Lifestyle & Belief

Ohio gay couple wins right to be buried together (VIDEO)

A gay couple in Ohio has won the right to be buried together in a landmark case that's sure to spark similar lawsuits in other states unfriendly to same-sex marriage.

John Arthur and Jim Obergefell, both 47, were married in Maryland earlier this month but wanted their out-of-state marriage recognized in Ohio as Arthur, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease, nears death.

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The couple wants to be buried in Arthur's family cemetery, but it only allows spouses to be interred next to each other.

Ohio does not recognize same-sex marriage.

In a ruling Monday, federal judge Timothy Black granted them a temporary restraining order against the 2004 gay marriage law and ordered that Arthur's death certificate show that he was married, with Obergefell listed as his surviving spouse.

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Black said the couple deserved to be treated with dignity.

"It's the next front for the gay rights movement," Ben Bishin, a political scientist at the University of California in Riverside, told the Christian Science Monitor.

The couple's attorney called the ruling "more than just a legal form."

"It's the state where these men have built their lives, the city where they built their lives, finally turning to them and saying, 'Yes, we do recognize that you're a couple as much as any opposite-sex couple and that your life and now your death will be honored in a way that other married couples would be treated,'" attorney Al Gerhardstein told The Daily Mail.