social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Topics In the News
Hospice-bound Man Marries His Partner on Airport Tarmac
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 07/14/13
Last updated on: 07/14/13
Bookmark and Share

Jim Obergefell (left) and John Arthur marry.

Cincinnati.com reports on an incredibly moving story about a terminally-ill patient and his partner who flew at great expense to be married on an airport tarmac in Maryland because their home state, Ohio, bans same-sex marriage. The story is one of love and devotion, but also of the injustice posed by bans on same-sex marriage in 37 states. Although the landmark Windsor decision struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, it left in place the bans on same-sex marriage in the large majority of states.

The story, reported by Julie Zimmerman on behalf of the Cincinnati Enquirer Editorial Board, chronicles the ordeal faced by John Arthur, a hospice patient suffering from ALS, and his partner of 20 years, Jim Obergefell, who had to leave their home state in order to marry each other.

As Zimmerman writes, "A wedding for the couple would not be easy. Because same-sex marriage is illegal in Ohio, and because the Supreme Court ruling left marriage bans at the state level intact, Arthur and Obergefell couldn't marry here. The prospect of travel was difficult because Arthur is bedridden."

The couple decided to marry in Maryland because, unlike many other states, it requires only one partner to apply for the license. Still, they had to raise $12,700 to rent a medical transport plane. To their surprise and gratification, donations from their relatives, friends, and colleagues poured in to make the journey possible.

On June 9, 2013, Obergefell flew to Baltimore where he obtained the marriage license and flew back a few hours later.

On June 11, Arthur and Obergefell boarded a Lear jet at Cincinnati's Lunken Airport with a nurse, two pilots trained in emergency medicine, and Arthur's aunt, Paulette Roberts, who had been ordained to perform weddings with the hope that she would someday get to marry them.

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

In the cramped cabin of the jet, with Obergefell seated next to Arthur's stretcher, the couple turned to each other and held hands. Roberts sat behind them and began the brief ceremony.

When it was over, and as the couple and Roberts celebrated with Champagne, the pilots climbed back in and prepared to leave. After 56 minutes on the ground they were headed back to Cincinnati, matching rings on their left hands, finally married after 20 years, six months, and 11 days together.

The video below documents the wedding of a devoted couple who have received wonderful support from their friends and relatives, but, like gay and lesbian couples who live in most of the states in this country, have experienced ugly discrimination from their home state.

With a hat tip to Andy Towle at Towleroad.com.

Related Encyclopedia Entries
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2015, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.