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Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
CINCINNATI -- A federal judge makes a controversial ruling on same-sex marriage that could potentially change how Ohio views gay marriage.
Late Monday, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order on Ohio's same-sex marriage ban. The decision only pertains to a single same-sex couple that was married in Maryland. The couple says the ruling fulfills one man's dying wish.
John Arthur and Jim Obergefell only have a short time left to spend together as a married couple. John has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. John wanted to be listed as "married" on his Ohio death certificate and have Jim named as his spouse.
"This is a loving couple that simply wants Ohio to recognize their marriage," said the couple's attorney Al Gerhardstein.
The couple's attorney argued the state does recognize marriages performed in other states that are illegal in Ohio, like marriages between first cousins. Therefore, John and Jim's lawyer said Ohio should also recognize their marriage, which is legal in Maryland.
"They want this to be the first step in Ohio in terms of equal rights for gay marriage," Gerhardstein said.
Meanwhile, the state claimed a judge doesn't have the right to make a determination that could potentially overturn Ohio's same-sex marriage ban, which voters approved in 2004. This was the first challenge to the state's ban since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage act last month.
Right now, the temporary restraining order only effects John and Jim, but many people on both sides of the issue say this could be the start of big changes for same-sex couples in Ohio.
"I think it's great. I think it's a step in the right direction. I think these people should have the same rights as people of the opposite sex who want to be married," said Malia Woodard of Beavercreek.
"There are going to be certain religious groups that don't like it. But it's gone on long enough that people should be able to be happy no matter who they're with," agreed Nate Scheidt of Dayton.
The governor's office hasn't issued a statement since the judge ruled in favor of the couple. However, Gov. John Kasich has previously said he believes marriage is between a man and a woman.
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