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Obergefell Is First Lady's Guest For State Of The Union

Bill Rinehart
Jim Obergefell talks to a crowd in Cincinnati before heading to Washington D.C. for the Supreme Court hearing.

When President Obama delivers his final State of the Union address Tuesday Cincinnatian Jim Obergefell will be watching from the First Lady's reserved section.

The LBGT activist and lead plaintiff  in the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage case says he was first invited by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley but then Merkley's office called back to say the First Lady wanted Obergefell to be her guest.

Obergefell says it is an incredible honor. "Especially because I'm not going just for me and for John. (Former partner John Arthur, now deceased.) I'm also going for all of the other plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case, as well as all of the attorneys and all of those other people who came before me who helped get us to this point."

Obergefell sued the State of Ohio in 2013 to be listed on Arthur's death certificate. The court granted his request, as reported by WVXU.

After a series of related lawsuits, Obergefell became the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case where the justices decided to legalize same-sex marriage.

Obergefell is writing a book due out in June, as reported by WVXU's John Keisewetter.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.