CINCINNATI (AP) — Four legally married gay couples filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Monday seeking a court order to force Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages on birth certificates despite a statewide ban, echoing arguments in a similar successful lawsuit concerning death certificates.
The couples filed the suit in federal court in Cincinnati, arguing that the state’s practice of listing only one partner in a gay marriage as a parent on birth certificates violates the U.S. Constitution.
“We want to be afforded the same benefits and rights as every other citizen of the United States,” said one of the plaintiffs, Joe Vitale, 45, who lives in Manhattan with his husband and their adopted 10-month-old son, who was born in Ohio. The pair married in 2011 shortly after New York legalized gay marriage.
A spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose office will fight the lawsuit, declined to comment.
Good for them; I hope the plaintiffs win. It’s embarrassing for the state I live in — and which I have lived in for a dozen years, and which I like quite a bit — not to offer equal rights to all of its citizens. Hopefully this takes us further down that road.
While I’m at it, good on the federal government for expanding benefits and services to married same-sex couples, even if they live in a state that doesn’t recognize their union (like, for instance, Ohio). I think it makes it more difficult for these states to continue the calumny that some marriages should be treated with more respect and recognition than others. Again: Good.