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

Decatur Presbyterian Sanctuary presented by Emory University

Saturday, 12:30-1:15

Pulitzer Prize-winning The Washington Post reporter Debbie Cenziper and co-author Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff and now among the most recognized faces in the LGBTQ rights movement, present an intimate, gripping account of the legal precedents and personal hardships behind this unforgettable victory for the gay community. Taking readers inside courtrooms, lives, and hearts, Love Wins captures the determination and courage of couples, families, supporters, activists, and attorneys who joined forces to validate the bonds between same-sex partners from coast to coast.


Debbie Cenziper

Debbie Cenziper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist with The Washington Post. Over the past 20 years, she has investigated government fraud, public housing scandals, white-collar crime, and deaths in psychiatric hospitals. Her stories have prompted Congressional investigations, criminal convictions, new laws, and the delivery of hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the poor. Cenziper has won many major awards in American print journalism, including the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting from Harvard University and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Journalism, given by Ethel Kennedy and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.

Jim Obergefell

Jim Obergefell is a civil rights activist who embraced his newfound role after the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land on June 26, 2015. He has worked with organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Ohio and has been honored with awards from organizations such as the Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE). Foreign Policy magazine named him one of its 2015 Global Thinkers.


Fred Smith, Jr.

Fred Smith, Jr. is an Assistant Professor of Law at Berkeley Law School. He is a scholar of the federal judiciary and constitutional law. Smith clerked for Judge Myron Thompson of the Middle District of Alabama; Judge Barrington D. Parker, Jr. of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; and Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the United States Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Berkeley faculty, he also worked as a fellow for a litigation boutique, Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore LLP in Atlanta.

Smith's research focuses on state sovereignty and representative government. His work has appeared, or will appear, in Columbia Law Review, New York University Law Review, Fordham Law Review, and Stanford Law Review. Notable articles include: "Local Sovereignty Immunity," 116 Columbia Law Review ___ (2016) (forthcoming), "Due Process, Republicanism, and Direct Democracy," 89 New York University Law Review 582 (2014) and "Awakening the People's Giant: Sovereign Immunity and the Constitution's Republican Commitment," 80 Fordham Law Review 1941 (2012).

Smith earned his JD from Stanford Law School in 2007. At Stanford, he was a member of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic; was a finalist in the annual Kirkwood Moot Court Competition; was a finalist in the American Constitution Society's national Moot Court Competition; served as President of the Black Law Students Association; and served as Articles Editor for the Stanford Law and Policy Review. In 2004, he received his BA with Honors from Harvard College; his thesis was awarded magna cum laude.