HigherLoveIt was a year ago this month that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, finally recognizing marriage for all U.S. citizens. Louisville residents Randy Johnson and Paul Campion were two of the plaintiffs in that SCOTUS case who fought hard for the right to legally marry.

They detail their 25-year journey in a new memoir titled “Higher Love: The Miraculous Story of a Family,” and both Johnson and Campion will host a reading/signing on Thursday, June 30, at Carmichael’s Bookstore.

According to the book’s website, the story chronicles the ups and downs of Johnson and Campion’s relationship — from their first meeting in a Louisville nightclub in 1991 to getting married in California to adopting four children to Campion’s prostate cancer diagnosis in 2012.

It wasn’t until that health scare that they realized just how vulnerable their family was without Kentucky law legally recognizing their marriage — from limited hospital visitation to having to file for single-parent adoptions for their children.

In 2013, Johnson and Campion decided to join a lawsuit that challenged Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage. It was a big decision for the private couple, since it would skyrocket them into the public eye and open them up to scrutiny. But their passion to stand up for what they believe in and set an example for their children far outweighed the negatives.

Randy Johnson and Paul Campion helped change history on June 26, 2015. | Courtesy of "Higher Love"
Randy Johnson and Paul Campion helped change history on June 26, 2015. | Courtesy of “Higher Love”

“‘Higher Love’ is the memorable and moving story of a gay couple who set out to start a family and instead make history,” states the description. “This intimate portrayal of their struggles, their faith and their indomitable spirit forever redefines what it means to be ‘the average American family.'”

Johnson and Campion will read and sign copies of “Higher Love” on Thursday, June 30, at 7 p.m. at Carmichael’s Bookstore, 2720 Frankfort Ave. 

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."