Target: Ohio Judge Timothy Black
Goal: Applaud Ohio Judge Timothy Black for expanding a marriage equality lawsuit to all same-sex couples
As Ohio resident John Arthur was dying, Jim Obergefell, his husband, filed a lawsuit in an Ohio federal court that sought recognition of their marriage on Arthur’s death certificate. Subsequently, William Herbert, half of another gay couple, unexpectedly died. As a result, Ohio Judge Timothy Black allowed this couple to be included in the case and ruled that the living spouse must be designated as Herbert’s husband on Herbert’s death certificate. Moreover, Judge Black agreed to consider the original case to include all gay couples and will eventually make his final ruling in December 2013. This decision represents a small step towards equal rights for same-sex couples in Ohio and will hopefully be emulated by other courts in states where marriage inequality persists.
Many opponents of marriage equality believe that the death certificate outlet is just a back door into marriage equality. This lawsuit elucidates how same-sex couples are discriminated against. On the other hand, marriages performed in other states that would not be allowed in Ohio, such as marriages between first cousins or underage marriages, are recognized when they come back to Ohio. Therefore, all facets of marriage inequality such as adoption, filing taxes or death certificates are viable reasons to argue against this heinous second-class treatment of members of the gay community.
Some conservative Ohio lawmakers are outraged that Judge Black ruled in favor of marriage equality and have demanded that he be impeached. They claim that Black is incompetent because he allowed his personal bias to override jurisprudence. However, the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and announced that discrimination against same-sex marriages would impose a stigma against same-sex families. Please sign this petition to commend Judge Black for ruling that gay couples in Ohio deserve equal protection under the law. The gay community does not deserve to be treated as second-class citizens, and Black’s decision is a small step towards rectifying that injustice.
Dear Ohio Judge Timothy Black,
We commend your decision to expand a lawsuit that designates same-sex spouses on death certificates. All aspects of marriage inequality such as filing taxes, death certificates, and adoption are legitimate reasons to argue against the second-class treatment of members of the gay community.
Many Republican lawmakers in Ohio are outraged that you have judged in favor of gay rights and are calling for your impeachment. Nonetheless, your decision to provide equal protection to same-sex couples in Ohio under the law should be applauded.
[Your Name Here]
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