Recent Comments


    frontJames Obergefell and John Arthur’s Legacy

    Obergefell v. Hodges is the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that led to all states being required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in other jurisdictions. The plaintiffs were James Obergefell and the late John Arthur. The couple married in Maryland after being together for two decades, but their state of residence, Ohio, would not recognize their marriage. The injustice of this became particularly evident when Obergefell was not permitted to be listed as the surviving spouse on Arthur’s death certificate, after Arthur died from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2013. The case, which moved from district courts all the way to SCOTUS, was critical to securing nationwide marriage equality.

    After the historic ruling on June 26, Obergefell said, “Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court affirms what millions across the country already know to be true in our hearts: that our love is equal.” President Barack Obama praised the decision, calling it a “victory for America.”

    Below, attorney Alma Soongi Beck explains how this landmark case affects California couples. We advise that you heed her advice if any of the mentioned situations apply to you and your partner. If they do, consider taking action soon to ensure that your rights are secured.