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Government and Politics

Federal judge sides with gay couple vs. Ohio's constitutional marriage ban
Judge in Cincinnati issues a temporary restraining order, saying couple has a good chance of winning its case

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:

A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order to stop Ohio from refusing to recognize a same-sex marriage legally performed elsewhere.

John Arthur and Jim Obergefell  of southwest Ohio sued Friday to try to ensure their marriage on the tarmac of an airport in Maryland is recognized in Ohio on Arthur’s death certificate. Arthur is in the advanced stages of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

In his order today, Judge Timothy Black said Ohio’s constitutional ban on recognizing same-sex marriages could violate the couple’s protections under the  First and Fourteenth Amendments under the U.S. Constitution.

Arthur and Obergefell noted in the suit that Ohio recognizes other types of marriage performed elsewhere but not in Ohio, including marriage of cousins.  And the judge’s ruling says, “There is insufficient evidence of a legitimate state interest to justify this singling out of same sex married couples.”

His order prohibits Ohio from filing a death certificate for Arthur that does not list him as married. 

Listener Comments:

How is it that any Straight (i.e. heterosexual) couple in any state can fly off to Las Vegas for a drunken weekend, gets married by an Elvis impersonator, their marriage is automatically honored in all 50 states, and no one gives it a second thought ... but if THIS couple gets legally married in Maryland, the State of Ohio refuses to recognize their marriage when they come home? How can anyone not appreciate the love and commitment this couple has? In the name of all that is good and decent, how could you deny them the legal protections that you yourselves take for granted?

Posted by: Chuck Anziulewicz (Spring Hill, West Virginia, USA) on July 23, 2013 10:07AM
When I lived in Ohio, teenage couples who were too young to marry there used to go to West Virginia, where the age limit was lower. But when they came back to Ohio, they were still married (whether their families liked it or not). Marriage laws differ from state to state, but you don't have to go through the ceremony in every state to have your marriage accepted there.

Posted by: Marty Green (Harvard, Massachusetts) on July 23, 2013 9:07AM
I agree with William Adkins. Tsk tsk tsk tsk on the state of Ohio for being so backward as to have required this insane level of hardship from such a wonderful couple. Thank you, William, for sending your supportive love! I agree!

Posted by: John Agnelo (Columbus) on July 23, 2013 9:07AM
Great! Congratulation on your marriage guys. You are in my thoughts, it'll be a tough row to how in the future. I hope, for you guys' sake a cure will be found. Stay strong!

Posted by: Chevy Chevalier (Columbus OH) on July 23, 2013 7:07AM
You never know just what you can achieve until you've done it. Nice job, Jim and John...I'm keeping you guys in my prayers.

Posted by: William Adkins (Sandusky, Ohio) on July 23, 2013 6:07AM
Tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk (tsk tsk) tsk tsk tsk tsk.

Posted by: Carl A Howard (Columbus, Ohio) on July 22, 2013 9:07AM
Hallelujah! Sense does prevail from time to time!

Posted by: CC Coltrain (Dayton) on July 22, 2013 9:07AM

Posted by: JJ (Columbus, Ohio) on July 22, 2013 6:07AM
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