Same-sex couple Ariel Owens (R) and his spouse Joseph Barham walk arm in arm after they were married at San Francisco City Hall June 17, 2008 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Ohio gay marriage case heads to federal court, could affect similar cases nationwide

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CINCINNATI -- The legal debate over whether or not gay marriage should be recognized on Ohio death certificates will be heard in federal court Wednesday.

It’s a case that could set an example for the rest of the country.

Currently, there is a statewide constitutional ban against recognizing gay marriage on a death certificate.

On one side are two gay Ohio men who successfully got a judge to order that their recently deceased spouses should be listed as married on their death certificates.

The two men want that right to be afforded to all same-sex couples in Ohio who, like them, were married in other states that allow gay marriage.

Attorneys for the state argue that recognizing gay marriages on death certificates would violate state law and go against the voters who decided in 2004 to ban same-sex marriages.

Judge Timothy Black will hold a hearing on the issue Wednesday but says he wont make a decision until by the end of the year.

The ruling in this case could inform cases that are dealing with similar issues nationwide.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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