US: New couple joins battle for equal marriage in Ohio over death certificate listing

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A new plaintiff has joined the lawsuit to have same-sex marriages recognised in the US state of Ohio, despite a state-wide ban on the practice.

David Brian Michener of Cincinnati has asked a federal judge to order that, on the death certificate of his recently deceased husband, he be listed as married, with himself listed as spouse, the Associated Press reports.

Michener married his late husband William Herbert Ives in Delaware on 22 July, and the couple adopted three children.

Ives died unexpectedly of natural causes a week ago, according to a court document obtained by the AP.

Michener has asked for the judge to order before Ives’ cremation, which is scheduled for Wednesday. He joins a July lawsuit against Ohio authorities by a different gay couple who married in Delaware, and wanted their marriage recognised in their home state.

Equal marriage advocacy group FreedomOhio hopes to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot for Ohio later this year or next, which would remove the 2004 amendment which banned equal marriage.

In 2004, the amendment banning equal marriage passed with 62% of voters supporting.

Back in July US District Judge Timothy Black ruled in favour of a couple who filed the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Ohio state-wide ban on equal marriage.James Obergefell and John Arthur filed the lawsuit as Mr Arthur is terminally ill, and with a view to having his death certificate to show that the couple are married.