Four legally married same-sex couples on Monday filed a civil right lawsuit with the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio [official website], seeking a court order to force the state of Ohio to recognize both spouses' names on birth certificates. Three of the couples are legally married lesbian couples who have become pregnant through the process of artificial insemination. The fourth couple lives in New York and adopted a boy from Ohio last year. In the suit, the plaintiffs argue that the state's current allowance of only one partner from a same-sex marriage on a birth certificate is a violation of the US Constitution. Many have speculated that this lawsuit seeks to build off of the successful December lawsuit, in which a judge from the same court ruled [JURIST report] that the state must recognize valid out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples on Ohio death certificates.
Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] has been a highly polarizing issue in the American legal community. Numerous challenges to same-sex marriage bans have arisen before state and federal courts just in the last month. Last week, the Wisconsin branch of the American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin [official website] challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. On January 23, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring [official profile] announced [JURIST report] that he believes the state's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional and he will not defend legal challenges to it, including the case detailed above. On January 22, six same-sex couples filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in Florida state court challenging that state's ban on same-sex marriage. On the same day, the ACLU challenged [JURIST report] Utah's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed after the US District Court for the District of Utah [official website] struck down the state's same-sex marriage ban.