Gay marriage activist Jim Obergefell honored as civil rights ‘champion’

Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case that legalized same sex marriage nationwide, is backed by supporters of the courts ruling on same-sex marriage on the step of the Texas Capitol during a rally Monday, June 29, 2015, in Austin, Texas.

Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case that legalized same sex marriage nationwide, is backed by supporters of the courts ruling on same-sex marriage on the step of the Texas Capitol during a rally Monday, June 29, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Eric Gay, AP

CINCINNATI (AP) — The lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the state is being honored with an award recognizing people and organizations striving to live up to the ideals of the Underground Railroad movement to better their community.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati says Jim Obergefell will receive its Everyday Freedom Hero award. A lawsuit by Obergefell and his dying partner John Arthur sought legal recognition of their marriage by the state of Ohio, leading to the 2015 Supreme Court decision on lawsuits challenging same-sex bans in four states.

Obergefell has continued as an activist for gay rights and other causes.

The Cincinnati center’s president, Clarence G. Newsome, praises Obergefell as “a champion of civil rights.”

The award presentation is Oct. 22.

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