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The opinion begins:

This is not a complicated case. The issue is whether the State of Ohio can discriminate against same sex marriages lawfully solemnized out of state, 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.

Throughout Ohio’s history, Ohio law has been clear: a marriage solemnized
outside of Ohio is valid in Ohio if it is valid where solemnized. Thus, for example,
under Ohio law, out-of-state marriages between first cousins are recognized by Ohio,
even though Ohio law does not authorize marriages between first cousins. Likewise,
under Ohio law, out of state marriages of minors are recognized by Ohio, even though
Ohio law does not authorize marriages of minors.

How then can Ohio, especially given the historicalstatus of Ohio law, single out
same sex marriages as ones it will not recognize? The short answer is that Ohio cannot
at least not under the circumstances here.

By treating lawful same sex marriages differently than it treats lawful opposite sex
marriages(e.g., marriages of first cousins and marriages of minors), Ohio law, as applied
to these Plaintiffs, likely violates the United States Constitution which guarantees that
"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall ... deny to any person within its
jurisdiction equal protection of the laws.

The end result here and now is that the local Ohio Registrar of death certificates is
hereby ORDERED not to accept for recording a death certificate forJohn Arthur that does not record Mr. Arthur’s status at death as "married" and James Obergefell as his "surviving spouse."

More below.

The amazing thing about this story is that James and Arthur got married on July 11, 2013. In other words, it took just 11 days from the time of their marriage until the court entered a temporary restraining order barring entry of a death certificate that fails to recognize a marriage performed in Maryland.

I would encourage you to read the decision. It is plainly written, easy to understand, and only fifteen pages: ORDER.

Look for lots of commentary on this issue coming soon. I am too busy to provide my analysis right now, but I will point out that this order is only good for 14 days. After that, the judge will have to enter a preliminary injunction, which will be good indefinitely while the case makes its way through the system. Reading this order, there is no way the judge will not extend the TRO into an injunction.

Finally, I did a quick search and didn't see anything. If there is already a diary about this, please let me know.

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Comment Preferences

  •  More commentary... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, MartyM, Red Bean, exNYinTX

    At the most trustworthy legal news site in the country:

    And with a slightly conservative but highly educated bent:

  •  wow -- that's a great opinion/ruling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:45:25 AM PDT

  •  There are already two diaries about this; but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't mind yours.

    Laura Clawson and Teacherken have already diaried this today.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:46:08 AM PDT

  •  The human side (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, sfbob

    of the story is extraordinarily touching.

    He ruled in the case of a gay Cincinnati couple who have been together for some twenty years, and only recently were married in Maryland — a state where such marriages were first allowed by state voters last November.  James Obergefell is now married to John Arthur, who has an advanced form of sclerosis that is expected to take his life shortly.  When the couple went to Baltimore to be married, they traveled on a plane especially equipped for Arthur’s illness.  They were married on the plane as it sat on the tarmac.

    But, since Ohio will not recognize their Maryland marriage, Arthur’s death certificate would list him as unmarried and would not list Obergefell as a surviving spouse.  In addition, the couple wishes ultimately to be buried together as married partners, and that would not be allowed.

    Judge Black found that their constitutional challenge to the differing treatment under Ohio law was likely to succeed when their case goes through a full trial.  In the meantime, because of the likely imminence of Arthur’s death, the judge ordered officials to take action to assure that their marriage is treated as fully legal.

    But then, there's always a human side to these stories. That's what they're about.

  •  Will this error void the Order? (0+ / 0-)

    The very last line of the order reads"at the time of Mr. Obergefell’s death, which is imminent." It is Mr. Arthur's death which is imminent.

    the only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror... FDR first inaugural address

    by blogokvetsch on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:05:17 AM PDT

  •  A VERY strong suggestion (0+ / 0-)

    go back and change your heading to "marriage equality" instead of "gay marriage" - some folks here get rather concerned about the difference in terms.

    •  Yes indeed. It made sense to write about (0+ / 0-)

      "gay marriage" bills and Constitutional amendments when that was the terminology used in some of the bills and in the debates of the time. But not here. Specifically, this is not about the right of the plaintiffs to marry, which is settled, but about the equal treatment of marriages after they are entered into.

      This could be the next big Supreme Court case, in about three years. A lot of people want to get the Full Faith and Credit argument before SCOTUS. There are 51 marriage equality cases in the courts according to Marriage Equality, including a last, desperate rearguard action in California trying to limit gay marriages to only the two countries where plaintiffs resided. Since the law was found to violate the Constitution of the entire state, they have no hope, but we have to let them file their meaningless brief.

      We can expect a number of the cases challenging state laws and constitutional amendments, in several states, to be combined as they work their way up in the system.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:15:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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