THEIR FULL STORY
Watch Jim Obergefell and John Arthur's story in depth.
Jim considers the law less protective than the 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, ruling granting Marriage Equality across the nation
Why Jim Obergefell is not celebrating the Senate's same-sex marriage bill.
"This is an incredible overreach, I believe, and a misinterpretation of religious freedom. This is giving businesses, businesses open to the public, the constitutional right to refuse service to an entire community of people. That isn't religious freedom. That is using religion as a weapon. That is not the intent of religious freedom in this country."
HE SAID YES
We had talked about getting married and we never felt it would be anything more than symbolic because of the, the nature of our country. ~ John Arthur
After learning of Edie Windsor's 2013 win for marriage equality, James Obergefell and John Arthur, in a spontaneous, joyful moment, decided to marry. Jim leaned over to John and said, "Let's get married" and John said "Yes!" After 20 loving years together, and in part because John was afflicted with ALS, the couple decided to marry in the closest state where they could legally wed and only one person need apply for the license. This would allow them to be buried next to each other as in their home state of Ohio.
Or so they thought.
Friends and family raised funds so the two could fly on a private jet, the only way John could make the trip with his illness progressing. They landed on a Maryland tarmac and were married on the spot by John's Aunt Paulette. Upon returning to Ohio, they filed a lawsuit to be recognized as spouses on John's death certificate. John passed away, 3 months and 3 days after they filed suit, but Jim continued fighting to be federally recognized and documented as husbands. He wanted the government to say they mattered, that they existed. The case, Obergefell v. Hodges, went to the Supreme Court, winning marriage equality for all, and giving their marriage eternal validity, dignity, and the inclusive rights of marriage.
Press and Interviews
Jim Obergefell Looks Back on 8 Years of Marriage Equality — and the Great Love That Made It Possible
President Biden signed off on the landmark Respect for Marriage Act to protect gay and interracial marriages on a federal level. Jim is worried it doesn’t go far enough.
Jim has joined the team at The JustMarried Project as Producer. The project showcases the couples whose powerful and inspiring voices brought about Marriage Equality in the U.S.
Jim and L.G.B.T.Q. groups warn that the Roe ruling could impact other rights. Rights advocates express dismay over Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion concurring.
Even with passage of the Respect For Marriage Act, if SCOTUS decides to overturn Obergefell, marriage rights could still be rolled back around the country—Time magazine explains why
Jim Obergefell Helped Secure the Right to Same-Sex Marriage. Now He’s Fighting to Keep It
Jim Obergefell on on Ruth Bader Ginsberg: She believed in equal justice
Obergefell is the named plaintiff from the landmark U.S. Supreme Court marriage equality case
Obergefell v. Hodges. Following the decision on June 26, 2015, he embraced a new career as an
LBGTQ+ activist and was most recently the Director of Individual Giving at FamilyEquality.org.
that brought about Marriage Equality in the U.S.
Jim sits on the Board of Advisors of the Mattachine Society of Washington, DC, the National Advisory Council
of the GLBT Historical Society and served on the Board of Directors of SAGE, the oldest and largest caused-based national organization, advocating for and providing services for LGBTQ+ older Americans.
Merging a love of wine with the fight for equality, he co-founded Equality Vines, the world’s first causebased
wine label, to support organizations devoted to civil rights and equality for all.
With Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Debbie Cenziper, Obergefell co-authored the book
Love Wins published by William Morrow/Harper Collins.
A few times a year, Jim miraculously finds the time to celebrate and officiate
the nuptials of loving couples, because, well, Love Is Love.
For more information, click here.
Jim's schedule is always moving, but leave your information here, including wedding date, time and location and who knows, if just might work out!