It’s been nearly seven months since the Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges in favor of same-sex couples seeking marriage rights, but the emotions around the issue appear not to have died down at all in the interim as both the original plaintiff in the lawsuit and one of gay marriage’s most visible critics will both be attending President Obama’s final State of the Union Address.
After word got out that the president would be inviting Jim Obergefell as an honored guest to watch him address both houses of congress tonight, opponents of same-sex marriage decided to return the favor by inviting Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who had refused to grant marriage certificates to anyone in a protest of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“While the marriage decision was a devastating principled loss for us all, it was a very personal loss for Kentucky Clerk of Court, Kim Davis,” Christian nationalist Tony Perkins said in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner which mentioned Davis’s brief stint in jail until she dropped her opposition to granting the certificates once her name had been removed from them.
For his part, the Ohioan Obergefell will not be attending the speech with his husband, John Arthur, as the latter died in 2013 but not before the two had wed in Maryland, one of several states which had recognized same-sex marriage before the federal Supreme Court did so last year. After the marriage, both men petitioned the courts to grant official sanction to their union and those of other same-sex couples in the state of Ohio and elsewhere.
Update: The issue did not get much mention at all during the night. Obama did not mention same-sex marriage in his address.
A writer, television producer, and cybersecurity consultant, Matthew Sheffield is a Bold contributor. He currently is a producer and reporter at The Hill's video division, Hill.TV.