Lead Plaintiff Ready to Help if Marriage Ruling Goes His Way

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CINCINNATI (AP) – If the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage, the lead plaintiff in the historic case says he’ll be able to help out with the expected surge of couples wanting to wed.

Jim Obergefell of Cincinnati says he has gotten ordained online in preparation. He says he wanted to be able to offer to perform marriages for others as “a nod” to his own proposal to his partner immediately after the high court’s 2013 ruling that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

He and his dying partner, John Arthur, were unable to wed in their home state because of Ohio’s 2004 ban, so Arthur’s aunt got ordained and officiated their wedding in a medically equipped plane on a Maryland tarmac.

Arthur died three months later, and shortly after, Obergefell began the legal challenge titled James Obergefell, et al, v. Richard Hodges, et al, that is before the high court. (Hodges is the director of the Ohio Department of Health.)

Obergefell, a real estate salesman, has been in Washington awaiting the decision. If the court rules for same-sex marriage, he said recently by email, “I imagine I’ll be out celebrating.”