City names street in honor of LGBTQ activists behind Supreme Court same-sex marriage case

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jun 21, 2017

CINCINNATI -- The city honored the Cincinnati native who was the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that declared same-sex marriage legal across the U.S.

City councilmembers voted unanimously Wednesday to give Mercer Street the honorary name "John Arthur & Jim Obergefell Way" after Obergefell, the plaintiff in the case, and Arthur, his deceased husband.

The street naming recognizes both men for their contributions toward marriage equality. They were married on a plane in Maryland, where same-sex marriage was recognized, and then filed a federal lawsuit in 2013 seeking to have Ohio recognize their marriage. Arthur died from ALS later that year, while Obergefell continued taking the case through the court system.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Obergefell and the other plaintiffs in 2015, saying there is a fundamental right for same-sex marriage.

"John always wanted to leave a mark on Cincinnati," Obergefell said Wednesday. "That was something he really wanted to do. He didn't have that chance, but now he does. I'm incredibly grateful and I know John would be as well."

Obergefell and Arthur lived in Cincinnati for more than 20 years. They lived in Mercer Street -- now named in their honor -- at the time of Arthur's death.