Robert Grunn has been a licensed funeral director in the state of Ohio for over 22 years. He is himself gay and caters his funeral services to gay and lesbian individuals and families. Mr. Grunn has had many married gay and lesbian clients, including James and John, who utilized his services when John died.
Because of the District Court’s Order in this case, Mr. Grunn was able to list John as married and list James as his surviving spouse on John’s death certificate. He intends to properly record the marriages of married lesbian and gay decedents in the future, but fears that by doing so he may be prosecuted for purposely making a “false statement” on a death certificate.
He brought this case seeking clarification that the marriage recognition bans are unconstitutional as applied to death certificates so that he can continue to honor the lives of his gay and lesbian clients by properly recording their marriages in death.