Monday, July 22, 2013

John Arthur and Jim Obergefell Are Demanding That Ohio Recognize Their Marriage

Last week I posted about John Arthur and Jim Obergefell of Ohio who made quite the trek to Maryland to get married. John suffers from ALS, so their trip involved donations to cover the cost of a medical transport, and all kinds of pre-arrangements so they could fly to Maryland, marry one another on the runway and then fly home. [See John Arthur and Jim Obergefell: A Wish Fulfilled]

And they did it. But they aren’t done, y’all, not by a long shot.

Last Friday John and Jim filed a federal lawsuit claiming it is unconstitutional for Ohio not to recognize their marriage. The suit states that the way Ohio law treats marriages between opposite-sex couples is unfairly different from the way it treats marriages between same-sex couples.
"It's blatant discrimination. It's a denial of equal protection."— Al Gerhardstein, John and Jim’s attorney
The suit also mentions marriages of first cousins; now, to be fair, in Ohio, marriage between first cousins is illegal, but if those first cousins travel to another state that recognizes their marriage, and they get married, upon their return to Ohio they are recognized as a legally married couple in the state. Not so for The Gays who marry elsewhere and return to Ohio.

Gerhardstein says the Arthur-Obergefell suit has importance beyond the law, because the two men are running out of time. John Arthur’s ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease, with no known cure, that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, could take his life, and the two men want their marriage recognized before that happens.
"We want nothing more than for our marriage to count in the place we call home. When [Arthur] dies, his death certificate should reflect our marriage just like the records of all the other married couples in Ohio."—Jim Obergefell

Here’s hoping it will. They are a married couple, and should be recognized as such, no matter where they live.


As a sidenote of a personal nature, after thirteen years of living in glorious sin, Carlos and I have decided to make honest men out of each other.

Now, South Carolina will not recognize our marriage, but it will help to have that federal recognition behind our commitment to one another.

We don't as yet know when, or where, but I'd like to do it on the day I call our anniversary, the day I moved to Miami to be with Carlos, October 17, and I might want to go to Washington state so my father can be a witness.

My father, who upon hearing this news, said to me, 'Congratlulations to my two sons."


Mitchell is Moving said...

I so admire John and Jim!

And I'm very excited for you an Carlos. We also did it solely for legal reasons (after 29 years together), but it meant surprisingly a lot to us both anyway. Give a hug to your father!

the dogs' mother said...

I loves your dad :-)
You should not be geographically held hostage in one state or another. Thought we'd love you all out here in WA you should be able to be in SC too.

anne marie in philly said...

well, what took you two so long! ;-)

believe it or don't, 10/17 is my anniversary; spouse and I would LOVE to share our day with you! :)

Bob Slatten said...

@Anne Marie
Well, that's a grand day, isn't it?!??!

Ask the Cool Cookie said...

WHOPPIE! And its a judge from uber conservative Cincinnati, no less!

Monday, July 22, 2013
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

"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."

SEAN (The Jeep Guy) said...

Congratulations! Although I think your news definitely qualifies for it's own post and as a GOOD NEWS FRIDAY post!