John Schenck, who along with his
husband Robert Loyd, challenged Arkansas' ban on same-sex marriage
Loyd died last December from a heart
The men were together nearly 41 years
and married in Canada in 2004.
They were among the plaintiffs in
Wright v. Arkansas. In May 2014, Circuit Judge Chris Piazza
declared the state's marriage ban unconstitutional.
Angelia Frazier-Henson of the LGBT
rights group Arkansas for Equality praised Schenck for his dedication
to the cause.
“He fought for marriage equality in
our state when most saw it as a lost cause,” she told CBS
affiliate THV11. “His contributions to a better Arkansas will
be sorely missed but never forgotten by a grateful community.”
Schenck also co-founded Conway's annual
LGBT Pride parade.
His son, Justin Rawls, said the “Pink
House” where the couple lived for three decades – now a local
landmark – will be turned into a museum and dedicated to their
Schenck will be cremated on January 15.
page has been created to raise funds to cover funeral expenses.