Ohio does not permit gay marriage, nor does it recognize gay marriages performed in other states. A federal judge in Cincinnati, however, has ruled that the state must recognize the marriage of an Ohio gay couple which was performed in Maryland.
John Arthur suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease, and is dying. He and his partner, James Obergefell, flew to Maryland on July 11 and were married on the tarmac of an airport there. The intention was to allow Obergefell eventually to be buried beside Arthur in an Arthur family burial plot that permits only descendants and spouses. In order to allow that, Arthur's Ohio death certificate, when it is issued, must list Obergefell as Arthur's spouse. That is not possible under Ohio's current anti-gay laws.
The ruling in favor of the gay couple was made by U.S. District Jusge Timothy Black, and applies ONLY to the Arthur/Obergefell case. Black said Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage denies them equal protection under the law. Black noted that Ohio does not permit marriage between first cousins, but that the state nevertheless recognizes such marriages when they have been performed in those states which do allow that.
The ruling by Judge Black contradicts the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States on DOMA, which specifically granted permission for states to discriminate against gays (and only gays) in the definition of marriage. That may be why Judge Black emphasized that his ruling applies only to this single case, and not to gay marriage rights in Ohio in general.