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Ohio and Arkansas cases for gay marriage

Three new lawsuits filed challenging US gay marriage bans

Jim Obergefell's Facebook photo, with John Arthur. Credit: facebook.com

New lawsuits are challenging gay marriage bans in Ohio and Arkansas, following on the heels of marriage equality in California.

A gay couple from Ohio is challenging that state’s marriage laws, reports WVXU Cincinnati. John Arthur and Jim Obergefell asked the court to expedite the case because Arthur is terminally ill. 

The couple flew to Maryland, where gay marriage is legal, to get married. Now they are suing the state of Ohio to recognize their marriage. 

"We do hope to build from here, and have this be the first step towards marriage equality in Ohio. But for now, we just want to be sure that when John dies, the death record shows him as married," said their attorney, Al Gerhardstein. 

Two lawsuits were also filed last week in Arkansas, one in federal and one in state court, reports the Arkansas Times

In the federal suit, the judge recused himself from the case because he had personal relationships with supporters of the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The case has been reassigned to another federal judge.