Created on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 Written by DAN SEWELL, Associated Press
CINCINNATI (AP) — A man who helped lead a challenge to Ohio's ban on gay marriage has died.
FILE - In this July 11, 2013 file photo, James Obergefell, right, and John Arthur return from their wedding flight at Landmark Aviation at Cincinnati's Lunken Airport after they were married on the plane at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. A lawsuit started by Arthur and Obergefell seeking to have the out-of-state marriage of themselves and another gay Ohio couple recognized on death certificates, has been expanded to include all similarly situated couples in Ohio, despite a statewide ban on gay marriage. Attorneys are now asking federal Judge Timothy Black to require Ohio's health department director to order funeral directors and coroners to list gay clients as married if they were legally wed in another state. (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Gary Landers, File)
A funeral home director and the attorney for John Arthur confirm that he died early Tuesday at home. He had suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease.
Arthur and his longtime partner, James Obergefell, flew to Maryland in June to marry. They then sued for recognition of their marriage in Ohio so they can be buried next to each other in Arthur's family plot.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Black found in favor of the couple. He wrote that they deserved to be treated with respect and that Ohio law historically has recognized out-of-state marriages as valid as long as they were legal where they took place, citing marriages between cousins and involving minors.