by Eric Sandy
"Jim met and fell in love with John Arthur, his late husband, in 1992. In 2011, John was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a fatal neurological illness. Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act with the Windsor decision in June 2013, John and Jim married aboard a medical jet on a Maryland airport Tarmac. They then filed suit in federal court against the State of Ohio to demand recognition of their lawful marriage on John’s impending death certificate. John died in October 2013, and the State of Ohio appealed to the Sixth District Court of Appeals. In November 2014, the Sixth District Court of Appeals ruled against John and Jim and plaintiffs from five other cases in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee, setting the stage for an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court consolidated all six cases into one and heard oral arguments on April 28, 2015. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor, bringing marriage equality to the entire United States. Jim considers himself an accidental activist, one who became involved in an issue due to extenuating circumstances, and he is now committed to continuing the fight for civil rights and equality for all Americans. Jim was born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio and he earned a degree in Secondary Education and German from the University of Cincinnati."