A federal judge said Friday that he'll order Ohio officials to recognize the out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Black heard arguments Friday in a lawsuit brought by four gay couples, three of which are lesbian, asking him to force Ohio to recognize their marriages on birth certificates.

Al Gerhardstein of Cincinnati, who is representing the couples, amended his request to ask Black to strike down Ohio's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment prohibiting the state from recognizing any union other than a heterosexual marriage.

Black said Friday he would declare the ban unconstitutional, Cincinnati NPR affiliate WVXU reported.

Gerhardstein explained that he had only asked Black to recognize marriages from states which allow gay couples to marry.

Black said he would issue his ruling on or before Monday, April 14.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told WVXU that he would appeal the ruling to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

“We felt based on his preliminary rulings that something like this would happen; and, that's fine, we will take it up to the Sixth Circuit,” said DeWine, a Republican.

One woman in each of three plaintiff couples from the lawsuit is pregnant through artificial insemination and expected to deliver in June. The fourth couple, two men who live in New York, adopted a boy last year who was born in Ohio. Their original complaint asked for Ohio to list both parents on their children's birth certificates.

All four states under the Sixth Circuit's jurisdiction – Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee – have appealed or are planning to appeal similar rulings to the appeals court.