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Love Wins
Cover of Love Wins
Love Wins
The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality
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The fascinating and very moving story of the lovers, lawyers, judges and activists behind the groundbreaking Supreme Court case that led to one of the most important, national civil rights victories in decades—the legalization of same-sex marriage.

In June 2015, the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law in all fifty states in a decision as groundbreaking as Roe v Wade and Brown v Board of Education. Through insider accounts and access to key players, this definitive account reveals the dramatic and previously unreported events behind Obergefell v Hodges and the lives at its center. This is a story of law and love—and a promise made to a dying man who wanted to know how he would be remembered.

Twenty years ago, Jim Obergefell and John Arthur fell in love in Cincinnati, Ohio, a place where gays were routinely picked up by police and fired from their jobs. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had to provide married gay couples all the benefits offered to straight couples. Jim and John—who was dying from ALS—flew to Maryland, where same-sex marriage was legal. But back home, Ohio refused to recognize their union, or even list Jim's name on John's death certificate. Then they met Al Gerhardstein, a courageous attorney who had spent nearly three decades advocating for civil rights and who now saw an opening for the cause that few others had before him.

This forceful and deeply affecting narrative—Part Erin Brockovich, part Milk, part Still Alice—chronicles how this grieving man and his lawyer, against overwhelming odds, introduced the most important gay rights case in U.S. history. It is an urgent and unforgettable account that will inspire readers for many years to come.

The fascinating and very moving story of the lovers, lawyers, judges and activists behind the groundbreaking Supreme Court case that led to one of the most important, national civil rights victories in decades—the legalization of same-sex marriage.

In June 2015, the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law in all fifty states in a decision as groundbreaking as Roe v Wade and Brown v Board of Education. Through insider accounts and access to key players, this definitive account reveals the dramatic and previously unreported events behind Obergefell v Hodges and the lives at its center. This is a story of law and love—and a promise made to a dying man who wanted to know how he would be remembered.

Twenty years ago, Jim Obergefell and John Arthur fell in love in Cincinnati, Ohio, a place where gays were routinely picked up by police and fired from their jobs. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had to provide married gay couples all the benefits offered to straight couples. Jim and John—who was dying from ALS—flew to Maryland, where same-sex marriage was legal. But back home, Ohio refused to recognize their union, or even list Jim's name on John's death certificate. Then they met Al Gerhardstein, a courageous attorney who had spent nearly three decades advocating for civil rights and who now saw an opening for the cause that few others had before him.

This forceful and deeply affecting narrative—Part Erin Brockovich, part Milk, part Still Alice—chronicles how this grieving man and his lawyer, against overwhelming odds, introduced the most important gay rights case in U.S. history. It is an urgent and unforgettable account that will inspire readers for many years to come.

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About the Author-
  • Debbie Cenziper, an investigative reporter for the Washington Post, has won major prizes in American journalism including the Pulitzer Prize, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Journalism, and the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. She has held reporting positions at the Miami Herald and the Charlotte Observer, grew up in Philadelphia, and graduated from the University of Florida. She lives in Washington, DC.

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  • AudioFile Magazine George Newbern narrates the story of the legal case that ultimately made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court and removed barriers to same-sex marriage. His straightforward delivery brings home the ordinary lives of the couple at the center of the case, as well as those of the couples whose cases were consolidated as they sought legal recognition for their marriages. Newbern's unembellished approach complements that of the two authors, plaintiff Jim Obergefell and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Debbie Cenziper. Newbern's clear and steady recitation of the facts keeps the focus squarely on the poignant events that took this issue all the way to the highest court in the land. J.E.M. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
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Love Wins
Love Wins
The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality
Debbie Cenziper
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