Hillary Clinton praises Jim Obergefell on ruling's anniversary

Hillary Clinton praises Jim Obergefell on ruling's anniversary
Posted at 11:23 AM, Jun 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 14:44:39-04

CINCINNATI -- Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, praised a Cincinnati man for his "bravery" in the push for nationwide marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. The named plaintiff, Jim Obergefell, married his longtime partner, John Arthur, in Maryland because same-sex marriages were not legal in Ohio at the time. Obergefell later filed a federal suit because Ohio would not recognize him as the spouse on Arthur’s death certificate.

Jim Obergefell holds a photo of him and his late husband, John Arthur, in his condo in Cincinnati. Photo by Maddie McGarvey/For The Washington Post

Arthur, who suffered from ALS, died three months after the couple initially won their case before it was overturned on appeal, eventually setting up the landmark Supreme Court ruling.

IN DEPTH: How many same-sex couples have gotten married here?

"Thanks to the bravery of LGBT Americans like Jim Obergefell and Edie Windsor, and the determination and tireless organizing of the LGBT community and their allies, marriage equality became the law of the land in all 50 states," Clinton said in a statement Sunday.

Windsor was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit that successfully overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act's limitation of marriage to heterosexual couples in 2013. That ruling didn't change the laws banning same-sex marriage in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana, but enabled same-sex couples to become eligible for 1,000 federal benefits and programs.

The Mercantile Library is offering an in-depth look at what got Cincinnati's Jim Obergefell to the Supreme Court, with an exclusive panel discussion of the events leading up to and including the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

When: Thursday, June 30, 5:30 p.m. Panel Discussion begins 6:30 p.m.

Who: Jim Obergefell, attorneys Scott Knox and Al Gerhardstein, Federal Judge Martha Daughtery. Moderated by Marianna Bettman.

Where: Renaissance Cincinnati Hotel's Grand Ballroom, 36 E. Fourth St., Cincinnati

To Go: Reservations required. Call 513-621-0717 or email

Cost: $25 for Mercantile Library members. $30 for non-members. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the ALS Association.

Obergefell endorsed Hillary Clinton late last year. The former secretary of state is visiting Cincinnati for a fundraiser at Mayor John Cranley's home Sunday night, followed by a campaign stop at Union Terminal on Monday.

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The presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, has said he believes marriage is between a man and woman.

A Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released last week shows Clinton tied with Trump in Ohio, both at 40 percent. That's a slight shift from early May, when Trump led 43 percent to Clinton's 39 percent. Including third-party candidates Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, and Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, Clinton holds a small lead at 38 percent, with Trump at 36 percent, Johnson at 8 percent and Stein at 3 percent.