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Ohio couple files federal lawsuit challenging state’s ban on gay marriage

Ohio couple files federal lawsuit challenging state’s ban on gay marriage

John Arthur and Jim Obergefell are an Ohio gay couple who went to great lengths to get married last week.

The couple was forced to raise $12,700 to charter a private plane and get married in Maryland where same-sex marriage is now legal. The seven-minute ceremony took place on an airport tarmac.

Arthur suffers from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, so they could not fly commercially.

Arthur and Obergefell have now filed a federal lawsuit claiming it is unconstitutional for Ohio to not recognize their marriage.

‘It’s blatant discrimination,’ said the couple’s attorney Al Gerhardstein said in a statement. ‘It’s a denial of equal protection.’

The suit makes this point: In Ohio, it is illegal for first cousins to marry each other. But if they go to another state and marry where it is legal, their out of state marriage is valid in Ohio.

‘Equal protection demands that opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples should be treated the same,’ Gerhardstein states.

‘John and James were validly married in Maryland. 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.’