Cincinnati's domestic partner registry is officially taking names.
It's designed to give unmarried couples a legal record of their relationship, making it easier for others, like employers or hospitals, to grant benefits and privileges typically available only to families or married couples.
Councilmember Chris Seelbach spearheaded the project and says it's a "very simple way to hopefully help more people be recognized as couples in the City of Cincinnati and in turn leverage health care for one another through their private employer."
Several hundred people rallied in Lytle Park Tuesday evening, a day before same-sex marriage cases from four states are set to be heard in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Kim Franklin and Tammy Boyd are parties in the case from Kentucky. Franklin says she and Boyd live every day as a married couple (they were married in Connecticut in 2010) and they want their marriage to be recognized.
Six Cincinnati same-sex couples have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against The Director of the Ohio Department of Health and the Director of the Hamilton County Probate Court .
The suit seeks to "secure for same-sex couples across Ohio the right to marry on an equal basis with opposite-sex couples."
The Plaintiffs are Michelle Gibson and Deborah Meem; Heather Apple and Mary Koehler; Ronald Kastner Beck and Dave Beck; Andrew Hickman and Ethan Fletcher; Gary Goodman and Karl Rece, Jr.; and Rhonda Craig and Kendra Dukes.
Federal Judge Timothy Black has decided Ohio's same sex marriage recognition ban will remain in place while his decision is being appealed. (meaning same-sex couples cannot go to other states, get married and have those marriages recognized in Ohio during the appeal of this case) The exception is the four couples who sued. Their marriages will be recognized and their names will go on the birth certificates of their children.
Monday is the day Federal Judge Timothy Black says he will rule in the case of four same-sex couples who want to get their names on their children's birth certificates.
Their request goes beyond what attorney Al Gerhardstein had originally asked in the February lawsuit. He broadened it to request the judge strike down a portion of Ohio's gay marriage ban, passed by voters in 2004.