LASTING LEGACY

Ohio Man Whose Wedding Led To Legal Challenge To State Dies

The terminally ill Ohio man whose heartrending marriage to his partner has led to a major challenge to Ohio’s ban on marriage equality has died. John Arthur, 48, had been diagnosed with ALS in 2011, and his dying wish was to marry his partner of 21 years, Jim Obergefell. His wish came true in July when a medical plane touched down on a runway in Maryland, where the couple were legally married.

Arthur and Obergefell then sought to have their marriage recognized in Ohio. Federal Judge Tim Black sided with the couple, ordering that Obergefell be listed as the survivor on Arthur’s death certificate. “Without a temporary restraining order, the official record of Mr. Arthur’s death, and the last official document recording his existence on earth, will incorrectly classify him as unmarried, despite his legal marriage to Mr. Obergefell,” Black wrote.

The implications of the case are far broader. What’s at stake is the need for Ohio to recognize legal marriages performed elsewhere and the state’s ban on marriage equality. That’s quite the legacy for Arthur to leave behind.

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5 Comments

  • Scribe38

    Rest In Peace Sir.

    Sorry for your lost, to the husband.

  • Rockery

    While this is sad, at least he got his wish and his husband is his successor.

  • Volvoguy

    Sorry for your loss, this tiny flower dying will
    Make the flower bed so much stronger.
    His life and death will change a lot of laws in
    Ohio and the US.

  • Mikah

    He will live on through his husband.

  • bledoutcolor

    Aww queerty just had to ruin my day didnt it. :( i remember almost crying when i read about how sweet their marriage was and I knew his death would besooner rather than later, but dammit Queerty.

    *shoots the messenger*

    R.I.P Im grateful that these two genuine, loving men were able to be eternally bound before his death, not that they needed a wedding certificate for that in the first place. But it being official definitely made it that more poignant for both of them im sure.

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