A decision by a federal judge in Ohio Monday to grant marriage rights to a same-sex couple residing in a state that does not recognize such unions highlights a new front for gay rights activists seeking to expand rights for couples living in states that are unfriendly to same-sex marriage.
On Monday, US District Judge Timothy Black ruled in favor of John Arthur and James Obergefell, a Cincinnati couple who married in Maryland on July 11 and want the rights they earned in that state transferred to Ohio so that both men can be buried next to each other in the Arthur family plot, which is restricted to direct descendants and spouses. Mr. Arthur is suffering from a disease doctors have diagnosed as terminal.
Maryland is one of 13 states, along with the District of Columbia, that recognizes gay marriage, while Ohio is one of 37 in which it is banned or not recognized. With many of the states that now ban gay marriage not likely to change in the near future, the next wave of challenges could come from legally married same-sex couples seeking to have their marriage rights recognized on their home turf.