Jim Obergefell said this week that he
pursued his case challenging Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage because
he wanted his marriage to matter.
Obergefell served as lead plaintiff in
the Supreme Court case that found that gay and lesbian couples have a
constitutional right to marry.
In 2013, he married his late husband
John Arthur aboard a medical transport plane parked off a Baltimore,
Maryland airport runway. He sued the state of Ohio for refusing to
list him as Arthur's surviving spouse on the death certificate.
Arthur died of ALS in late 2013.
According to the Indiana
Daily Student, Indiana University's independent student-run
newspaper, Obergefell discussed the case during two campus events
“We simply wanted to spend the rest
of John's days as husband and husband,” Obergefell told law
students on Monday. “We really wanted our marriage to matter.”
He said that the Sixth Circuit Court of
Appeal's ruling overturning a lower court order upset him.
“The decision upset me. It hurt me.
It made me angry. I knew I had to keep fighting for John,” he
Obergefell was in the courtroom as
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy read the court's opinion. He
said that he really didn't hear it at first.
“It sunk in that we won, and I burst
into tears,” he said. “It was this amazing feeling of 'wow, we
really do matter.'”
Obergefell said he would devote himself
to lobbying for passage of the Equality Act, a federal bill that
would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and