Gay marriage
1:53 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

"Marriage equality crusader" -John Arthur dies

A terminally ill Cincinnati man, who traveled to Maryland to marry his partner, has died. John Arthur married Jim Obergefell in July on the tarmac because Arthur, who had ALS, was too sick to get off his stretcher.

Court case continues

John Arthur (on the stretcher) and Jim Obergefell get married on a Maryland tarmac in July.
Credit Baltimore Sun

Shortly after they married, the couple filed a federal lawsuit challenging Ohio's marriage law, in part so they could be buried together in Arthur's family plot.

Because Judge Timothy Black granted a temporary restraining order, Arthur's death certificate, at least for now, will state he was married and list his surviving spouse. But that could change. Black will decide in December whether or not to issue a permanent injunction.

Attorney hopes to lift gay marriage ban

Arthur and his partner had been together for more than 18 years. Their attorney, Al Gerhardstein, calls Arthur a crusader for marriage equality. "They were hoping that this would be the first step toward marriage equality in Ohio and that is still our goal and hopefully that will be his legacy."

Ohio says the court cannot go out on a legal limb and needs to put the brakes on an issue that could take years to settle.