This summer, Life of the Law is featuring stories from some of the best and the brightest upcoming audio journalists from Pitzer College and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. We’re calling it our New Voices Series.

Our first story Winter of Love is from Aviva DeKornfeld of Pitzer College in Southern California.

“To go inside City Hall, not 100 yards from where Harvey Milk was assassinated, where I had yelled in protest and cried in pain, to be married in City Hall…It was when I realized what a revolutionary act it was.”

–Torie Osborn

In February 2004, the Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, directed San Francisco’s city/county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Thousands of people filled San Francisco’s cavernous city hall to marry their partners. There were celebrations and protests.

Four  months later the California Supreme Court ruled these same sex marriages null and void and it was as if they had never happened. But it wasn’t the end of same sex marriage in San Francisco or in the US and after state-wide votes, petitions, and lawsuits, today there is marriage equality nationwide.

Aviva DeKornfeld shares the stories of couples who survived those first few months of conjugal bliss only to be declared single, by the court.



Winter of Love was reported by Aviva DeKornfeld and edited by Ibby Caputo, with sound design and production by Jonathan Hirsch.

We want to thank Ora DeKornfeld, Aviva’s sister and an Independent Documentary Filmmaker, Kevin Moffett, Professor of Creative Writing, Claremont McKenna College, and Life of the Law’s Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle for their production support. Howard Gelman was our engineer.

We would also like to thank Ashleyanne Krigbaum for sharing her audio recordings of June 26, 2015 at San Francisco City Hall, and Angela Johnston, Reporter and Producer at KALW in San Francisco.

The music in this episode is from Blue Dot Sessions, Podington Bear, and Lowercase Noises.

Full Transcript of Winter of Love



  •      Bailey, Anna M. 2012. “Same-Sex Partners’ Personal Aspirations And Political Attitudes about Same-Sex Marriage.” Alliant International University.
  •      Baunach, D. M. (2011). Decomposing Trends in Attitudes Toward Gay Marriage, 1988-2006*. Social Science Quarterly, 92(2), 346-363.
  •      Becker, A. B., & Scheufele, D. A. (2009). Moral Politicking: Public Attitudes towards Gay Marriage in an Election Context. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 14(2), 186-211.
  •      Calhoun, Cheshire. 2000. Feminism, The Family, and the Politics of the Closet: Lesbian and Gay Displacement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  •      Clarke, Victoria. 2003. “Lesbian And Gay Marriage: Transformation or Normalization?” Feminism & Psychology.
  •      Conrad, Ryan and Yasmin Nair. 2010. Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage. Lewiston, Me.: Against Equality Pub. Collective.
  •      Cummings, Patricia A. 2011. “Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage: Perspectives of LGBT Older Adults.” Alliant International University.
  •      Flores, A. R. 2015. “Examining Variation In Surveying Attitudes on Same-Sex Marriage: A Meta-Analysis.” Public Opinion Quarterly 79(2):580–93.
  •      Kim, Suzanne A. 2010. “Skeptical Marriage Equality.” Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Vol(34).
  •      Kimport, Katrina. 2013. Queering Marriage: Challenging Family Formation in the United States. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  •      Maccio, Elaine M., Sara Mateer DeRosa, Scott E. Wilks, and Amy L. Wright. 2007. “Age Differences In LGBT Attitudes Toward Marriage Equality.” The Trustees of Indiana University.
  •      McGinnis, Troy A. n.d. “Quest For Quotidian: A National Survey of NonHeterosexual Attitudes Toward Marriage.” University of Nevada.
  •      Stein, Edward. n.d. “Marriage Or Liberation?: Reflections on Two Strategies in the Struggle for Lesbian and Gay Rights and Relationship Recognition.” Rutgers Law Review 61.
  •      Taylor, V., K. Kimport, N. Van Dyke, and E. A. Andersen. 2009. “Culture And Mobilization: Tactical Repertoires, Same-Sex Weddings, and the Impact on Gay Activism.” American Sociological Review 74(6):865–90.
  •      Wolfson, Evan. 2004. Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry. New York: Simon & Schuster.



This episode of Life of the Law was funded in part by grants from the Open Society Foundations, the Law and Society Association, the Proteus Fund, the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

Our reporting was sponsored by Squarespace (be sure to use the promo code LAW at checkout to receive special benefits as a Life of the Law listener), and by  The Great Courses

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