Obergefell v. Hodges

Obergefell v. Hodges (prev. Obergefell v. Himes, Obergefell v. Wymyslo, Obergefell v. Kasich) is a federal court challenge filed July 19, 2013, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, by James Obergefell and John Arthur, a same-sex couple alleging that the state discriminates against same-sex couples who have married lawfully out-of-state. Arthur, who was terminally ill and suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sought to identify Obergefell as his surviving spouse on his death certificate based on their July 11, 2013 marriage on a tarmac at a Maryland airport. The couple was granted a temporary retraining order prohibiting state officials from listing Arthur as unmarried on his death certificate, in the event he died before the court could consider the case. Arthur died on Oct. 22, 2013.

On Dec. 23, 2013, U.S. District Judge Timothy Black ordered Ohio authorities to recognize same-sex marriages on death certificates, saying the state’s ban on such unions is unconstitutional and that states cannot discriminate against same-sex couples simply because some voters “don’t like homosexuality.” The narrow ruling applied only to death certificates. Ohio’s attorney general has said the state would appeal.

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