Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality

Debbie Cenziper and Jim Obergefell. Morrow, $27.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-245608-3

This gripping portrayal of the pivotal moment in the fight for marriage equality in Ohio includes childhood memories and romance as well as tense moments in court. The tale is told through the life stories of the lead plaintiff, Jim Obergefell; his terminally ill husband, John Arthur; and lawyer Al Gerhardstein. Written in the third person, though Obergefell is listed as author alongside Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Cenziper, the book is so full of dialogue and personal anecdotes that it feels as much like a biography as a legal history. The first thread follows Obergefell and his late husband, Arthur, though their courtship, coping with Arthur’s illness as it progresses, and their quiet Maryland wedding ceremony. The second follows Gerhardstein from his early work supporting Planned Parenthood to his fight against Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban, which leads him to reach out to Obergefell and Arthur, who dread the eventual legal erasure of their marriage on Arthur’s Ohio death certificate in the wake of U.S. v. Windsor. The book proceeds to outline the testimony and arguments, ending with the Obergefell v. Hodges victory in the Supreme Court. As Obergefell and Gerhardstein literally walk out of the courtroom into the sunlight together, readers will feel they’ve been completely guided into seeing the people behind the cases. (June)