Same-sex marriage champion Obergefell to speak

Jim Obergefell, the man behind the landmark Supreme Court case that resulted in the right for same-sex couples to legally marry, will speak at the University on Oct. 7. Obergefell, who attended graduate school at the University in 1992, returns to share the story of his long, but ultimately triumphant, battle for marriage equality.

Obergefell will speak at 7 p.m. in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Admission is free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reserve your seat online.

Sponsored by Access, Diversity and Inclusion Programs and LGBT* Programs in the Division of Student Affairs, Obergefell’s talk will also be streamed live.

“I’m tremendously excited to have Jim Obergefell on campus to discuss with our BGSU community his work with marriage equality. Jim’s name will forever be attached to our history books and we have the honor of hearing about his journey first-hand,” said Tobias Spears, assistant director of Access, Diversity and Inclusion Programs.

Obergefell’s court case, Obergefell v. Hodges, was the marriage equality case based in part on the status of Obergefell’s relationship with his longtime partner, John Arthur. The couple filed suit in July 2013 when Ohio refused to recognize their Maryland marriage license issued a week earlier. Arthur died three months later from ALS. The battle continued, ultimately working its way to the Supreme Court. On June 26, 2015, the high court sided with Obergefell in a 5-4 ruling stating that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples throughout the United States.