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

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  775 ratings  ·  141 reviews

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

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Kindle Edition, 309 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by William Morrow
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Start your review of Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality
Mark Hiser
Love Wins is a love story, court case, and historic event all in one hard-to-put down book.

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriages embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of
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Billie
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Objectively, it's probably only three-and-a-half or four stars, but for emotional impact, it's a solid five stars. I knew how it was going to end before I even read the first page and still found myself crying happy tears at the end. It's probably not going to change the minds of the bigots and assholes (I'm looking at you, Kim Davis), but it might be worth a try.
Cynda
A personal comment. I read this book for the love of my professor and mentor DWG. A lack of a civil marriage caused some of his colleagues not to allow him to common decency of allowing him time to be with his dying partner. When they figured it out, it was too late. What they did to make amends was not enough. Their cruelty makes me cry these many years later. Rest in Peace DWG.

Court cases tell stories. So stories used are sympathetic. 1. A husband dies of non-AIDS related disease and leaves
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Ed
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it

Going into this book, I had no doubt it was 5-star material and that there would be goosebumps and teary-eyed-ness throughout thanks to the awe and gratitude I have for the brave individuals who fought for marriage equality.

I married my partner of 20-ish years in November 2014 just 32 days after it became legal to do so in Arizona via 9th Circuit ruling and about 7 months ahead of the ultimate Supreme Court ruling making marriage equality legal nationwide. The ability to marry gave us two
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Stephanie
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My wife and I wouldn't have been able to marry without the brave men and women who are the subject of this book. We owe them a lot. The least I could do was read their story.
Aj Sharma
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I will never forget the day that this case was decided. I was studying for the bar exam trying not to get distracted to reading the briefs or ultimately the decision. Ultimately I failed and decided to make that a con law day. As someone who worked with their law schools LGBT group (outlaws) and the Seattle LGBTQ law group (Q-Law) I was exceedingly happy. Long had I been battling the same old arguments of slippery slopes, anatomy, purposes of child-rearing at law school and we had won another ...more
Neville Longbottom
4.5 - As the title says, this is the story of the lovers and lawyers who fought (and won) the landmark case for marriage equality here in the US. This book is mainly focused on the personal stories of the plaintiffs and the history of their lawyer working on LGBT+ rights cases in Cincinnati.

I think if you’re looking for a book that goes really in depth with the legal side of things and how they researched the case and what they used to argue their points then you might be a little bit let down
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Ashton
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality.
What can I say about such a remarkable book? From the topic of the book to the way it was written. Everything within this book captivated me.

This book is filled with remarkable people and hero's not only to the LGBT Community but to the nation. They stood up for what they believed in and that's all anyone can ask of anyone

The book...was perfect. It wasn't written like most memoirs or non-fiction books, it was
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Christine
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love wins. Quite a story within these pages!
Larry
I guess I should have figured out sooner (1) why this book had such a hokey title and (2) why a very recently published book had the vast majority of its copies sitting unchecked out in the public library of a city overwhelmingly supportive of its subject. First, the book says it is written by two people, one a prize-winning investigative journalist and the other one of the main characters in its narrative. There is no hint the second person wrote any of it -- unless, of course, he likes writing ...more
Lea Ann
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a few things that I love the come together in Love Wins.

1) The Law - it's not perfect but it's ours and in some respects it gives people who would otherwise be disenfranchised, power to make real and lasting change (but also see Dred Scott v. Sandford).

2) Narrative nonfiction - I love journalism that is told like a story. And this is done so well in podcasts but sometimes gets very very dry in book form. Not this one. This one was intriguing and moving and very well put together.

3)
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Laura
This book chronicles the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which might be the last great civil rights case out of the United States Supreme Court in my lifetime. I read much of it through tears.

It starts in the 1970s, with children being bullied because they were gay. It runs through some of the trials and tribulations of the gay rights movement, with special focus on Cincinnati. I did not know that Cincinnati was one of the first cities to pass a gay rights ordinance and one of the first cities to
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Anna Ledwin
it took me 3000 years to finish this, but not because it was bad. I have certain book moods, and normally non-fiction is not my mood, so I just never picked it up when I had other books around. But finally, I was like, I gotta finish this, I've checked it out from the library 3 separate times, just Do it. So I finally finished the last 100 pages or so I've had left since April and!!!!!!! they were amazing!!!!! I'm so glad this book was written because it's informative but not boring. The ...more
Chris Feldhaus
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know about anyone else, but I enjoy reading non-fiction where places that I live or have lived or have vacationed etc. are mentioned. I grew up in and still live in Cincinnati, played baseball with Al Gerhardstein’s son, and proposed to my wife in a park mentioned in the book. As a lawyer, I spent half of the book nearly in tears, being inspired by lawyers and plaintiffs fighting for what is right. I also spent a good portion of the book muttering “motherf***ers” about the people who ...more
Faith
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you need something uplifting to read at this time (and who doesn't?) this book is probably it. The book does a great job tracing the legal path that sent the case which resulted in legalizing gay marriage along with the personal stories of the people involved in the cases. I learned a lot about a story I only knew the surface information about.

The only critique of the book I would share is that it sometimes veers into hyperbole or too easily dismisses the concern that marriage equality does
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Susie
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't even know where to begin with this book. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that I got a bit lost with all the different people the author discussed, but overall I felt that it gave a great history of the fight for marriage equality while also giving personal details that contributed to why the lovers and lawyers fought so hard for the right to marry. I'll admit I cried at the end. #lovewins
April
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really appreciated getting to hear the backgrounds of all the people involved and hearing extended portions of the oral arguments and briefs. It was interesting and heartfelt.
Alison
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emotional and powerful look back at the landmark case that gave marriage equality to the LGBTQ community. Beautiful read.
Byron Edgington
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here we have a simple love story. Jim Obergefell loved his husband John Arthur. It was that simple. When John died of ALS in 2013, Jim wished to be listed on the death certificate as John’s spouse. Simple. Al Gerhardstein, a Cincinnati attorney thought so, too. As he said: “Every civil rights case begins with a story.” And in Mr. Obergefell’s case, it’s quite a story, simple, but containing many facets affecting many, many people, among them other eventual plaintiffs, other LGBT people who ...more
Penny
I'm just not much for non-fiction. I hoped to learn something - and I guess I did, but I got bogged down in all the legal details and specifics and lost interest.
Katie/Doing Dewey
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Summary: This was both a beautiful, emotional love story and a fantastic personal look at a defining moment in American history.

As lawyer Al Gerhardstein said, every civil rights case begins with a story. The case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the case in which the Supreme Court declared same sex marriage bans unconstitutional, beganwhenJim Obergefell and John Arthur fell in love. After a decades-long, committed relationship the couple found out that John had ALS. One of John's last wishes was to
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Yun
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember what a momentous day it was in 2015 when the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Now this book Love Wins traces through all the details and the people who fought so hard through decades of legal battles that finally made same-sex marriage the law of the land. It's a wonderful, emotional, inspirational story of probably the biggest civil rights decision of my lifetime. I like that this book focuses on personal stories of the plaintiffs and their families, in addition to ...more
Joan
Jan 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. It recounts an important event and the life-stories of the people involved are compelling. However, the writing just dragged. In some places there were puzzling non sequiturs (a hushed Victorian house downtown) and distracting, irrelevant side stories (like a paragraph on the cost of new drug development). A real surprise, the first thing we are told about a legal assistant is her age - are you kidding me, in 2016! And I guess the fact that I noticed such ...more
Mary Blendermann
Great exposition of the legal drama surrounding Obergefell v. Hodges and all the families involved. This book would've been a pretty dry read had the authors focused only on the courtroom situations, but luckily, it spent a good deal of time telling the stories of the plaintiffs, their spouses, and their children. I found Jim Obergefell and John Arthur's story especially touching. Overall, a wonderful read for anyone intrigued by what happened behind the scenes as same-sex marriage was legalized ...more
Roger Smitter
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Law students and lawyers in their first years of work.
My record on GoodReads.com will show a strong interest in courtroom novels. This book is as good as most of the fictional stories - even when the reader knows how the story ends. The second half of the book is the most enjoyable and educational as we get a sense how lawyers work (and hope and take chances) with their clients. The first half provides more background than is needed.

This is the book for the law student or newly accredited lawyer who wants to change the world.
Jeffrey
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If Roe v. Wade was the cultural landmark of the previous generation, Obergefel vs. Hodges will be just that for my generation. Warped definitions of love and God's judgement by releasing His hand of restraint and mercy upon man's own depravity - Cenziper recounts it all, giving penchant note to the court decisions that led to the bedrock of the sexual revolution's corrosive influence.
Courtney Smith Atkins
Wonderful, wonderful book. Great to hear the behind the scenes stuff on a moment in history that I experienced!
Anita
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My wedding day was, simply put, the happiest day of my life. Surrounded by a small number of family and friends, the man I love was willing to commit himself to me, and vice versa, for the rest of our lives in a simple ceremony. Few things compare to such a commitment.

What if I had loved a woman in this way instead of a man? It just doesn't make sense to me that I might not be allowed to have this day, and all the days and rights that follow. This book helps me understand better the fight for
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Sarah
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
It's pretty impressive to write a book wherein the ending is already known to the reader from the very beginning and still make it feel suspenseful, but that's exactly what Love Wins accomplishes. Despite knowing going in that the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality for same sex couples, that result feels anything but certain going through - the challenges and struggles and setbacks are so well captured. Love Wins also does an amazing job at balancing human stories, primarily John ...more
Sarah
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
So in the middle of all my recent academic near-burnout, and LSAT prep, and stress and doubt over whether Law School is really the right choice, this book fell into my lap (or, okay, my Kindle) as if from the Heavens and restored my faith.

Because it's the story of the law doing exactly what it's supposed to do, and making society a better place for people to live. It's the story of lawyers being champions for people who need champions, and fighting for people who need someone to fight for them.
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52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2016.48: Love Wins 1 27 Nov 27, 2016 08:21AM  

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