New Social Media Campaign: HRC Asks GOP Candidates in Cleveland to Defend Jim Obergefell’s Marriage

by Ianthe Metzger

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced that it is launching a new social media campaign featuring Ohio native Jim Obergefell, asking candidates to #StandwithJim and defend his marriage in advance of the debate Thursday in Cleveland.

The Washington Blade reported recently that the RNC is scheduled to vote on several anti-LGBT resolutions today at the summer meeting in Cleveland. So far, no major candidates have taken a position on the resolutions.

Obergefell is the named plaintiff in Obergefell v Hodges, the Supreme Court case that led to nationwide marriage equality. When the Windsor decision came out in June of 2013, Obergefell, a long time HRC member and supporter, and his partner of 20 years, John Arthur, made the swift conclusion that they wanted to get married. But Arthur, suffering from ALS, was in in hospice care and confined to a hospital bed, so the pair took a medical flight to Baltimore and married on the tarmac.

“Jim Obergefell and countless LGBT couples across Ohio and the nation want to know if our next president will defend their marriages," said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. "This week, the RNC and field of Republican presidential hopefuls should reject efforts to include anti-LGBT resolutions in the GOP platform and affirm that they will accept the Constitutional right of all Americans to marry the person they love."

As same-sex marriages were not recognized in Ohio, Obergefell filed a case in July 2013, seeking recognition of their Maryland marriage on Arthur’s death certificate.

“When I look at my wedding ring, I see the honesty, trust and love I shared with my husband. And looking ahead, I need to know: do the presidential candidates see the same thing, or do they see an opportunity to drive us apart?” said Jim Obergefell. “What will my marriage mean in 2016 and beyond if a candidate who opposes marriage equality wins the White House?”

HRC is calling on its members and supporters to show their support for marriage equality by sharing the image share above with the hashtag #StandwithJim.

Earlier this year, HRC released a website,, that highlights the public statements of candidates on key issues including: positions on marriage equality, support for anti-discrimination bills and history of anti-LGBT rhetoric, among others.

Recent polling conducted by GQR for the Human Rights Campaign showed that a 55 percent majority of voters are less likely to support a candidate for president who opposes allowing same-sex couples to marry, including 40 percent who strongly oppose. This majority includes Independents, married women and white millennials. All of these groups voted Republican in the last congressional election.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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