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Jim Obergefell Is First In Line, Awaiting Supreme Court's Word On His Marriage

Obergefell has sued the state of Ohio, seeking a court order that officials recognize his marriage to John Arthur on Arthur's death certificate.

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WASHINGTON — It was two years ago this week, when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, that Jim Obergefell and John Arthur decided they were going to get married.

Now, Obergefell is at the Supreme Court — awaiting the outcome of his case, Obergefell v. Hodges, which is the lead case in the marriage cases that the justices heard arguments in earlier this year.

Obergefell and Arthur — who was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when they married — sued the state of Ohio to recognize their marriage on Arthur's death certificate. In October 2013, Arthur did die — but Obergefell has kept going with the case, taking it all the way to the Supreme Court.

Starting this past week, Obergefell has been first in line at the court to hear the decision in the case. "This is my fourth day," he told BuzzFeed News on Thursday morning, bespectacled and wearing a blue-and-yellow bow time.

"I promised John that I'd see this through to the end, and there's no other place in the world I can imagine being than here, in that courtroom, to hear the decision from the justice's mouth," he said.

Chris Geidner/BuzzFeed

Jim Obergefell waits first in line to attend the announcement of decisions at the Supreme Court on Thursday, June 25, 2015. Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin, third from right, is the second in line.

Chris Geidner is a Supreme Court correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Chris Geidner at

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