When the Supreme Court struck down bans on gay marriage across our nation, some of us at Pajiba were so overcome with joy that we wept. But be prepared for it to get really dusty up in movie theaters as Fox readies a movie about the case that toppled this brand of government-backed bigotry.
THR reports the studio has bought the life rights of Jim Obergefell, plaintiff in the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges. And while the screenplay will end in victory, Obergefell’s real story holds hard-hitting tragedy.
For 21 years Obergefell had a partner, friend and lover in John Arthur. And in 2013, the pair made it “official” in that way straight people long had the luxury of taking for granted. But as their home state of Ohio hadn’t legalized gay marriage, the grooms-to-be travelled to Maryland to marry. This was just months before Arthur would die of ALS. As hard as his passing must have been for Obergefell, things were made worse when Ohio refused to recognize their out-of-state marriage, barring Obergefell from being listed as Arthur’s widower.
I’m sure there will be those shocked that a huge triumph for the LGBTQA community came from something so seemingly simple as being listed on a death certificate. But it’s not just about that paper, just like marriage is not. It’s about the decency and dignity attached to it. But Fox won’t be the only one telling this tale of human triumph and tragedy.
With the help of Washington Post journalist Debbie Cenziper, Obergefell is working on a book called 21 Years to Midnight: The Promise that Brought Marriage Equality to America. The studio has also acquired the rights to this, so presumably Obergefell’s perspective will be a major influence on the eventual film.
Fox is teaming with Temple Hill Entertainment’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, who’ve produced the Twilight movies and The Fault In Our Stars. So we suspect that search for screenwriters will be focused on those who know how to hit audiences right in the feels.
Kristy Puchko isn’t crying. Again.