logo
livingroom

decorative bar

biographies


corner Last update of this page: August 16th 2017 corner
Jim Obergefell
(July 7, 1966 - living) U.S.A.

FOTO

Activist

John Arthur
(1965 - October 22, 2013) U.S.A..

FOTO

Activist

separator

Jim Obergefell describes falling for John Arthur on New Year's Eve 1993 as "love at third sight", as the two had met before without chemistry. After the third meeting, however, the couple never looked back; because of the laws in their home state of Ohio, they rarely considered marriage, "because we actually wanted it to mean something, legally".

couple
Jim Obergefell & John Arthur, c. 1993. Photo c/o @jimobergefell

On June 26, 2013, two years after Arthur was diagnosed with ALS, as the ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriages ended, they decided to get married, despite still being unable to do so in Ohio. By that point, Arthur's condition confined him to a bed, making travel nearly impossible; with the assistance of friends, however, they traveled to Maryland on a medical jet, landed long enough to exchange vows, and traveled home, where they immediately filed a lawsuit to have their marriage recognized.

couple
Jim Obergefell and John Arthur (and officiant Paulette Roberts)
Baltimore Washington International Airport, Baltimore, Maryland, July 11, 2013
Photo by Glenn Hartong, @cincienquirer.

John Arthur, the son of two Northern Kentucky natives, born in Chicago, months later died; he was forty-eight.

On June 26, 2015, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the Court:

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage.

Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."

Because their home state would not recognize the marriage - either before or after John's death - Jim fought a legal battle that ultimately led to the Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges (argued by Mary Bonauto), which held that statutes excluding same-sex couples from the rights and privileges of civil marriage are unconstitutional.

separator

Source : http://lgbt-history-archive.tumblr.com/

Click on the letter O to go back to the list of names

corner © Matt & Andrej Koymasky, 1997 - 2017 corner