- Date of Birth:
- January 1, 1966
Jim Obergefell (born James Obergefell in Sandusky, Ohio in 1966) is an American activist, realtor and IT Consultant. Jim grew up in Sandusky, Ohio, the youngest child of five. Jim came out as gay to his family in his mid-20s. He attended the University of Cincinnati and attended grad school at Bowling Green State University. In 1992, met Jon Arthur at a bar. The two fell in love and worked as consultants. In 2011, after Jon sadly contracted ALS. The two decided to become legally married, but Ohio had passed a state constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage. Instead, Jim and Jon were married in Maryland in 2013. After Jon’s death, three months after his wedding, Jim filed a lawsuit to have his name be placed as the surviving spouse on the death certificate. Though he won the case, the state of Ohio challenged it. Jim took his case to the supreme court, where it was combined with other lawsuits filed by LGBT plaintiffs. Since Jim’s case number was the lowest, the ruling was named Obergefell vs. Hodges, the decision that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States. The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution supports same-sex unions. Immediately after the decision was handed down, a tearful Jim received a call directly from President Barack Obama.
Best Known For:
Jim Obergefell is best known as the activist whose name is associated with the decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States.
Jim considers himself an “accidental activist” for marriage equality. In 2016, he accepted the invitation to be Michelle Obama’s guest for the very last State of the Union address given by President Obama.