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Marriage equality battle widens in Ohio

CINCINNATI – The legal fight for marriage rights in Ohio expanded today with another plaintiff seeking to have his wedding recognized by the state.

David Brian Michener of Cincinnati, whose husband died of natural causes a week ago, today asked a federal judge to order the death certificate for William Herbert Ives to accurately reflect that the two men were legally married. Ohio’s constitution bans same-gender marriage, but marriage-rights supporters are trying to reverse the law.

Ives and Michener were married in Delaware on July 22, according to the Associated Press. They have three adopted children.

Michener asked the court to issue the order immediately before his husband’s body is scheduled to be cremated on Wednesday.

Another Cincinnati couple – James Obergefell and John Arthur, who were also married in July in Delaware – sued in federal court to have their marriage recognized by the State of Ohio. Arthur is dying of ALS, and the married couple sued the State so Arthur’s death certificate would accurately reflect his marital status and so that Obergefell would be listed as the surviving spouse. The couple also want to be buried next to each other, but Arthur’s family is trying to prevent that.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Tim Black granted a temporary restraining order – but noted that it was specific to Obergefell and Arthur only.