August 14, 2013

John Arthur may be dying, but the legacy he is leaving behind with his husband Jim Obergefell will be felt in the law for years.

Arthur, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease, married Obergefell, his partner of 20 years, in a ceremony on a runway in Maryland, where they had traveled on a medical flight. Upon return, the couple sought to have their marriage recognized in Ohio so that it would be included on John’s death certificate. In a strongly worded opinion,Federal Judge Timothy Black issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the state from not recognizing the marriage.

Now Black has extended that restraining order until the end of the year, protecting Jim and John’s marriage in the interim. He also scheduled arguments for the case for December 18. The case has the potential to be a major blow to the state’s ban on marriage equality. In his original ruling, Black signaled that the law “likely violates the U.S. Constitution” and noted that Ohio doesn’t have a problem recognizing any other type of marriage performed elsewhere in the country.