Generous donations from friends and
strangers allowed a dying gay Ohio man to fulfill his final wish of
marrying his partner of over 20 years.
John Arthur, who received a diagnosis
of amyotropic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a neurological disease, 26
months earlier and is now bedridden and receiving hospice care,
married Jim Obergefell aboard a medical transport plane parked off a
Baltimore, Maryland airport runway just weeks after the Supreme Court
knocked down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
The coupled decided to marry in
Maryland, one of 12 states plus the District of Columbia where gay
couples can legally marry, because the state does not require that
both partners be present to receive a marriage license.
Crossroads Hospice donated an ambulance
ride to the airport. But the flight in a medical transport plane
would cost an additional $12,700.
“I posted something on Facebook
asking my family and friends, 'Hey any ideas? Any connections?'
Without prompting, multiple messages of people offering to help pay,”
Obergefell said in a video produced
The men, both 47, were married by
Arthur's aunt, Paulette Roberts. Following the 7-and-a-half minute
ceremony, the plane began its return trip to Cincinnati.
“I'm overjoyed,” Arthur said. “I
feel like the luckiest guy in the world.”