Ohio Attorney General Wants To Overturn Judge’s Decision To Let Dying Man Put Husband On Death Certificate

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) is seeking to overturn a federal judge’s decision to allow a dying man to have his husband listed on his death certificate, Cincinnati.com reported Tuesday.

Ohio couple John Arthur and Jim Obergefell flew to Maryland earlier this month to be married, after more than 20 years together, the Associated Press reported. Their home state has not legalized gay marriage, and Arthur, who suffers from ALS, was told he has days, or weeks at most, left to live. Arthur wanted Obergefell to be listed as his surviving spouse on his death certificate, so that Obergefell can one day be buried next to him in a family burial plot.

On Monday, a federal judge ruled in their favor. Judge Timothy Black wrote that denying the request would prohibit “Mr. Arthur from being buried with dignity constitutes irreparable harm,” the AP reported. “This is not a complicated case,” Black wrote. The ruling was temporary and confined strictly to the couple.

DeWine said he would appeal the judge’s decision.

h/t ThinkProgress

Update: Contrary to initial reports, DeWine’s spokesperson clarified to Buzzfeed Thursday that he has no plans to appeal because temporary orders like the one in this case are not generally appealable. However, the attorney general does plan to “continue to defend Ohio’s constitutional amendment and law banning same-sex couples from marrying and banning the state from recognizing such marriages.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at zoe@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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