Jim Obergefell and John Arthur, courtesy of the couple

Jim Obergefell and John Arthur, courtesy of the couple

Chris Geidner reports on a huge development that likely is predictive of many more similar stories, in the wake of the overturning of Section 3 of DOMA. A federal judge has ordered officials in Ohio to recognize the marriage of a Cincinnati gay couple, one of whom is terminally ill:

A federal judge in Ohio ordered state officials Monday to recognize the marriage of two men that was performed in Maryland on the death certificate of an Ohio resident in hospice care who 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,’” Judge Timothy Black wrote in an order Monday.

“By treating lawful same sex marriages differently than it treats lawful opposite sex
marriages,” the judge concluded, 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.”

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.” 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.”

These issues really are very simple from a Constitutional perspective, and now that we have the precent set forth in the Windsor case, other marriage bans will likely start to drop like flies, due to cases just like this one.