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Federal Judge Orders Ohio To Recognize Same-Sex Couple's Out-Of-State Marriage

Well here's an exciting development! 

A federal judge has just ordered the state of Ohio to recognize an Ohio couple's same-sex marriage that they legally entered into in Maryland. 

According to the judge failure to recognize the couple's marriage would likely be considered discrimination and therefore unconstitutional. The ruling doesn't invalidate Ohio’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, though as The New Civil Rights Movement notes, the wording of the judge’s ruling certainly calls it into question.

TNCRM reports:

Federal U.S. District Magistrate Judge Timothy Black has just ordered the state of Ohio to recognize the couple’s marriage.

“Black found that the Ohio Constitution on the issue ‘violates rights secured by the … United States Constitution in that same-sex couples married in jurisdictions where same sex marriages are valid who seek to have their out-of-state marriage accepted as legal in Ohio are treated differently than opposite sex couples who have been married in states where their circumstances allow marriage in that state but not in Ohio,’” also reported.

“According to the order, Obergefell and Arthur live in Cincinnati, Ohio, and ‘have been living together in a committed and intimate relationship for more than twenty years,’” Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed adds:

The order also notes “they were very recently legally married in the state of Maryland pursuant to the laws of Maryland recognizing same sex marriage.”

“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,’” Judge Timothy Black wrote in an order Monday.

Theoretically, this ruling could be the first step in tossing out as unconstitutional Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage, but it’s important to note the ruling is a temporary restraining order and can only be applied, at least for now, to John Arthur and James Obergefell.


Congratulations to John and James on their court victory!  Instincters, do you think this is the first major step towards seeing Ohio's same-sex marriage ban struck down? What will be the implications for other states with marriage equality bans written into their constitutions?


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