Terminally-Ill Gay Ohio Man And Husband File Federal Gay Marriage Lawsuit

UPDATE: Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner is reporting that a federal judge in Ohio has since ordered state officials to recognize the marriage of Arthur and Obergefell on the former's death certificate. Read more here.

The Ohio newlyweds who tied the knot on an airport tarmac in Maryland filed a federal lawsuit last week claiming it is unconstitutional for their marriage not be be recognized in their home state.

John Arthur, who is bedridden with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and his husband Jim Obergefell believe the way their state treats same-sex marriages is "blatant discrimination ... it's a denial of equal protection," the couple's attorney Al Gerhardstein tells WCPO.

"John and James were validly married in Maryland," Gerhardstein is quoted as saying in a statement. "If they were an opposite sex couple, Ohio would recognize their marriage. Being a same-sex couple is no longer a good enough reason to deny them equal rights."

Sadly, the couple's fight is also a race against time. Two years ago, Arthur was diagnosed was ALS, which is often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's disease" and robs patients of their ability to walk, talk and eventually breathe. There is no known cure.

Arthur, who is currently in hospice care, and Obergefell received donations from friends, family and other connections to cover the cost of a $12,700 chartered, medically-equipped private plane for their seven-minute wedding in Baltimore.

Obergefell said in a statement that he and Arthur "want nothing more than for our marriage to count in the place we call home."

He added, "When [Arthur] dies, his death certificate should reflect our marriage just like the records of all the other married couples in Ohio."



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