Same-sex civil rights activist to speak at New College

Jim Obergefell

A named plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court marriage equality case will speak at New College of Florida at the end of October.

Jim Obergefell and John Arthur were together for more than two decades, living in Ohio.

When Arthur faced a terminal ALS diagnosis, they flew to Maryland, which recognized same-sex marriage, and were married on the tarmac in the medical plane required for the trip. Three months later, John Arthur died in Ohio. The state listed him as “single” on his death certificate.

This denial of their relationship impelled legal action, which grew into the consolidated federal case bearing Jim’s name: Obergefell v. Hodges. In June 2015, Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy delivered the opinion that guaranteed the right to marry to same-sex couples.

Obergefell will share his story as part of New College’s “New Topics” discussion series. The talk will be at New College’s Sainer Pavilion at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 26. The talk is open to the public and admission is free.

Following the talk, Obergefell will sign copies of his book, “Love Wins,” at a catered reception benefiting New College’s Gender Studies Program. Tickets are $125 and include one copy of the book per couple.

Reserve seats for the talk or purchase tickets for the reception at and choosing “New Topics,” or by calling the New College Foundation at 941-487-4888.

Admission to the talk is free but reservations are required.