Death prompts push for Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage

Sharing is Caring

STORY: After more than twenty years together, Jim Obergefell proposed to John Arthur. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JIM OBERGEFELL, PETITIONER IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE TO BE HEARD BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT

Death prompts push for Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage

STORY:

After more than twenty years together, Jim Obergefell proposed to John Arthur.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JIM OBERGEFELL, PETITIONER IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE TO BE HEARD BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT, SAYING:

“I leaned over, hugged John, kissed him and said ‘Let’s get married.”

Arthur lay dying from ALS — known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — able to move only his head, right arm and right hand.

On a chartered medical plane parked at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, they married in July, 2013.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JIM OBERGEFELL, PETITIONER IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE TO BE HEARD BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT, SAYING:

“Being able to say those words and to make those promises to the love of my life was the happiest moment of my life.”

They flew straight home to Cincinnati…not realizing their Maryland wedding would not count in Ohio.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) KATHARINE JACKSON, REUTERS TELEVISION, SAYING:

“Voters here in Ohio passed a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in 2004. The state also does not recognize same-sex marriages performed legally out of state.”

Arthur’s health was failing when the couple learned a death certificate would list Arthur as single.

Obergefell sued Ohio and initially won — so when Arthur died that October, he was listed as married.

But the state fought back…

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JIM OBERGEFELL, PETITIONER IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE TO BE HEARD BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT, SAYING:

“The state of Ohio wants nothing more than to take John’s last official record as a person and to change it so that it’s wrong. They want to erase the fact that John and I were legally married. They want to erase the official record of our marriage, of me as John’s spouse. There’s no way I would ever stop fighting for that.”

Obergefell is now the principal petitioner in one of the most anticipated hearings in Supreme Court history.

The Court will consider two questions: whether the Constitution’s right to equal protection under the law applies to same-sex marriage — and whether states that ban same-sex marriages must recognize such unions performed in other states.

Opponents of same-sex marriage say Ohio voters already decided.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHARLES TASSELL, CITIZENS FOR COMMUNITY VALUES, SAYING:

“When you vote, that is supposed to be the highest law in the land. Supreme Court is not higher than people’s votes. The Supreme Court is under the people’s votes. And if the Supreme Court can come out and override the will of the people, that’s a distinct problem. Now we’ve got a tyranny.”

After more than two decades of litigation, the Supreme Court could decide on whether gay men and women have a nationwide right to marry.

Currently 37 of the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. allow same-sex marriage.

Obergefell will attend the hearing in Washington…hoping the court decides he is legally Arthur’s widowed spouse.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JIM OBERGEFELL, PETITIONER IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE TO BE HEARD BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT, SAYING:

“We are no different than the couple next door. We love each other. We committed to each other. We built a life together. We were productive members of society. We were part of our community. We are exactly like the couple next door. And the fact that we are both men doesn’t matter.”

A decision is expected by late June.

Tags : marriage, Samesex, decision, court, supreme, Push, Prompts, death

Related Videos :

You may also like...

Leave a Reply