• Jim Obergefell, center, speaks to members of the media as he joins the Human Rights Campaign to deliver what they say are 207,551 copies of the “People’s Brief” that calls for full nationwide marriage equality, to the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, March 6, 2015 in Washington. Obergefell is the named plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, a marriage equality case set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on April 28th. Obergefell hadn’t thought about being one of the most visible figures in the marriage-equality movement. He just wanted to marry the love of his life for 21 years. Obergefell remembers watching the news on TV with John Arthur after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. "I just leaned over, hugged and kissed John, and said, 'Let’s get married'," he recalls. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

SAGE Welcomes Jim Obergefell

BTL Staff
By | 2018-02-07T19:33:11+00:00 February 7th, 2018|National, News|

NEW YORK — SAGE, the nation’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving
the lives of LGBT elders, announced Jan. 5 that Jim Obergefell is joining its Board of Directors. Obergefell is the named plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges that brought marriage equality to the U.S. in 2015.
“We are deeply honored to add Jim’s expertise and energy to our board,” said Michael
Adams, SAGE’s CEO. “Having accompanied Jim and our beloved friend Edie Windsor
on a groundbreaking journey toward marriage equality, we continue to be awed by Jim’s
unwavering commitment and outspoken voice in support of the entire LGBT community.”
Elizabeth F. Schwartz, SAGE board co-chair, added to Adams’ statement.
“The LGBT movement has achieved great change by telling our stories. Jim Obergefell shared the painful passing of his husband, and his fight to be recognized as a spouse brought us marriage equality. Jim’s decision to bring his big heart and sharp mind to SAGE’s board speaks volumes about his continuing work toward equality for our most vulnerable community.”
Obergefell said that he is thrilled to accept the position.
“I’m excited to serve on the board of an organization that does so much to help those who paved the way for younger LGBTQ generations. Our elders’ courage and sacrifices helped create a more supportive and welcoming world for us, and SAGE fights to ensure that they are able to enjoy the same. It’s an honor to work with SAGE on their behalf.”
Obergefell and husband John Arthur launched their marriage equality legal battle with
the state of Ohio in 2013, demanding recognition of their lawful marriage — they had
wed in Maryland — on Arthur’s impending death certificate. Arthur died of ALS three
months after their first court hearing, and Obergefell continued their fight all the way to the Supreme Court.
After careers in teaching, training, IT consulting and real estate, Obergefell is now a fulltime LGBT activist, speaker and author, as well as an entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Equality Vines, the first cause-based wine label, which supports organizations devoted to civil rights and equality.
He also co-wrote the book “Love Wins”” with Debbie Cenziper, a Pulitzer Prize-winning
journalist with the Washington Post. The book, published by William Morrow/Harper
Collins, shares the stories of the lovers and lawyers who participated in the historic
Supreme Court case. Temple Hill Productions/Fox 2000 Pictures bought the movie rights
for the book and will produce a feature film based on it.
In addition to his SAGE Board of Directors role, Obergefell is a member of the National
Advisory Board for the GLBT Historical Society and the Board of Advisors for the
Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C.
Since the Supreme Court ruling, Obergefell, who resides in Washington, D.C., has been
honored with awards from organizations such as Equality Florida, Equality North
Carolina, the ACLU of Southern California and more. Foreign Policy magazine named Obergefell one of its 2015 Global Thinkers, and Out magazine named him to its 2015 Out 100 list.
SAGE was founded in 1978. SAGE Metro is a local division of the organization, and can be found at 290 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale. The can be reached online at sagemetrodetroit.org, or by phone at 734-681-0854.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.