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Jim Obergefell, who for many was the face of the landmark marriage equality case that went all the way to the Supreme Court this year, has signed with APA’s Speakers and Lecturers division, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned.
“I’m honored to be working with an elite team of agents, and I look forward to telling my story and sharing the ups and downs of this incredible journey,” said Obergefell in a statement. “I hope to inspire people everywhere to fight for equality and what they truly believe in.”
Obergefell’s story became widely known after he and husband John Arthur, who had been diagnosed with ALS, sued the state of Ohio in July 2013 to get the state to recognize their marriage on Arthur’s impending death certificate. They had gotten married aboard a medical jet in Maryland, where same-sex marriage was legal. After Arthur’s death that October, Obergefell proceeded with the suit, which initially received a ruling in his favor in federal district court in December before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision in November 2014. That’s when Obergefell petitioned the Supreme Court, which consolidated his case with those of 15 other couples from various states, with Obergefell named as lead plaintiff.
After hearing oral arguments in April, the Supreme Court ruled on June 26 that all states are constitutionally required to recognize same-sex marriage, a landmark decision that had President Barack Obama crediting Obergefell as a leader who “has changed the country.”
“It’s an honor to represent someone who has made such a tremendous impact on our country’s civil rights history,” said APA Speakers and Lecturers agent Betsy Berg in a statement.
Obergefell and Arthur’s story will be told in Washington Post reporter Debbie Cenziper’s upcoming book 21 Years to Midnight, which will be published by William Morrow next June, on the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision. Fox already has acquired the book rights and Obergefell’s life rights for a Fox 2000 movie with Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen producing.
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