Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage hits close to Delaware

 David Michener holds his husband's death certificate inside their Lewes home. The inclusion of Michener's name on the certificate is now part of a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

David Michener holds his husband's death certificate inside their Lewes home. The inclusion of Michener's name on the certificate is now part of a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that states can no longer ban same-sex marriage. 

The case, Obergefell v. Hodges, hits close to home for one Delaware man who is celebrating along with same sex couples nationwide.

For Dave Michener, the ruling to make same-sex marriage legal nationwide marks the end of a long battle. He was a part of that Ohio case.  

He and his husband Bill Ives were legally married at their vacation home in Delaware while living in Ohio. When Ives died, Ohio balked at recognizing their marriage.

“When I was notified that Bill’s death certificate was not valid in the state of Ohio because he was married to a man and my name was on it, the pain I had was just unbearable,” Michener said.

Now that pain has turned to joy for Michener, who first heard the news from a friend via text. According to Michener he had a feeling the Supreme Court would rule in favor of same sex couples.

“Thank you Supreme Court Justices for doing the right thing for the entire country not just for myself,” said Michener who believes his deceased spouse was trying to tell him about the Supreme Court ruling in a dream weeks ago.

In the meantime, the court’s action means Michener’s name will remain on his spouse’s death certificate, a victory he says the family celebrated together. Michener and his three three children are on vacation in Florida, trying to tackle things off a bucket list put together by Michener and Ives years ago.

“When the kids heard they were just screaming with joy knowing that there’s validity in my marriage to Bill,” said Michener.

ay marriage is unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges.

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