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Names and faces

by The Associated Press | January 19, 2022 at 4:58 a.m.

• Gay rights advocate Jim Obergefell, whose name was atop the U.S. Supreme Court case legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, announced Tuesday that he's running for a seat in the Ohio legislature. Obergefell, a Democrat, said he wants Ohio to be a place where people feel they have equal opportunity. He was the lead plaintiff in the landmark 2015 ruling that put an end to same-sex marriage bans, turning him into one of the most visible figures in the marriage-equality movement. Obergefell will run for the Ohio House in a district that includes his hometown of Sandusky and has been dominated by Republicans the past eight years. Obergefell moved back to his hometown in 2021 to be closer to family. "I think I've proven with my fight for marriage equality that I don't mind being an underdog," he said. His path to becoming an "accidental" activist began when he and his partner, John Arthur, were unable to wed in Ohio because of their home state's ban on same-sex marriage. While Obergefell and Arthur, who was dying of Lou Gehrig's disease, got married in Maryland, Ohio's ban meant Obergefell would not be listed as Arthur's surviving spouse on his death certificate. They won a temporary injunction and when Arthur died three months after they were married, Obergefell was listed as his spouse on his death certificate. When that legal victory was overturned, the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, ruled that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry.

• Former Attorney General William P. Barr has a memoir coming out March 8 titled "One Damn Thing After Another," and billed by his publisher as a "vivid and forthright book" of his time serving two "drastically different" presidents, Donald Trump and George H.W. Bush. The title of the long-rumored book refers to an expression Barr had heard about the nature of the job of attorney general. Barr, now 71, served under Bush from 1991-93 and under Trump from 2019-2020. "Barr takes readers behind the scenes during seminal moments of the Bush administration in the 1990s, from the LA riots to Pan Am 103 and Iran Contra," William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announced Tuesday. "With the Trump administration, Barr faced an unrelenting barrage of issues, such as Russiagate, the opioid epidemic, Chinese espionage, big tech, the covid outbreak, civil unrest, the first impeachment, and the 2020 election fallout." Barr had initially been one of Trump's most ardent allies and was accused of being willing to sacrifice the independence of the Justice Department on behalf of the president. But Barr parted with Trump a month after the 2020 election when he said that the Justice Department had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Barr stepped down shortly before Christmas in 2020.

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