Judge orders Ohio officials to recognize gay couple's marriage

Tue. July 23, 2013 2:40 PM by Carlos Santoscoy

Cincinnati, OH - A federal judge on Monday ordered state officials to recognize the recent marriage of an Ohio gay couple.

Jim Obergefell and John Arthur of Cincinnati married last week aboard a medical transport plane parked off a Baltimore airport runway. Arthur received a diagnosis of amyotropic lateral sclerosis, or ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease), a neurological disease, 26 months earlier and is now bedridden and receiving hospice care. Friends and family contributed the $12,700 needed to charter the medically-equipped plane.

(Related: Dying gay man's final wish: To marry his partner)

Judge Timothy Black granted the couple a temporary restraining order, BuzzFeed.com reported.

"The end result here and now is that the local Ohio Registrant of death certificates is hereby ORDERED not to accept for recording a death certificate for John Arthur that does not record Mr. Arthur's status at death as 'married' and James Obergefell as his 'surviving spouse,'" Black wrote.

Black concluded that Ohio's law and a 2004 constitutional amendment, both of which limit marriage to heterosexual couples, "likely violate the United States Constitution."

A spokesman for Ohio Governor John Kasich refused to comment on the decision other than to reiterate that "the governor believes that marriage is between a man and a woman."

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