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Friday, July 26, 2013

Courts - Kentucky challenge to state ban on same sex marriage follows successful challenge in Ohio

"Ohio must recognize gay couple's marriage, judge rules" is the heading to one of a number of stories earlier this week -- this one by Kevin Rector in the LA Times on July 23rd, began:

BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Ohio has ordered state officials there to recognize the Maryland marriage of a terminally ill gay Cincinnati man on his state death certificate.

The man and his husband, who were wed in Maryland, where gay marriage is legal, expect he will die soon.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black to grant John Arthur and his husband, Jim Obergefell, a temporary restraining order against the 2004 Ohio law banning recognition of gay marriage came despite a warning from the state's attorney general that it could contribute to a broad rewriting of Ohio law in favor of such unions. * * *

In his decision Monday, Black wrote that his order restraining the state from enforcing its laws applied to Arthur and Obergefell only, through Aug. 5 or as extended by the court. It will not affect Ohio or its other citizens, the order said.

But Black also took aim at the state's current law, saying Arthur and Obergefell were "not currently accorded the same dignity and recognition as similarly situated opposite-sex couples" in Ohio.

Black referred to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the federal law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal, and he challenged the notion that Ohio could pick and choose which out-of-state marriages to recognize — even among those that would be illegal in Ohio.

Black found that Ohio recognized opposite-sex marriages between first cousins and minors that are legally performed in other states, though they are otherwise illegal in Ohio.

Today Brett Barrouquere of the AP has a story headed "Kentucky couple challenges state ban on same-sex marriage, seeks recognition of their marriage." Some quotes:
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — A Louisville couple on Friday challenged Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriages, saying the state isn't treating them and other same-sex couples on equal footing with other married couples.

Gregory Bourke and Michael Deleon, both 55, are asking a federal judge in Louisville to require the state to recognize valid unions from other states and countries.

The men are seeking an injunction to stop state and local officials from enforcing the ban written into the Kentucky constitution in 2004. The suit is the first such challenge in Kentucky since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which blocked married same-sex couples from receiving the same benefits as heterosexual spouses.

The high court's majority said provisions in the federal law defining marriage as between one man and one woman interfered with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages in states that allowed them. * * *

Challenges to same-sex marriage bans have been filed in recent weeks in Pennsylvania, Arkansas and New Mexico. The American Civil Liberties Union has said challenges are also expected in Virginia, Nevada, Hawaii and Michigan.

Kentucky changed its state constitution in 2004 to include the prohibition on same-sex marriage. The amendment reads: "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky" and "A marriage between members of the same sex which occurs in another jurisdiction shall be void in Kentucky."

ILB: The Ohio case is Obergefell et al v. Kasich et al (1:2013cv00501). Here is the complaint, here is the order.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 26, 2013 12:32 PM
Posted to Courts in general