Ohio gay-marriage lawsuit can proceed, judge says

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CINCINNATI (AP) -- A lawsuit seeking to have gay marriages recognized on Ohio death certificates despite a statewide ban on the nuptials has been allowed to proceed.

Federal Judge Timothy Black on Friday rejected a request from state attorneys to have a funeral director removed from the lawsuit, a move that essentially would have squelched it.

By permitting the funeral director to remain a plaintiff, the judge allows for his future ruling in the lawsuit to apply to potentially every gay Ohio couple who married in another state.

He says judges aren't "to duck legal questions simply because they are difficult or because the initial status quo has changed." He says the matter will be allowed to proceed to trial by year's end.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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