University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Henry v. Wymyslo PB-OH-0004
Docket / Court 1:14-CV-00129 ( S.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization Lambda Legal
Case Summary
On February 10, 2014, four same-sex couples and one of the couples' adopted child filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. 1983, claiming that Ohio's constitutional ban on same sex marriage and the ... read more >
On February 10, 2014, four same-sex couples and one of the couples' adopted child filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. 1983, claiming that Ohio's constitutional ban on same sex marriage and the manner in which that ban has been applied were unconstitutional under the Due Process and Fair Faith and Credit Clauses of the United States Constitution. Specifically, several of the couples are expecting children and under current Ohio law only one parent would be recorded on the birth certificate of the children. Plaintiffs requested that the court declare the relevant sections of the Ohio Constitution unconstitutional and issue injunctive relief ensuring that the couples be permitted to record both parents' names on the birth certificates of their children.

On April 14, 2014, Judge Timothy Black issued a ruling holding unconstitutional Ohio's ban on recognition of same-sex marriages from other states, and requiring Ohio to recognize all such marriages. The defendants moved for a stay order against the injunction the next day. On April 16th, the judge granted in part the defendants' motion for stay of injunction pending appeal; he stayed the application of the unconstitutionality to non-plaintiff same-sex couples but did not stay the injunctive relief provided to named plaintiffs.

The defendants appealed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 9th, 2014. On November 6, 2014, the Sixth Circuit ruled on this and other cases from four states. DeBoer v. Snyder (PB-MI-0004 in this Clearinghouse). Obergefell v. Hodges (PB-OH-0003 in this Clearinghouse). Love v. Beshear (PB-KY-0001 in this Clearinghouse). Tanco v. Haslam (PB-TN-0005 in this Clearinghouse). It was unwilling to find a Constitutional basis to deny states' authority to define marriage. On the Due Process and Equal Protection claims raised in this case, the court found that it was bound by Supreme Court precedent in Baker v. Nelson, 191 N.W.2d 185 (Minn. 1971), which it found not overruled by Windsor nor by "doctrinal developments". It found that the bans were plausibly rational, and neither in violation of the Constitution nor due to illegal animus or discrimination. It also held that "[i]f it is constitutional for a State to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, it is also constitutional for the State to stand by that definition with respect to couples married in other States or countries." (DeBoer v. Snyder Page p. 38). Accordingly, the Sixth Circuit upheld the same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

The Supreme Court granted certiorari review of all the 6th Circuit cases on Jan. 16, 2015. Bourke v. Beshear, 135 S. Ct. 1041 (2015). The Court rephrased the questions presented as: 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

On June 26, 2015, the Court reversed, in an opinion by Justice Kennedy. The right to marry is fundamental, the Court held, and it demeans gay and lesbian couples to deprive them of access to marriage. The 14th Amendment therefore does not allow states to ban same-sex marriage. Kennedy was joined without further writing by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor. Each of the four dissenters--Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito--wrote a dissent.

Chris MacColl - 04/15/2014
Nadji Allan - 11/12/2014
- 06/26/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Full faith and credit
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Adoption
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Cincinnati Health Department
Ohio
Plaintiff Description Four same-sex couples living in Ohio and a child adopted by one of the couples.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Lambda Legal
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PB-OH-0003 : Obergefell v. Hodges (S.D. Ohio)
PB-MI-0004 : DeBoer v. Snyder (E.D. Mich.)
PB-KY-0001 : Love v. Beshear (W.D. Ky.)
PB-TN-0005 : Tanco v. Haslam (M.D. Tenn.)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Limited Partnership
http://www.limitedpartnershipmovie.com/
By: Thomas G. Miller
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States Government says L.A. Gay Couple’s 1975 Marriage is Valid
The Pride L.A.
Written: Jun. 07, 2016
By: Troy Masters
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Links Oral Argument in Same Sex Marriage Cases
Oyez.com
Posted: Apr. 28, 2015
By: Oyez
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:14-cv-129 (S.D. Ohio) 05/23/2014
PB-OH-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Temporary Restraining Order and Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 02/10/2014
PB-OH-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction 02/10/2014
PB-OH-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Declaratory Judgment and Permanent Injunctive Relief 02/28/2014
PB-OH-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION 04/14/2014 (14 F.Supp.3d 1036) (S.D. Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
DECLARATORY JUDGMENT AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION 04/14/2014 (S.D. Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting In Part Defendant Himes's Motion for Stay of Injunction Pending Appeal 04/16/2014 (2014 WL 2177634) (S.D. Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion of the Sixth Circuit 11/06/2014 (772 F.3d 388)
PB-OH-0004-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Court of Appeals website
Judges Black, Timothy Seymour (S.D. Ohio) [Magistrate]
PB-OH-0004-0004 | PB-OH-0004-0005 | PB-OH-0004-0006 | PB-OH-0004-9000
Cook, Deborah L. (Sixth Circuit)
PB-OH-0004-0008
Daughtrey, Martha Craig (Sixth Circuit)
PB-OH-0004-0008
Sutton, Jeffrey S. (Sixth Circuit)
PB-OH-0004-0008
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Branch, Jennifer L. (Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-0001 | PB-OH-0004-0002 | PB-OH-0004-0003 | PB-OH-0004-9000
Castillo, Paul D. (Texas)
PB-OH-0004-9000
Cook, Marshall Currey (New York)
PB-OH-0004-0003 | PB-OH-0004-9000
Essig, Ellen (Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-0001 | PB-OH-0004-0002 | PB-OH-0004-0003 | PB-OH-0004-9000
Gerhardstein, Alphonse A. (Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-0001 | PB-OH-0004-0002 | PB-OH-0004-0003 | PB-OH-0004-9000
Martin, Jacklyn Gonzalez (Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-0001 | PB-OH-0004-0002 | PB-OH-0004-0003 | PB-OH-0004-9000
Meeks, Lisa T. (Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-0001 | PB-OH-0004-0002 | PB-OH-0004-0003 | PB-OH-0004-9000
Sommer, Susan (New York)
PB-OH-0004-0003 | PB-OH-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Coontz, Bridget C (Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-9000
Herzig, Aaron Mark (Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-9000
Keller, Zachary Paul (Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-9000
Richardson, Ryan L (Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-9000
Stackpole, Peter J. (Ohio)
PB-OH-0004-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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