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US: Man who challenged Ohio state ban on recognising same-sex marriage dies aged 47

Joseph McCormick October 22, 2013
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A man who, along with his husband, challenged the state of Ohio’s ban on equal marriage, with a view to having his marriage recognised on his death certificate, has died.

James Obergefell and John Arthur filed the lawsuit earlier this year as Mr Arthur was terminally ill, and with a view to having his death certificate to show that the couple are married.

The couple married in Maryland, a US state which allows same-sex marriages. Mr Arthur had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. US District Judge Timothy Black ruled in favour of the couple in July.

Mr Obergefell and Mr Arthur, both 47, had filed the lawsuit in order to be buried next to each other in Mr Arthur’s family plot which only allows descendants and spouses.

“Their love is a model for all of us,” attorney Al Gerhardstein said..

“Part of John’s legacy will be the difference he has already made in the struggle for marriage equality,” he continued.

The decision by Black was specific to the couple’s case, but has now been extended to apply to all couples’ death certificates, despite the Ohio ban on equal marriage.

Equal marriage advocacy group FreedomOhio hopes to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot for Ohio later this year or next, which would remove the 2004 amendment which banned equal marriage.

In 2004, the amendment banning equal marriage passed with 62% of voters supporting.

Related topics: Civil partnerships, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, james obergefell, john arthur, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, wedding

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