Henry v. Hodges (formerly Henry v. Himes)
Kelly Noe and Kelly McCracken, two of the plaintiffs in Henry v. Hodges.
Lambda Legal co-counsels in a federal lawsuit seeking recognition of out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples and accurate birth certificates listing both parents for children born to legally married same-sex couples in Ohio. Under Ohio law, the Ohio Department of Health, the agency charged with issuing birth certificates, refuses to issue or amend birth certificates naming both same-sex parents. Ohio’s refusal to recognize legal marriages of same-sex couples from out of state forces the loving, committed couples to name only one parent on a child’s birth certificate. Plaintiffs include four married same-sex couples seeking recognition of their marriages in Ohio and an order requiring the State to place the names of both parents on the birth certificates of their children. Three of the couples are married women expecting children to be delivered in Ohio hospitals. One of the couples are married men living in New York City whose adopted son was born in Ohio.
- February 2014 Lambda Legal joins Al Gerhardstein of Gerhardstein & Branch, in in a suit filed in federal court on behalf of four same-sex couples.
- April 2014 Ohio federal court announces that on April 14, 2014, it will order the state to recognize out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples and issue accurate birth certificates for children born to married same-sex couples.
- May 2014 After appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit consolidates Henry v. Himes with Obergefell v. Himes, another Ohio case, for purposes of submission. Obergefell also seeks recognition of out-of-state marriages in Ohio.
August 2014 Oral arguments on the consolidated Ohio marriage cases occur, alongside cases from Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Cases from two of the other states include claims for marriage equality in addition to the recognition of out-of-state marriages, and the Sixth Circuit is expected to rule on both questions.
November 6, 2014 The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld as constitutional bans on marriage rights for same-sex couples in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, becoming the first federal circuit court after the Supreme Court’s watershed 2013 Windsor ruling to uphold such bans and departing from recent decisions from the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits.
November 14, 2014 Lambda Legal, the ACLU and private firm Gerhardstein & Branch filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ aberrant ruling upholding discriminatory bans on marriage rights for same-sex couples in Ohio and three other states.
January 16, 2015 The U. S. Supreme Court grants review of this case, alongside other marriage equality and recognition cases from the 6th Circuit. The high court has set the stage for final resolution of the debate about marriage equality for same-sex couples across the country. Oral argument before the Supreme Court could occur early in 2015.
Al Gerhardstein of Gerhardstein & Branch; Jennifer Branch, Jaci Gonzales Martin, Ellen Essig and Lisa Meeks of Cincinnati.