Cuyahoga County Executive and Ohio gubernatorial hopeful Ed Fitzgerald on Friday applauded a federal judge's preliminary ruling ordering Ohio to recognize the out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Black said he would rule in favor of four plaintiff couples on or before Monday, April 14.

(Related: Federal judge says he'll order Ohio to recognize gay marriages.)

“As governor, I will support marriage equality and work to move Ohio forward for all its residents,” Fitzgerald, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Who you love and commit yourself to should not be prohibited by governments.”

Roughly a year ago, Republican Governor John Kasich reiterated his opposition to marriage and civil unions for gay couples after he appeared to endorse civil unions.

“The governor's position is unchanged,” Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols wrote in an email. “He opposes gay marriage and opposes changing Ohio's Constitution to allow for civil unions. He's opposed to discrimination against any Ohioan and, while he may have used the term 'civil union' loosely in this instance, he recognizes the existing rights of Ohioans to enter into private contracts to manage their personal property and health care issues.”