Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has reiterated that his office will continue to defend the state's gay marriage ban in a case seeking recognition of a dying man's Maryland marriage to his partner of over 20 years.

On Monday, a federal judge granted the couple a temporary restraining order.

However, that order expires on August 5. James Obergefell and John Arthur of Cincinnati have requested a permanent injunction to allow Arthur, who is bedridden from Lou Gehrig's Disease and is receiving hospice care, to be listed as married on his death certificate, with Obergefell listed as his surviving spouse.

(Related: Dying gay man's final wish: To marry his partner.)

“The matter will ultimately be decided by the judge on the merits,” DeWine, a Republican, told WKRC.

“And we look forward to that argument. My job as attorney general is to follow the will of the people,” he said, a reference to Ohio's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment prohibiting the state from recognizing any union other than a heterosexual marriage.

David Pepper, DeWine's 2014 Democratic challenger, criticized DeWine's decision.

“Above all, an attorney general takes an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution,” Pepper said in a written statement. “This case is a truly sad example of constitutional rights being violated, and the deep and personal harms that result from constitutionally unequal treatment.”

“I respectfully call upon Attorney General DeWine to recognize the clear constitutional wrongs taking place here. Allow this couple to spend their final weeks together in dignity.”