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Ohio judge grants dying man right to list husband on death certificate

Ruling doesn’t legalize gay marriage in Ohio

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

An Ohio judge has granted a temporary restraining order against a state law banning same-sex marriage, allowing a terminally ill gay man’s death certificate to include his husband’s name, reports the Baltimore Sun

John Arthur, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, married Jim Obergefell earlier this month after flying in a jet with special medical support to Maryland, where gay marriage is legal. 

In their lawsuit, Arthur and Obergefell told federal judge Timothy Black that Ohio law would prevent Obergefell’s name from appearing on Arthur’s death certificate, causing the couple severe harm. 

Black agreed, saying that Arthur and Obergefell are “are not currently accorded the same dignity and recognition as similarly situated opposite-sex couples,” and ordered the state to allow Obergefell’s name on the death certificate.

The order is temporary, and does not affect Ohio law or other Ohioan couples.  

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, one defendant in the case, argued that Arthur and Obergefell should not be allowed an exception to state law. The other defendant, Cincinnati Vital Statistics Registrar Camille Jones, refused to fight the suit. Instead, she had the day the couple was married declared “John Arthur and Jim Obergefell day” in Cincinnati. 

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King also said he will not defend his state’s ban on same-sex marriage, reports the Miami Herald

Two Santa Fe men are suing the state after they were denied a marriage licence. 

"New Mexico's guarantee of equal protection to its citizens demands that same-sex couples be permitted to enjoy the benefits of marriage in the same way and to the same extent as other New Mexico citizens,” King wrote in documents filed with the court on July 22. 

The New Mexico Supreme Court has not yet decided whether to accept the case.