3 In October, 2008, Michelle was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In 2011, she began using a wheelchair. For the past two years, she has used a wheel chair full time. She has recently had some health issues that required her to spend time in a rehabilitation facility. Although she has returned home, it is very likely that at some time in the future, she may need 24 hour home-care or even need to live in an extended care facility.
Because of Michelle‟s illness, it
is important that their relationship be legally recognized very soon. They have drafted documents so that Deborah can care for Michelle and make health care and financial decisions for her if she is unable, but they worry that those documents may not be honored. Given the wide range of health care staff and others who must refer to these wordy, technical documents, their fear is very reasonable. Deborah and Michelle need the protections that a state-recognized marriage would provide.
B. Heather Apple and Mary K. Koehler
Heather Apple and Mary K. Koehler (“Mary Kay”) began dating in 2004, soon fell in
love, and moved in together in 2006. They discussed raising children together but wanted to get married first, so they had a commitment ceremony in 2008. It was the best they could do because Ohio bans same-sex marriage. In 2009, they began the fertility process, and in 2010 Heather gave birth to their first daughter. Mary Kay gave birth to their second daughter in 2012. Heather and Mary Kay would like to be legally married. They want their family to have the same legal and financial stability that opposite-sex married couples enjoy. This is especially important because they are raising children together.
Declaration of Heather Apple.
Case: 1:14-cv-00347-MRB Doc #: 5 Filed: 04/30/14 Page: 3 of 22 PAGEID #: 26