CINCINNATI– A federal judge ordered on Monday that same-sex marriages in Ohio must be recognized on death certificates.
In the ruling, Judge Timothy S. Black, said, “Ohio must recognize valid out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples on Ohio death certificates, just as Ohio recognizes all other out-of-state marriages, if valid in the state performed.”
Judge Black went on to say, “Once you get married lawfully in one state, another state cannot summarily take your marriage away, because the right to remain married is properly recognized as a fundamental liberty interest by the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.”
The ruling came after two gay men in Ohio, who recently lost their spouses, wanted to be recognized as married on their loved one’s death certificate.
The Human Rights Campaign responded after the ruling, saying, “In Ohio, we see the promise realized that soon no government can stand in the way of the bonds forged in sickness and health. In the midst of this holiday season we share in the joy experienced by those finally grasping the freedom and equality they deserve.”
FreedomOhio responded, “FreedomOhio applauds Judge Black’s ruling today as yet another step in the right direction on the road to freedom for gay and lesbian couples throughout Ohio.”
The National Organization for Marriage said, “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.”
Rob Nichols with Governor John Kasich’s office said, “We disagree with the Court’s ruling and the state will appeal it.”