Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Judge rules Ohio must recognize same-sex marriage performed in Maryland

Two men in Ohio who had married out of state have won in federal district court.  James Obergefell and John Arthur had married in Maryland, actually at BWI airport (10 miles from Baltimore, about 30 miles from Washington).  Arthur has Lou Gehrig’s disease and may not have long to live, according to media reports.
ABC news ran the AP story by Amanda Lee Myers, here

The case is likely to wind up in the Sixth Circuit.  It could have implications, and force the Supreme Court to rule on whether states must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.  However, in its ruling striking down DOMA in June, the Supreme Court did not seem to be so inclined to rule that way yet.  A case could come before the Court next year or later if there were conflicting rulings from different circuits.
Ohio, like Virginia, has a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

The public tenor on gay marriage is certainly changing.  Even the conservative Washington Times no longer puts the term in quotes (story by Cheryl K. Chumey here).
Some moderate commentators say that social conservatives seem obsessed with preserving the meaning of the special mechanics of heterosexual “coitus”, out of fear that will become less rewarding if it less privileged than it had been before. 
What’s striking to me is the desire for long-lived intimacy, over decades, in a same-sex relationship.  It did happen when I was coming of age (as with one male couple in Dallas together for 49 years), but you heard about it rarely.  It wasn’t “expected” and wasn’t part of the separatist culture “we” had set up, out of necessity. 

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