Ohio judge allows same-sex spouse to be listed on death certificate

Sept. 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM
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CINCINNATI, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A federal judge, for the second time this summer, blocked Ohio's law against same-sex marriages, allowing a same-sex spouse to be listed on a death certificate.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Tim Black issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday to allow David Michener to be listed as the spouse of William Herbert Ives, who died unexpectedly of natural causes on Aug. 27.

Though Ohio doesn't allow same-sex marriages, the two were married July 22 in Delaware after being a couple for 18 years and raising three children together, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Wednesday.

The court said Michener could join a lawsuit filed in federal court by John Arthur and James Obergefell, for whom the first restraining order was issued by Black in July.

Obergefell and Arthur have been together for 20 years and were married July 11 in Maryland, which recognizes same-sex marriages.

Arthur has ALS and has "days maybe weeks" to live and they sued to allow Obergefell to be listed as Arthur's spouse on his death certificate upon his death.

Black accepted an argument by Arthur and Obergefell's attorney, Al Gerhardstein, that Ohio should recognize same-sex marriages from other states because it recognizes opposite-sex marriages from other states that are not legal in Ohio, such as teenagers who marry before the state's legal age of consent.

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