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Love Wins

by Debbie Cenziper & Jim Obergefell

‘If you’ve ever thought to yourself “I can’t possibly win against these odds”, this is a story for you. This book will become a classic.’ – ERIN BROCKOVICH

Love Wins is the love story behind the David and Goliath battle that won the most important American civil rights victory in decades – and inspired the rest of the world.

More than 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 Jim and John – who was dying of the crippling neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – flew to Maryland, where same-sex marriage was legal, and exchanged vows on the tarmac. But back home, Ohio refused to recognise their union. John’s death certificate would describe him as single and Jim would not only have to mourn his partner but also be denied acknowledgment of the life they had shared.

Then they met lawyer Al Gerhardstein, who had spent nearly three decades advocating for civil rights, and who now saw an opening that had never been explored in the courtroom. Together Al and Jim began a long and gruelling battle against overwhelming odds, partnering with more than fifty lawyers and plaintiffs to make their case. In 2015 the Supreme Court ruled in their favour, making same-sex marriage the law of the land in a decision as groundbreaking as Roe v Wade.

At its heart, Love Wins is the ultimate love story – about a man who goes to such lengths to fulfil a promise to the love of his life that he ends up changing the world. Part Erin Brockovich, part Philadelphia, this story will inspire readers for generations to come.

Video: Author speaks to Obama

About the Author


‘Rarely does a book of such uncommon beauty come around, one that digs beneath the headlines to its human heart.’ – JOHN GROGAN, bestselling author of Marley & Me and The Longest Trip Home

Love Wins is a real winner and expertly crafted … You can tell it’s going to make a great movie.’ – BOB WOODWARD

‘Told with a novel’s narrative drive … Taut, tense, and highly readable … A remarkably rich portrait of America … An excellent choice for book groups looking for exciting non-fiction.’ – BOOKLIST starred review

‘Affecting [and] eloquent … [An] uplifting, well-written story of personal courage and political empowerment.’ – KIRKUS REVIEWS

‘Beautifully told and carefully researched, Love Wins is a deeply moving insider’s account of the ordinary families who took the fight for marriage equality to the Supreme Court and won.’ – KATHLEEN PARKER Washington Post columnist