Ohio Man Challenging Marriage Equality Ban Has Died

Jim Burroway

October 22nd, 2013

Sad news this morning:

John Arthur, who flew to Maryland in July to marry his longtime partner Jim Obergefell, touching off a legal battle to force the state of Ohio to recognize their marriage and those of other same-sex couples, died Tuesday at the age of 48.

Mr. Arthur was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2011, and his terminal illness played a prominent role in the couple’s decision to marry and in the ensuing legal battle. He and Obergefell had been a couple since 1992 but decided to marry after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 decision striking down portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

…Although he was bedridden in the last months of his life, the publicity from his court case gave him a link to the outside world as hundreds of people sent gifts, letters and cards of support. Known throughout his life for a sense of optimism and an equal sense of the absurd, Mr. Arthur saw both in the attention their story garnered. “It’s been a swell of anonymous support,” he said in August. “It’s truly the supporters who are seeking us out to congratulate us and acknowledge us and give us words of support and thanks.”

Soon after they married in July, the Cincinnati couple filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court challenging Ohio’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Judge Timothy Black issued an injunction requiring the state of Ohio to list the couple as married on Arthur’s death certificate.

Rob

October 22nd, 2013

Sad news, but I am glad he got what he had wished for, sorry for his husbands loss.

Nathaniel

October 22nd, 2013

I’m glad he saw some small concession in his fight for equality; it sometimes seems in our history that so many champions don’t live to see the full fruits of their labors. I feel this is doubly admirable for using what is already a difficult situation to fight for freedom for all, and provide a visceral illustration of the true wickedness of the discrimination they (and others like them) face.

TampaZeke

October 22nd, 2013

Rest in Peace. Condolences to his husband.

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