ohioJudge Timothy Black has announced that he will issue a ruling on or before April 14, which will require Ohio to recognize legal same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. The move will stop short of bringing full equality to Ohio, but is a huge step in the right direction:

A federal judge said Friday that he will strike down Ohio’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage, a move that stops short of forcing Ohio to perform same-sex weddings but will make the state recognize gay couples legally wed elsewhere.

Judge Timothy Black announced his intentions in federal court in Cincinnati following final arguments in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the marriage ban.

“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,” Black said. “(They’re) denied their fundamental right to marry a person of their choosing and the right to remain married.”

The article goes on to point out that the judge didn’t give a particular reason for announcing his ruling ahead of time, but that such an announcement gives the state time to file their inevitable appeal. Regardless, this is great news, and suggests that full equality in Ohio can’t be that far off.