Election 2024

LGBTQ rights icon Jim Obergefell loses Ohio state house race

Jim Obergefell
Jim Obergefell Photo: Campaign website

Marriage equality icon Jim Obergefell has lost his bid to represent Ohio’s 89th state district in the state house.

Obergefell lost to incumbent Republican state Rep. D.J. Swearingen, getting 38% of the vote to Swearingen’s 62%.

The lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case that helped legalize same-sex marriage nationwide announced in February that he had decided to run for state representative in Ohio’s 89th district.

Since his Supreme Court victory, he has worked as an LGBTQ advocate, activist, author, and speaker. He is also the owner of a wine label supporting LGBTQ organizations.

“I realized this is my chance to continue my activism,” he told LGBTQ Nation at the time he announced his candidacy, “to continue fighting for families…[It’s] a way for me to continue to be involved, to help make the world a better place.”

In addition to fighting for LGBTQ rights, Obergefell planned to prioritize increasing access to jobs and opportunities in his district as well as in the state overall. A former public high school teacher, Obergefell also passionately advocated for equitable education funding.

After Obergefell won his primary, LGBTQ Victory Fund president and CEO Mayor Annise Parker called the win “a rallying cry to the LGBTQ community and our allies that we won’t stop organizing, we won’t stop running for office and we won’t back down.”

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