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Plaintiff and defendant from Obergefell v. Hodges endorse Biden, blast Trump in fiery op-ed

Jim Obergefell and Richard Hodges, the namesakes of the landmark 2015 Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage across the country, penned a fiery new op-ed urging voters to cast their ballots for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The men explained in an op-ed published by CNN that they have become friends following the landmark decision, noting that "Our political differences do not change our friendship because we both believe that the other deserves dignity and respect." 

Obergefell and Hodges accused President Trump's administration of "tearing away at the rights of oppressed groups and marginalized people."

"For these and many other reasons, we fear that the reelection of President Trump on November 3 would take our country down a path toward the darkest days of our history - one from which we may never return. These are hyper-polarized times, but this election is not between the lesser of two evils. There are two distinct paths before us, and they could not be more different," the men wrote. 

"One candidate is a rational, principled, empathetic and competent leader. The other is not. One respects the office of the presidency and has genuine concern for the people whom he serves. The other does not. One has a plan to forge a way out of the dark times we face. The other has never offered a national strategy or plan on Covid-19," they continued. 

Although Obergefell identifies as a Democrat and Hodges as a member of the GOP, the men said they can "count on Biden to listen, learn and grow from experience."

"Imagine how many more of us would be alive today had someone with that kind of humility and bravery - and deference to public health experts - been at the helm when the pandemic began," they wrote, adding that "Together, whether you are Republican, Democrat or Independent, we ask you to vote for Joe Biden."

This is not the first time the men have come together to weigh in on battles in the nation's capital.

Last week, Obergefell and Hodges appeared together at a livestreamed press conference to oppose the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the the Supreme Court.

The op-ed comes just days before the Tuesday election and after a record number of Americans have already cast their ballots amid concerns about contracting coronavirus. 

Recent polls show Biden leading Trump by between 8 and 10 percentage point nationally. However, both Biden and Trump are running neck-and-neck in crucial battleground states like Florida and North Carolina. The Sunshine state is a must-win for Trump, who faces a difficult pathway to reelection if he loses Florida on Nov. 3. 

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