A gay couple married in New York said
Friday that they have dropped their federal lawsuit seeking to force
Ohio to recognize their marriage.
Al Cowger Jr. and Tony Wesley Jr. have
been together for 28 years and married in upstate New York in June
2012. The couple lives in Gates Mills, a suburb of Cleveland, with
their 8-year-old adopted daughter.
The couple said in their lawsuit filed
last month that because Ohio would not recognize their out-of-state
marriage, they were unable to enroll as a family under the Affordable
Care Act (ACA) and were forced to purchase three individual policies
at a higher cost.
Al Gerhardstein, the couple's attorney,
said that the couple obtained a family policy on Monday that takes
effect next month.
“I can't tell you exactly where the
hang up was,” Gerhardstein told the AP. “I think maybe it just
needed that spotlight that came from this case and from the
inquiries, and then the wheels got greased.”
Two weeks ago, the Obama administration
said that starting next year insurers must offer identical health
coverage to spouses in a same-sex marriage as they offer to spouses
in an opposite-sex marriage.
Two lawsuits aimed at dismantling
Ohio's ban, approved by voters in 2004, remain. However, those
lawsuits seek to carve out exceptions to the ban, rather than topple
gay couples want Ohio to recognize their marriages on birth