The forces of darkness march on . . . Ohio governor signs bill making state 38th to ban gay marriage Friday, February 6, 2004 Posted: 6:31 PM EST (2331 GMT) COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio Gov. Bob Taft approved one of the country's most-far reaching gay-marriage bans on Friday, saying its adoption was urgent because the nation's first legally sanctioned same-sex weddings could take place as early as this spring in Massachusetts. "It is necessary for us to act now to safeguard Ohio's marriage laws," Taft said. "Ohio could have same-sex couples who were 'married' in Massachusetts taking legal action in Ohio to recognize that marriage and to obtain the resulting benefits." When the law takes effect in 90 days, Ohio will become the 38th state to adopt a "defense of marriage act" and the second to deny benefits to some employees' partners. Taft, a Republican, denied assertions that the law promotes intolerance. He said the new law would send a strong positive message to children and families. "Marriage is an essential building block of our society, an institution we must reaffirm," he said.