In their 20 years together, Cincinnati couple Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had always resisted the urge to leave their home state (where same-sex marriage is banned by constitutional amendment) to get hitched in one of the growing number of states that would recognize their union. For as long as the Defense of Marriage Act was the law of the land, their marriage would have second-class status. So when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA in June, the two began to hatch a wedding plan, one made all the more urgent — and all the more complicated — by Arthur’s recent diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative neurological disease.
Baltimore had a lot to recommend itself as a wedding location. It was only a 70-minute flight away, and Maryland would only require one of them to travel here ahead of time to pick up the license. For financing the trip, Obergefell turned to social media for help. With the support of loved ones and Arthur’s hospice, they were able to charter a private jet that could accommodate Arthur’s stretcher.
Just don’t ask them what they thought of our city, because they never left the plane. The jet touched down at BWI Airport and taxied over to a private piece of tarmac. The pilots hopped off, and the two were wed by Arthur’s aunt.
For more, watch this video produced by the Cincinnati Enquirer.