"The President expressed deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system," a White House readout of the meeting said.

"He emphasized that while his Administration can take steps to better enforce and administer immigration laws, nothing can replace the certainty of legislative reform and this permanent solution can only be achieved by Congress."

The faith leaders present at Tuesday's meeting, including representatives from the Evangelical and Mormon faiths, emphasized the real human cost for families and communities waiting for reform.

Noel Castellanos, CEO of Christian Community Development Association, Chicago, said that the meeting was an opportunity to share the need to "end the suffering" of 11 million men, women and children caught in America's "broken" immigration system.

"We discussed the urgency for House members to take action before the August recess for the sake of immigrant families and our nation. Let us continue to pray and impress this need on our legislators to act now," Castellanos said.

Dr. Suzii Paynter, executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Atlanta, said the U.S. needs to meet at the "intersection of moral conscience and common sense" to pass immigration reform.

"Congress has the tools to act and, as people of conviction, people of faith are in agreement that common sense measures can be taken," Paynter said.

"There is a place to honor the God-given dignity of persons, honor the rule of law, ensure fairness to taxpayers, and seek a path towards recognition for immigrants."

Earlier in April, former Florida governor Jeb Bush suggested that illegal immigrants are not committing a felony, but are breaking the law out of love and commitment to family.

"It's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family," Bush said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday."

"I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime. There should be a price paid, but it shouldn't rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families," he added.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
April 15, 2014|4:46 pm

Dan T. Cathy, chairman and CEO of Chick-fil-A

Just two years ago, conservative Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy infuriated LGBT avtivists when he publicly voiced his support for traditional marriage. As his company gets ready to expand into the more liberal Northeast, however, Cathy is on a campaign to show the public that he has found a wiser way.

While his position on the traditional definition of marriage has not changed, Cathy explained in a USA Today interview that his company's socially conservative agenda, which led them to donate millions to opponents of same-sex marriage in the past, has been tempered.

"All of us become more wise as time goes by," Cathy apologetically told USA Today. "We sincerely care about all people."

Chick-fil-A, which recently toppled KFC as the leader in the U.S. chicken fast-food industry with fewer stores located mostly in the South, is looking to quickly expand into the large urban markets of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. And with that comes a new reality for the 1,800-store chain.

"I'm going to leave it [discussion of gay marriage] to politicians and others to discuss social issues," said Cathy.

Conservative head of the Family Research Council Tony Perkins, however, derided business leaders like Cathy who temper their positions on same-sex marriage in the name of business.

"I think we're seeing those in the business community becoming cowards," Perkins said on Mike Huckabee's Fox News program on Sunday.

"Tolerance is a one-way street for [the same-sex marriage supporters who boycotted Chick-fil-A]. What they want to do is force the rest of America not to just tolerate but to celebrate what they're doing. They want to redefine America," he added.

Cathy drew the ire of same-sex marriage advocates in the summer of 2012 when he told The Biblical Recorder that the company "was supportive of the biblical definition of the family unit." In another interview he charged that America was "inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage."

Last month he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that all of that was a mistake.

"Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth and development and it helps by (recognizing) the mistakes that you make," said Cathy. "And you learn from those mistakes. If not, you're just a fool. I'm thankful that I lived through it and I learned a lot from it."

USA Today

Cathy said he's now focusing on social issues that match more closely with his chicken business: health and nutrition.

On Tuesday, the company announced the addition of three new grilled chicken entrees to its menu: a grilled chicken sandwich, a grilled chicken club and grilled chicken nuggets as healthier options to consumers. It reportedly spent more than $50 million to develop the recipe and cooking technique.

"The world is rapidly, shockingly changing around us and I think every business, every industry is having to move with incredible speed and agility to adapt to the new realities of the world we are in today and certainly health and nutrition is a major issue," said Cathy.

"We see that the lack of awareness for movement and burning off calories has led to an incredibly obese nation and we're gonna pay dearly for that as it relates to diabetes and all kinds of problems that come as a result," he continued.

"I feel we have a moral obligation being in the restaurant business of providing choices and information so that parents and even children can make informed choices about how they eat," he noted.

YouTube/Tony Perkins

Openly gay New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm dismissed the company regardless of Cathy's efforts to make amends.

"We don't need bigots coming to New York City," said Dromm in an interview with the Huffington Post. "They are not welcome here unless they can embrace all of New York's diverse community, including the LGBT community."

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, called Dromm's reaction "outrageous and intolerant" in a press release Monday.

"What Dromm has effectively said here is that anyone who believes in marriage as the union of a man and a woman is unwelcome in New York City," said Brown. "His remarks, coming amidst a climate of such unseemly attacks on pro-marriage people as we saw with the Mozilla controversy last week, simply reinforce a growing manifestation of hostility and intimidation in the public square toward folks with traditional values. Christians and others are now, it seems, going to be considered guilty of 'thought-crimes' and threatened with all manner of reprisals simply for holding their beliefs."

Monday, April 14, 2014
April 11, 2014|4:47 pm

The National Organization for Marriage, a nonprofit group that advocates for traditional marriage, is expecting tens of thousands of people from across the United States to join their June "March for Marriage" in Washington to "show the world that the marriage debate isn't over."

Christopher Plante, spokesman for NOM, told The Christian Post that the June 19 march is being held in part "to show the world, the media, members of Congress and the Supreme Court that the marriage debate is not over."

"There is a huge groundswell of popular support, popular belief in traditional marriage. And despite what the polls may say, the reality is the majority of Americans believe marriage is between one man and one woman," said Plante.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court heard two cases regarding the marriage definition debate, Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry.

The Windsor case dealt with the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

Hollingsworth was in regard to California's Proposition 8, a referendum that added an amendment to the state constitution that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.

On June 26, the Supreme Court struck down a crucial component of DOMA, allowing for federal benefits to extend to same-sex couples in states where gay marriage is legal.

The Court also ruled against Proposition 8, arguing that the pro-proposition appellants lacked standing to appeal a lower court decision against the amendment.

Arguments for the two cases were heard in March. On that first day of oral arguments, NOM and its allies held a March for Marriage rally in support of DOMA and Prop 8.

Both they and their anti-DOMA, anti-Prop 8 counterparts had thousands of supporters in attendance rallying outside the Supreme Court building.

Plante of NOM told CP that the date for this year's March for Marriage is meant to be near the anniversary of the "horrible decisions in the Windsor and Prop 8 cases last year."

"We expect tens of thousands of people to come out. This is a new event. Obviously we had one last year, which was very successful," said Plante.

The March for Marriage is not the only large-scale rally held at the National Mall in remembrance of controversial Supreme Court decisions.

Every January, pro-life groups from across the nation come to Washington for March for Life. Plante himself found comparison between the two marches.

"We are looking to grow this on an annual basis much like the March for Life, and so we expect that we will do more than we did last year," said Plante.

"Life and Marriage are intertwined. The March for Life has been a hugely successful event, and we look to mirror their success and make sure we have an annual event that commemorates the importance and the uniqueness of marriage that becomes visible to our country, to our leaders, to the media," he added.


Thursday, April 10, 2014
April 9, 2014|4:24 pm

The U.S. Senate failed to move forward on a gender pay discrimination bill Wednesday as the White House continues to defend its use of a questionable statistic on the gender wage gap.

With all Republicans voting "no," the Paycheck Fairness Act did not get the 60 votes needed to end debate and move the bill to a vote. The bill would have allowed employees to share their salary information with each other and bring civil actions against their employer for gender discrimination.

Republicans objected that they were not allowed to offer any amendments to the bill, including an amendment offered by four female Republicans that would have included provisions against retaliating against workers who inquire about the salaries of their peers.

Maine independent Sen. Angus King caucuses with the Democrats but joined the Republicans in opposing the bill. In a statement, he said the bill could "impose substantial burdens on businesses" and it does not address "the real causes that are driving the wage gap."

The vote was part of a coordinated effort with the White House to make gender pay differences an issue in the November elections.

"Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns … in 2014, that's an embarrassment. It is wrong," President Barack Obama said in a Tuesday speech.

Many experts point to problems, though, with the 77 cents figure. Glenn Kessler, the "fact checker" for The Washington Post, gave Obama "two Pinocchios" Wednesday for his use of the statistic. (This was higher, or less truthful, that the "one Pinocchio" Kessler gave Obama for using the same statistic during the 2012 election season.) Also in 2012, PolitiFact said Obama's claim was "mostly false."

Hanna Rosin explained why the statistic is wrong in an August 2013 article for Slate, a liberal publication, called "The Gender Wage Gap Lie."

The 77 percent figure, Rosin explains, comes from comparing the median earnings of all women working full-time with the median earnings of all men working full-time. When looking at it that way, men do make more than women, but the statistic itself cannot explain whether there is discrimination, or men are getting more money for doing the same work as women.

Citing work by economists, Rosin said there are many reasons that the median salaries are higher for men than women that do not include discrimination. Men work longer hours, are more likely to have union jobs, and choose professions that pay more, and women are more likely to have career advancement interruptions to care for children and women are poor salary negotiators, for instance.

To really know if there is gender discrimination, Rosin pointed out, one would need to look at whether women are actually paid differently for doing the same work as men.

Using the same method of calculation that the White House used to argue that discrimination leads to men receiving 23 cents per hour more than women, University of Michigan economist Mark J. Perry found that in the White House itself men get paid 12 cents more than women.

For two days in a row this week, reporters hounded White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about that fact. If comparing median salary gender differences in the labor market indicates discrimination against females, they asked, does comparing median salary gender differences in the White House indicate discrimination against females in the White House?

In his defense of the gender pay differences in the White House, Carney used the same reasoning used by those who say the 77 cent figure is wrong. As long as women are getting paid the same for the same work, Carney explained, there is no discrimination in the White House.

"And here at the White House equal pay legislation deems that there should be equal pay for equal work, and that's what we have – men and women in equivalent roles here earn equivalent salaries.

"For example, we have two deputy chiefs of staff, one man and one woman, and they earn the same salary. We have 16 department heads, over half of them are women, all of whom make the same salary as their male counterparts," he said Monday.

When Carney was again pressed with similar questions on Tuesday, White House Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri suggested, via Twitter, that there was a problem with the fact that the reporters asking the questions are all male.

"Love all these guys, but note that 6 of 7 news [organizations] in front row sent men to ask @pressec [about] the problem of gender pay inequity," she tweeted.

In response, several reporters pointed out that the White House sent a man, Jay Carney, to answer those questions.

"In your line of [thought] Jennifer a woman should have taken the question for the White House not a man," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Salena Zito tweeted.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
April 7, 2014|1:41 pm

The exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington March 5, 2014. U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday appeared to look for a compromise that would enable them to avoid overruling a 26-year-old precedent that made it easier for plaintiffs to negotiate large class action settlements.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a case, Elane Photography, LLC vs. Willock, in which a wedding photographer was punished for declining to photograph a same-sex wedding ceremony.

"This essentially means the end of legal options for John and Elaine Huguenin for now," Alan Sears, president, CEO and General Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, said. ADF represented the Huguenins, owners of Elane Photography.

In 2006, Vanessa Willock sent an email to several wedding photographers in New Mexico asking if they would be willing to photograph her same-sex "commitment ceremony." (New Mexico did not redefine marriage to include same-sex couples until December 2013.)

"This is a same-gender ceremony. If you are open to helping us celebrate our day we'd like to receive pricing information," the email stated.

Elaine Huguenin informed Willock via email, "We do not photograph same-sex weddings, but again, thanks for checking out our site! Have a great day."

In court testimony, Huguenin made clear that she would serve the couple in other contexts. She was not declining to serve gays. She was declining to serve gay weddings because she believed that doing so would be in violation of her religious beliefs. Huguenin had also previously declined service to clients who asked her to photograph nude images and violent images.

Willock filed a complaint against Elane Photography, arguing that the company violated an anti-discrimination ordinance. The case made its way to the New Mexico Supreme Court, which found Elane Photography guilty and ordered the company to pay close to $7,000 to Willock.

"The injustice is difficult to overstate," Sears of ADF stated. "Make no mistake, this issue is all about the government forcing a citizen to communicate a message against her will and against her beliefs.

"To add insult to the outrage, a justice on the New Mexico Supreme Court has even gone so far as to tell the Huguenins that surrendering their freedom is 'the price of citizenship.'"

Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, also expressed disappointment in the Supreme Court's decision to not hear the case. The case is about freedom of conscience, he argued.

"At issue is the fundamental question of whether the state can pretend to be a god over the conscience," Moore said. "No one is seeking to outlaw photographers from working at same-sex marriage or civil union ceremonies. At issue is whether these persons will be forced by the coercive power of the state to participate in something they believe to be sinful.

"The audacity of the New Mexico Supreme Court in saying that the crucifixion of conscience is the price of citizenship is breathtaking. This ruling is more in the spirit of Nero Caesar than in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson. This is damaging not only to the conscience rights of Christians, but to all citizens. When we decide, as a country, that state power trumps the rights of conscience, we are treading on self-evident, inalienable rights, granted not by government but by God."

ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence, on the other hand, argued that the case was about freedom of speech.

"The First Amendment protects our freedom to speak or not speak on any issue without fear of punishment. We had hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would use this case to affirm this basic constitutional principle ...," he said.

Lorence added that ADF has several other clients in similar cases which the Supreme Court will have opportunities to weigh in on the issues, including wedding florists and bakers, and a t-shirt printer who declined to design a "pride festival" shirt.

Monday, April 7, 2014
April 6, 2014|2:59 pm

A federal judge in Cincinnati said Friday that he will strike down as unconstitutional Ohio's voter-approved ban on recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples from other states. The state plans to appeal the ruling once it is issued.

same-sex marriage(PHOTO: REUTERS/JIM URQUHART)

Supporters of same-sex marriage rally at Utah's State Capitol building in Salt Lake City, Utah January 28, 2014.

"I intend to issue a written decision and order by April 14, striking down as unconstitutional under all circumstances Ohio's bans on recognizing legal same-sex marriages from other states," U.S. District Judge Timothy Black said in a statement.

The plaintiffs are four same-sex couples who got married in other states and are seeking to be recognized as parents on their children's birth certificates.

"I intend to issue a declaration that Ohio's recognition bans, that have been relied upon to deny legal recognition to same-sex couples validly entered in other states where legal, violates the rights secured by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," the judge said, adding that same-sex couples are "denied their fundamental right to marry a person of their choosing and the right to remain married."

"It also validates to our kids that we're bringing into our marriage that their parents are recognized by the state that we live in, and that's extremely important," Pam Yorksmith, one of the plaintiffs, told AP. "We're teaching kids of future generations that all families are different and just because our family doesn't look like your family doesn't mean that ours shouldn't be recognized."

"For same sex couples who have struggled to secure equal rights this is a great day," said attorney Al Gerhardstein.

The judge did not mention Ohio's ban on gay couples marrying within the state. Last December, the same judge asked Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages from other states on death certificates.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will be prepared to appeal the impending ruling, according to spokesman Dan Tierney.

Attorneys for Ohio had argued that the state alone has the jurisdiction to define marriage. State's voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2004 acknowledging that the definition of marriage was the union between one man and one woman.

The National Organization for Marriage criticized the judge's intention. "This is an affront to the rule of law and to the people of Ohio who voted overwhelmingly to define marriage solely as the union of one man and one woman," Brian Brown, the group's president, said in a statement.

Same-sex marriage is currently recognized in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

Federal judges in a few states have struck down state amendments and laws banning gay marriage as unconstitutional ever since the U.S. Supreme Court last June squashed a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. They have revoked bans in Michigan, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia, and ordered Kentucky and Tennessee to recognize out-of-state gay marriages. However, stays have been issued pending appeals.