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Courts and Crime

Federal judge says gay marriage ban is unconstitional -- at least in death
Ohio attorney general will file an appeal that could expand the decision's impact to four states

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M.L. Schultze
Jim Obergefell and John Arthur during their marriage ceremony on the tarmac at Baltimore-Washington airport.
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A federal judge says Ohio’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional – at least when it comes to death certificates. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that today’s decision is focused on a narrow issue, but suggests a much broader interpretation and more court action.

LISTEN: Gay marriage decision and appeal

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U.S. District Judge Timothy Black says the state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage would allow state government to do what the federal government no longer can: discriminate against same-sex couples.

His ruling sprang from the relatively narrow case of John Arthur and Jim Obergefell, who were married on the tarmac of the airport in Baltimore months before Arthur died of Lou Gehrig’s disease. They and others went to court to get Ohio to recognize gay marriages performed legally in other states on Ohio death certificates.

Eric Resnick of Canton has been watching the evolution of gay rights in Ohio for decades. He expected the ruling to be narrow, but sees it as opening doors.

“Yes, this is just death certificates at the moment. But it’s the first bite of the apple, and the apple is starting to get real small.”

But much of that will be left up to higher courts. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced within hours of the decision that he’ll file an appeal with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. 

LISTEN: Resnick on the gay marriage patchwork
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Listener Comments:

the bigots' heads are spinning! it's happening so fast now-it's so funny to see the religious phobes scrambling to stop God's will!

Posted by: Normandy (Los Angeles) on December 24, 2013 1:12AM
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