Ohio has been ordered to recognize a gay marriage. A federal judge has ruled that two men, who were married in Maryland, will be recognized as legally married in the state of Ohio. John Arthur and Jim Obergefell, of Cincinnati, fought for the recognition as Arthur is terminally ill.
John Arthur suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. He and his partner were wed on a medical jet that transported the couple to Maryland for the ceremony. As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the couple wanted their marriage recorded before Arthur’s death.
Additionally, Arthur wanted Obergefell’s name listed on his death certificate as his spouse. Under a 2004 Ohio law, that would be impossible.
U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black ruled in favor of a temporary restraining order against the law, in the couple’s favor. Black stressed that the order will not change the Ohio law, or affect other couples. The state of Ohio was ordered to recognize the gay marriage of Arthur and Obergefell only.
Despite the stipulation, Black referred to a recent US Supreme Court decision, which forces the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages that are otherwise legal.
Black spoke against Ohio law, which refuses to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. He explains that Ohio law recognizes out-of-state marriages between minors and cousins, which are both illegal in Ohio.
Officials in Cincinnati have given Arthur and Obergefell their full support throughout their ordeal. July 11, 2013, the date of the couple’s wedding, was officially named John Arthur and James Obergefell Day in the city of Cincinnati.
As reported by USA Today, one of the most important victories for the couple is the right for Obergefell to be buried next to his husband. Arthur’s family plot at the Spring Grove Cemetery stipulates that only “direct descendants and their spouses” may be buried in the plot.
U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black didn’t just order the state of Ohio to recognize a gay marriage. He granted a dying man his wish to be buried next to his spouse.