DOMA | Gay Wedding | Maryland | News | Ohio

Terminally-Ill Man and His Partner Fly to Maryland to Marry on the Airport Tarmac: VIDEO


John Arthur and Jim Obergefell, together for 20 years, decided that they wanted to marry after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA, but Ohio bans gay marriage and travel is difficult. "Arthur is bedridden with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a progressive neurological disease that robs patients of their ability to walk, talk and eventually breathe," reports, so conventional travel was out of the question.

CrossroadsDonations poured in that would cover the cost of a $12,700 private plane charter, adds:

Obergefell flew to Baltimore on Tuesday, obtained the marriage license and flew back a few hours later.

And then on Thursday Arthur and Obergefell boarded a Lear jet at Lunken Airport with a nurse, two pilots trained in emergency medicine, and Arthur’s aunt, Paulette Roberts, who’d been ordained to perform weddings with the hope that she’d someday get to do theirs.

They touched down in Baltimore at 10:39 a.m. The plane parked off the runway and the pilots stepped outside.

And then, in the cramped cabin of the jet, Obergefell seated next to Arthur’s stretcher, the couple turned to each other and held hands. Roberts sat behind them and began to speak.

Watch the beautiful story (warning: autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Heartbreaking.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jul 14, 2013 12:53:18 PM

  2. aaaand I started crying.

    Posted by: Tonez | Jul 14, 2013 12:54:40 PM

  3. Now that was something else. Something to make you grateful for many things every minute for the rest of your life. Thanks for such an awesome post.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jul 14, 2013 1:15:16 PM

  4. The fact that they had to make such a trip when he is as ill as he is, and at the expense is disgusting they should have been able to get married in their own home. Love wins out. Best of luck to them both.

    Posted by: bructer | Jul 14, 2013 1:21:42 PM

  5. That was awesome and incredibly touching.

    It's also infuriating that even after 20 years they had to go all the way to another state, with all the associated expense and complications, just to get married.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 14, 2013 1:21:48 PM

  6. That was beautiful. Congratulations To John & Jim.

    Posted by: Adam | Jul 14, 2013 1:26:31 PM

  7. Pass the tissues, this was beautiful.

    Posted by: RJ | Jul 14, 2013 1:36:16 PM

  8. Hope all the hate-filled xtians get a good look at this and consider THEIR lifestyles.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Jul 14, 2013 1:45:34 PM

  9. I hope the people in Ohio who voted for the marriage amendment are proud of themselves. They should each be required to watch this.

    --An Ohio resident.

    Posted by: Joesph Foster | Jul 14, 2013 1:53:13 PM

  10. Well, this started my day with a good cry.

    Posted by: Mike in the tundra | Jul 14, 2013 1:54:32 PM

  11. Newt ditched his wife when she was terminally ill. With the Church's blessing, no less.

    Posted by: kodiak | Jul 14, 2013 2:03:39 PM

  12. We take too much for granted. Everyone needs to see this.

    Congratulations to them both. I only wish they could be assured a longer time together.

    Posted by: sparks | Jul 14, 2013 2:03:47 PM

  13. True love lives on forever.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 14, 2013 2:13:10 PM

  14. This is the most moving story I've ever seen posted here.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jul 14, 2013 2:26:23 PM

  15. So moving. Best of luck to this brave and devoted couples.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 14, 2013 2:41:03 PM

  16. Bittersweet tears.

    Posted by: JONES | Jul 14, 2013 3:19:02 PM

  17. I made it as far as the first sighting of the plane on the tarmac, before I burst into tears. And I'm still crying now.

    Posted by: Jon | Jul 14, 2013 3:22:13 PM

  18. Profoundly moving, thank you Andy for posting this. Yes, a piece of paper matters. The accompanying essay in the Cincinnati Enquirer is worth reading, a ringing endorsement for gay marriage rights. I'll leave it to Antonin Scalia and Maggie Gallagher and Thomas Peters to explain how they can hate such a thing so bitterly.

    Posted by: SC David | Jul 14, 2013 3:26:06 PM

  19. I honestly am one of those guys that doesn't cry easy. Not by choice, just can't.

    I just shed tears for the first time in 4 years.

    absolutely beautiful

    Posted by: Just A Dude | Jul 14, 2013 3:27:06 PM

  20. This....THIS right here is why I devote so much of my life to LGBT. Soulful this was.

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Jul 14, 2013 3:27:58 PM

  21. Breathtaking in every sense of the word.

    Posted by: Javier | Jul 14, 2013 3:28:15 PM

  22. It's moments like this I am reminded how proud I am to be on the right side of history. Haters, you are just that---hate. Anyone who rejects the love displayed above is a sad, lost soul. This is humanity.

    Posted by: David Gellagos | Jul 14, 2013 3:29:23 PM

  23. I'm so proud of all the brave same sex couples who ace an adverse and sometimes ignorant world, yet forge on, proudly of their relationships and partner and make no apologies for who they love.

    Posted by: LipstickDiva | Jul 14, 2013 3:30:17 PM

  24. I have a pretty powerful story to share based on this clip. I just sent this clip to me mom who I have had a rocky relationship with due to her resistance on accepting gay rights. I sent this clip to her and said "open your heart mom".......she just responded a minute ago and said:

    "Thanks Markus, it's things like this that make me want to reevaluate my position. This was truly touching. I mean it."

    I'm SHOCKED my mom wrote this. See folks, our stories from the heart about our relationships DO make a difference.

    To this beautiful couple; if you read this, you just had a profound impact on my hardcore conservative mother and perhaps even repaired our relationship by opening your story to us. THANK YOU!

    Posted by: Markus J. | Jul 14, 2013 3:34:33 PM

  25. Wow. Wow. It's events like this that make me go to the trevor project, or to marriage equality projects and volunteer. I may not be rich, but I'm passionate about all people being treated as equals under the law of the land they pay taxes to.

    This is love, and yet this pure love is judged, shamed, shunned and treated as second class in so many places. That's why we all as LGBT adults need to do our part to create a better tomorrow for LGBT youth.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Jul 14, 2013 3:37:03 PM

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