A federal judge on Wednesday stayed the majority of his ruling ordering Ohio to recognize the out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian couples pending an appeal by the state.

“[T]he absence of a stay as to this Court's ruling of facial unconstitutionality is likely to lead to confusion, potential inequity and high costs,” U.S. District Judge Timothy Black wrote in a brief 4-page ruling.

Black made an exception for the lawsuit's four plaintiff couples, ordering the state to recognize their marriages for the purposes of birth certificates.

Three of the plaintiff couples are women in which one of the partners is pregnant. The fourth couple, two men who live in New York, adopted a boy last year who was born in Ohio.

Attorney Al Gerhardstein of Cincinnati, who is representing the couples, amended his original complaint filed in February from seeking marriage recognition on birth certificates to full recognition.

“Ohio's marriage recognition bans are unconstitutional and unenforceable under any circumstances,” Black wrote Monday in ordering Ohio to recognize the out-of-state marriages of gay couples.

Black earlier ruled that Ohio must recognize such marriages for the purposes of death certificates.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is appealing both cases to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.