National Education Association to honor human and civil rights hero Jim ObergefellAround the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Thursday, June 29th, 2017
WASHINGTON — Jim Obergefell is among the 12 human and civil rights heroes the National Education Association will recognize at its 2017 Human and Civil Rights Awards on July 1 in Boston.
Jim Obergefell has been a staunch advocate for same-sex marriage. Three years ago he was a real estate broker and lived with his partner of twenty years, John. In 2011, when John was diagnosed with ASL the couple decided to go to Maryland and get married. They shortly discovered that in the event of John’s death their marriage would not be recognized by the state of Ohio. Distressed by this reality, they sued the state of Ohio to be legally recognized as spouses. After John’s death, Jim resumed the fight for recognition not only of his love, but also the recognition of love and partnership across the nation. After two years of battling in court, on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal and protected under the United States constitution. Because of Jim’s relentless commitment to his partnership and to equality, same-sex couples throughout the country are now able to celebrate their love and commitment to one another.
Since 1967, NEA has recognized and honored those who have fought — and continue to fight — for human and civil rights. This year, NEA will thank and honor the outstanding work of 12 of America’s social justice heroes at its annual Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner on Saturday, July 1 in Boston.
NEA will also recognize the 50th anniversary of its merger with the American Teachers Association. ATA, which represented Black teachers in segregated schools, originally created the Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner. As part of the merger, NEA agreed to carry on this important tradition.
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