Tuesday, July 23, 2013

UPDATE: Judge Orders Ohio To Recognize John Arthur and Jim Obergefell's Marriage

I’ve written about John Arthur and Jim Obergefell twice in the past week—this post makes three—and it’s always good news; first, they were getting married [John Arthur and Jim Obergefell: AWish Fulfilled] and then they filed suit to have their marriage recognized in Ohio [John Arthurand Jim Obergefell Are Demanding That Ohio Recognize Their Marriage] and now this.

Yesterday a federal judge in Ohio ordered state officials to recognize John and Jim’s marriage on the death certificate of John Arthur, who suffers from ALS, and whom the judge says “is certain to die soon.”
“The end result here and now is that the local Ohio Registrar 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.’ By treating lawful same sex marriages differently than it treats lawful opposite sex marriages”—Judge Timothy Black
Black concluded that Ohio’s 2004 constitutional amendment banning recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages and Ohio’s statute addressing the same issue “likely violate the United States Constitution.”

And, in addressing the constitutional question, Black explained, “Although the law has long recognized that marriage and domestic relations are matters generally left to the states, the restrictions imposed on marriage by states, however, must nonetheless comply with the [U.S.] Constitution … The purpose served by treating same-sex married couples differently than opposite-sex married couples is the same improper purpose that failed in United States v Windsor and in Romer v Evans: ‘to impose inequality’ and to make gay citizens unequal under the law.”

John Arthur and Jim Obergefell filed a lawsuit against Ohio Governor John Kasich to have their marriage legally recognized in their home state. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine defended the state’s laws in filings with the court, but Cincinnati city lawyers representing Dr. Camille Jones, the vital statistics registrar for the city, declined to defend the law, telling the court, “The City will not defend Ohio’s discriminatory ban on same-sex marriages, but the City’s vital statistics registrar is bound to follow Ohio law until that law is changed or overturned.”

Maybe, just maybe, John Arthur can quietly pass away as the legally recognized husband of Jim Obergefell.


Is that so wrong?

10 comments:

R.J. said...

This is great news and a pleasant surprise. I can't believe a place like Ohio would have a ruling like this.

Bob Slatten said...

@RJ
To be fair, the ruling is that Ohio recognize their marriage on Arthur's death certificate, but still, it's a step, and a lovely thing for these two men.

www.DiatribesAndOvations.com said...

To me, these men are truly inspirational ... fighting, literally, until death to prove their love.

Mitchell is Moving said...

This is amazing. I wish they were both in perfect health and could continue to celebrate their lives together and what they've personal accomplished. They've done an incredible thing for us all.

And thanks for sharing this info so quickly, Bob. For some reason (?) it's not appearing in the international news I've been getting.

Biki Honko said...

While its only in death that the state recogizes their marriage, tis still a small step forward. Next up is the lawsuit from a couple who want to be equal to every other Ohio opposite sexed couple.

Ask the Cool Cookie said...

To Bob Slatten, every journey begins with one step. And remember, Ohio has one of the most stringent marriage definitions in the nation. Furthermore, Ohio is also home to Phil Burriss, the head of "Citizens for Community Values", the group that targets ANYTHING having to do with sexuality that doesn't involve the missionary position for a man and his wife. CFCV pulls a lot of weight in Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky and they crafted this amendment.

So for a Federal judge in Cincinnati to strike this down, this is a major setback for Ohio's evangelicals. This could also be the case that ends up in the Supreme Court that wipes clean the other half of DOMA still hanging.

Ron said...

Little by little, these states that cling to denying a loving couple their constitutional right to a marriage will fall by the wayside. Ohio Governor John Kasich and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine are two truly despicable public servants to continue to discriminate against same sex couples in their state.

The main reason I wanted to officially marry Bill was for protection of our assets should I die before Bill. Because Bill is 13 years older (84) than me, I never seriously considered that possibility but when I discovered I had prostate cancer last year, my dying before him was a serious concern. What would happen to Bill should I die before him? He would lose our home because he wouldn't have the money to pay those taxes. Now that he is my spouse, should I die before him, he will still have a home and collect my Social Security which is 37% more than his. I thank God I live in a state like Delaware that recognizes that all of its citizens are EQUAL.

Bob Slatten said...

@Cookie
Oh, I agree.
It's a small step, but each step counts toward the goal!

Anushka Singh said...
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arjun kapoor said...
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