Federal Judge: Ohio Must Recognize Marriage of Gay Couple

A widower won the right to be named as his husband's spouse on his death certificate

BY Michelle Garcia

September 04 2013 11:23 AM ET

A federal judge ruled that the state of Ohio must recognize the out-of-state marriage of a gay couple, even though the state established a ban on marriage equality for same-sex couples in 2004.

David Michener of Cincinnati will be listed as the spouse of his husband William Herbert Ives on Ives' death certificate, Reuters reports. The couple of 18 years married in Delaware this summer, but Ives died unexpectedlyAugust 27. Together, they raised three children.

Black ruled that the local government officials cannot accept Ives's death certificate unless it states that he was legally married to Michener, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

In his decision, U.S. District Judge Timothy Black said Ohio must recognize the marriage because the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act earlier this summer.

"The issue whether states can refuse to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages is now surely headed to the fore," Black wrote in his decision Tuesday.

This is the second ruling this summer in which Black ruled that the state of Ohio must recognize the marriage of a gay couple. In July, Black ruled that James Obergefell could be listed as the spouse on his husband John Arthur's death certificate. The pair were married in Maryland this summer, as Arthur's struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is expected to end his life early.

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