CINCINNATI: John Arthur, who with his longtime partner helped lead a legal challenge to Ohio’s ban on gay marriage, died early Tuesday, his attorney and a funeral home director said.
With Arthur terminally ill from Lou Gehrig’s disease, he and James Obergefell, both 47, flew to Maryland in June to marry. They then sued in federal court in Cincinnati for recognition of their marriage in Ohio so they could be buried next to each other in Arthur’s family plot.
“Their love is a model for all of us,” attorney Al Gerhardstein said, praising Arthur for fighting in his last days for the rights of all same-sex couples.
“Part of John’s legacy will be the difference he has already made in the struggle for marriage equality,” Gerhardstein said.
Funeral home director Robert Grunn, who recently joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff, said arrangements were pending.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Black found in favor of the couple and a second couple who joined the lawsuit.