Jim Obergefell, of the landmark Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, is running for office in Ohio

Jim Obergefell on March 6, 2015.

Jim Obergefell is running as a Democrat for the 89th Ohio House District seat. 
Obergefell was the plaintiff in the 2015 Supreme Court case that determined states must recognize same-sex marriages.
The District 89 seat is currently held by D.J. Swearingen, a Republican who has held office since 2019.

The plaintiff of the landmark Supreme Court case on gay marriage is running for state office. 

Jim Obergefell from Obergefell v. Hodges – the 2015 case that determined all states must recognize same-sex marriages – is running as a Democrat for the Ohio House of Representatives District 89 seat.

“With unwavering values and the experience it takes to be an effective advocate, I want to fight for Erie and Ottawa Counties. I am asking for your vote to be your State Representative at the Ohio Statehouse,” Obergefell, said in a statement announcing his run on Tuesday morning. 

—Jim Obergefell (@JimObergefell) January 18, 2022


The District 89 seat is currently held by D.J. Swearingen, a Republican who has held office since 2019. In 2020, Swearingen beat his Democratic opponent by nearly 15 percentage points. The majority-white district, which borders Lake Erie, has been represented by Republicans since 2015. 

The specific lines of the district may change after the Ohio State Supreme Court struck down the GOP-drawn state legislative maps. The court also tossed the state’s GOP-biased congressional district map as well. 

Obergefell’s monumental Supreme Court win began with a tragedy when his husband, John Arthur, died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2013.

Obergefell and Arthur had wed earlier that year on the tarmac of an airport in Maryland, where same-sex marriage was legal. After Arthur’s death, Ohio refused to list Obergefell as the spouse on Arthur’s death certificate, resulting in Obergefell’s victorious lawsuit. 

After the win, he penned an emotional letter that was released by the White House. 

“I can finally relax knowing that Ohio can never erase our marriage from John’s death certificate, and my husband can now truly rest in peace,” Obergefell wrote. 

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