Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality
By Debbie Cenziper and Jim Obergefell
History often turns on landmark legal cases – and Obergefell vs Hodges, heard in the United States Supreme Court last year, is one of them. It enshrined the right of same-sex couples in all 50 states to marry, obliterating discriminatory provisions campaigners had fought against for years. This is the moving, personal story – as told by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Debbie Cenziper – of Jim Obergefell and his late husband, John Arthur, of how they went into battle for marriage equality and of how daring, dogged lawyer Al Gerhardstein succeeded in putting Obergefell’s case before the Supreme Court. Out of a perfectly reasonable fear that their union would be legally “disappeared” on Arthur’s death certificate, the long-term partners and their ally changed the legal landscape for millions of people across the country. As a postscript, Obergefell, writes Cenziper, became “something of an accidental activist”, supporting gay rights and even officiating as a qualified minister at marriage ceremonies. This is no dry stumble through a thorny thicket of constitutional issues; rather, it’s an edifying encounter with the sort of courtroom drama whose impact is diminished not in the least because its outcome is known.