CINCINNATI — A federal judge appointed by Barack Obama has ordered officials in the state of Ohio to recognize same-sex ‘marriages’ on death certificates—a decision that some say may now lead to homosexual ‘marriage’ being legalized altogether.
As previously reported, this past July, James Obergefell and John Arthur filed suit in federal court after the two traveled to Maryland to ‘wed.’ As Arthur was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease, they sought to have the courts require marital recognition on Arthur’s Ohio death certificate. He passed away in October.
“Married couples, often through research based on death records, have recognition for their special status forever,” Obergefell stated. “I want my descendants generations from now who research their history to learn that I loved and married John and that he loved and married me. They will know that they had gay ancestor who was proud and strong and in love.”
Judge Timothy Black, appointed by Barack Obama, then issued a temporary restraining order against the state until the case was decided.
“The issue is whether the State of Ohio can discriminate against same-sex marriages lawfully solemnized out of state,” he wrote, “when Ohio law has historically and unambiguously provided that the validity of a marriage is determined by whether it complies with the law of the jurisdiction where it was celebrated.”
On Monday, Black issued his final ruling, requiring officials to recognize same-sex “marriages” on death certificates in the state.
“When a state effectively terminates the marriage of a same-sex couple married in another jurisdiction, it intrudes into the realm of private marital, family, and intimate relations specifically protected by the Supreme Court,” he wrote.
Black pointed to the ruling in United States v. Windsor, where the Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and asserted that states must align with the federal decision–including those where voters have expressed their desire to enshrine marriage as being between a man and a woman. Ohio voters had passed a constitutional marriage amendment during the 2004 election.
“And now it is just as Justice Scalia predicted,” he stated. “The lower courts are applying the Supreme Court’s decision, as they must, and the question is presented whether a state can do what the federal government cannot – i.e., discriminate against same-sex couples … simply because the majority of the voters don’t like homosexuality (or at least didn’t in 2004). Under the Constitution of the United States, the answer is no.”
Representatives for Governor John Kasich state that they will appeal the ruling.
“Our job is to defend the Ohio Constitution and state statutes … and that’s what we intend to do,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine.
The Washington-based National Organization for Marriage (NOM) likewise condemned the ruling, calling Black an activist judge that was “grossly twisting” case law to suit his preferences.
“Though seemingly confined to how Ohio’s death certificates treat so-called same-sex ‘marriages’ performed elsewhere, the ruling is utterly unlawful and violates the sovereignty of the people of Ohio,” President Brian Brown stated.
“In the DOMA case, the U.S. Supreme Court specifically ruled that it is the right of the states to define marriage,” he noted. “This activist judge is grossly twisting the Court’s ruling in the DOMA case in order to justify a ruling that is completely at odds with the law. In the process, he has issued an open invitation for gay marriage activists to bring a wider lawsuit to redefine marriage entirely. This cannot be allowed to stand.”