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Jim Obergefell

Lead Plaintiff in the US Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Case; ALS Awareness Advocate

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 Jim Obergefell Biography

Seeking state recognition for his marriage, Jim Obergefell became the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that would legalize same-sex marriage across the United States.

A resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, realtor and IT consultant Obergefell met and fell in love with John Arthur in 1992. The devoted couple were together for two decades and traveled to Maryland to officially marry in 2013, with Arthur having been diagnosed with ALS. After his husband’s death, Obergefell entered a legal battle with the state of Ohio to be recognized as the surviving spouse on Arthur’s death certificate. His case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, combined with other suits to become known as Obergefell v. Hodges that ultimately asked whether all states must issue marriage licenses to gay couples. On June 26, 2015, the court ruled that the Constitution supports same-sex marriage for the entirety of the United States.

Obergefell was raised in the northern Ohio region, the son of a Catholic clan with five older siblings. He came out as gay to his family in his mid-20s, and in 1992 met Arthur.

In 2011, Arthur was diagnosed with the motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. With the condition eventually taking away Arthur’s ability to move, Obergefell stood by his side and served as his partner’s primary caretaker. The two had decided to become legally married, but several years earlier Ohio had passed a state constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage.

With Maryland being a state where same-sex marriage was legal and that only required one partner to travel there to get a license, Obergefell received $13,000 from friends and associates to hire a medical plane to fly him and Arthur to Maryland. With Arthur’s aunt officiating their ceremony, Obergefell and Arthur got married on the tarmac of Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on July 11, 2013.

Arthur died three months after the wedding. Before his death, he and Obergefell decided to file a lawsuit for Obergefell to be placed as the surviving spouse on Arthur’s death certificate, with a federal judge ruling in favor of the plaintiffs. The state of Ohio however challenged this ruling and won, with other circuit court decisions, in contrast, delivering pro-same-sex marriage rulings. Thus Obergefell decided to take his case all the way to the Supreme Court, with a precedent having been set in the case of Windsor v. United States. Obergefell’s case became combined with other lawsuits filed by LGBT plaintiffs from four states, which also involved couples who had adopted children. As Obergefell’s case number was the lowest, the combined lawsuit became known as Obergefell v. Hodges.

Obergefell’s case presented two questions: 1) whether the Constitution calls for states where gay marriage isn’t legal to recognize gay unions that occurred out of state, and 2) whether the Constitution legally requires all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Obergefell and his team presented his case before the Supreme Court on April 28, 2015. Two months later, on June 26, 2015, the highest court of the land in a split decision of 5-4 ruled that the Constitution indeed supports same-sex marriage, thus making such unions legal for the entirety of the United States.

Obergefell received calls of congratulations from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and in 2016, the National Underground Railroad Association Freedom in Cincinnati honored Obergefell with the Everyday Freedom Hero award. In 2015, Foreign Policy named Obergefell one of its 2015 Global Thinkers. In the same year, Out magazine also named Obergefell on its 2015 Out 100 list. He was also appointed to be a member of the National Advisory Board for the GLBT Historical Society and the Board of Advisors for the Mattachine Society of Washington DC.

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  • HOW TO BOOK Jim Obergefell?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Jim Obergefell for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Jim Obergefell, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Jim Obergefell or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Jim Obergefell?

    Booking fees for Jim Obergefell, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Jim Obergefell, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Jim Obergefell?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Jim Obergefell for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Jim Obergefell for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Jim Obergefell or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Jim Obergefell or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

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Jim Obergefell

Lead Plaintiff in the US Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Case; ALS Awareness Advocate

Travels From:
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Speaking Fee:

Jim Obergefell Biography

Seeking state recognition for his marriage, Jim Obergefell became the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that would legalize same-sex marriage across the United States.

A resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, realtor and IT consultant Obergefell met and fell in love with John Arthur in 1992. The devoted couple were together for two decades and traveled to Maryland to officially marry in 2013, with Arthur having been diagnosed with ALS. After his husband’s death, Obergefell entered a legal battle with the state of Ohio to be recognized as the surviving spouse on Arthur’s death certificate. His case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, combined with other suits to become known as Obergefell v. Hodges that ultimately asked whether all states must issue marriage licenses to gay couples. On June 26, 2015, the court ruled that the Constitution supports same-sex marriage for the entirety of the United States.

Obergefell was raised in the northern Ohio region, the son of a Catholic clan with five older siblings. He came out as gay to his family in his mid-20s, and in 1992 met Arthur.

In 2011, Arthur was diagnosed with the motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. With the condition eventually taking away Arthur’s ability to move, Obergefell stood by his side and served as his partner’s primary caretaker. The two had decided to become legally married, but several years earlier Ohio had passed a state constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage.

With Maryland being a state where same-sex marriage was legal and that only required one partner to travel there to get a license, Obergefell received $13,000 from friends and associates to hire a medical plane to fly him and Arthur to Maryland. With Arthur’s aunt officiating their ceremony, Obergefell and Arthur got married on the tarmac of Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on July 11, 2013.

Arthur died three months after the wedding. Before his death, he and Obergefell decided to file a lawsuit for Obergefell to be placed as the surviving spouse on Arthur’s death certificate, with a federal judge ruling in favor of the plaintiffs. The state of Ohio however challenged this ruling and won, with other circuit court decisions, in contrast, delivering pro-same-sex marriage rulings. Thus Obergefell decided to take his case all the way to the Supreme Court, with a precedent having been set in the case of Windsor v. United States. Obergefell’s case became combined with other lawsuits filed by LGBT plaintiffs from four states, which also involved couples who had adopted children. As Obergefell’s case number was the lowest, the combined lawsuit became known as Obergefell v. Hodges.

Obergefell’s case presented two questions: 1) whether the Constitution calls for states where gay marriage isn’t legal to recognize gay unions that occurred out of state, and 2) whether the Constitution legally requires all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Obergefell and his team presented his case before the Supreme Court on April 28, 2015. Two months later, on June 26, 2015, the highest court of the land in a split decision of 5-4 ruled that the Constitution indeed supports same-sex marriage, thus making such unions legal for the entirety of the United States.

Obergefell received calls of congratulations from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and in 2016, the National Underground Railroad Association Freedom in Cincinnati honored Obergefell with the Everyday Freedom Hero award. In 2015, Foreign Policy named Obergefell one of its 2015 Global Thinkers. In the same year, Out magazine also named Obergefell on its 2015 Out 100 list. He was also appointed to be a member of the National Advisory Board for the GLBT Historical Society and the Board of Advisors for the Mattachine Society of Washington DC.

Jim Obergefell Videos

  • Jim Obergefell on the Fight for Equality
    Jim Obergefell's keynote at the 2019 American Atheists Convention discusses his fight for equality as a gay man and an atheist.
  • The Moth Presents: Jim Obergefell
    Jim Obergefell takes on a supreme fight to fulfill his husband’s last wish.
  • James Obergefell - Making Supreme Court History As An Accidental Activist
    James Obergefell discussed the role he played as a plaintiff in helping make legal history in the 2015 marriage equality decision Obergefell v....

Speaker Lists Featuring Jim Obergefell

FAQs on booking Jim Obergefell

  • How to book Jim Obergefell?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Jim Obergefell for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Jim Obergefell, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Jim Obergefell or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Jim Obergefell?

    Booking fees for Jim Obergefell, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Jim Obergefell, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Jim Obergefell?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Jim Obergefell for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Jim Obergefell for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Jim Obergefell or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Jim Obergefell or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Jim Obergefell is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Jim Obergefell for your event is $20,000 - $30,000. Jim Obergefell generally travels from Cincinnati, OH, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Geena Rocero, Hannah Hart, Yoruba Richen, Alex Newell and Chely Wright. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Jim Obergefell for an upcoming event.

Jim Obergefell Speaker Videos

  • Jim Obergefell on the Fight for Equality
    Jim Obergefell's keynote at the 2019 American Atheists Convention discusses his fight for equality as a gay man and an atheist.
    The Moth Presents: Jim Obergefell
    Jim Obergefell takes on a supreme fight to fulfill his husband’s last wish.
  • James Obergefell - Making Supreme Court History As An Accidental Activist
    James Obergefell discussed the role he played as a plaintiff in helping make legal history in the 2015 marriage equality decision Obergefell v. Hodges. Professor Steve Sanders moderated the...
    Spring 2015 - Jim Obergefell, Commencement Speaker
    Jim Obergefell was one of the featured speakers at the University of Guam Spring 2015 Commencement.

Jim Obergefell News

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Speakers Similar to Jim Obergefell

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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