As I mentioned yesterday, former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, who represented Bush and Gore, respectively, in the contest to the 2000 election, have come together and filed a federal lawsuit against Proposition 8. Earlier today, they (as The American Foundation for Equal Rights) held a press conference.
Watch the press conference,
AFTER THE JUMP...
Said Olson to the Washington Examiner last night: "I personally think it is time that we as a nation get past distinguishing people on the basis of sexual orientation, and that a grave injustice is being done to people by making these distinctions. I thought their cause was just. It is our position in this case that Proposition 8, as upheld by the California Supreme Court, denies federal constitutional rights under the equal protection and due process clauses of the constitution. The constitution protects individuals' basic rights that cannot be taken away by a vote. If the people of California had voted to ban interracial marriage, it would have been the responsibility of the courts to say that they cannot do that under the constitution. We believe that denying individuals in this category the right to lasting, loving relationships through marriage is a denial to them, on an impermissible basis, of the rights that the rest of us enjoy…I also personally believe that it is wrong for us to continue to deny rights to individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation."
Watch the press conference, at which they are asked about their motives (because the LGBT community never thought they were pro-gay), about why it is a federal case, about whether or not they have a family member who is gay, and about the timing of the lawsuit, AFTER THE JUMP...
Olson says that he has never been part of an organization that is anti-gay: "I hope that people don't suspect my motives, but wee've had lots of conversations about this. I feel that this is the right position...We fundamentally believe what we are saying. And we're going to win this case."
Said Boies: I've known Ted well for 10 years. [Ted] is a person that is committed in his heart and soul to equality. He is committed in his heart and soul to the Constitution. That is why he is here, and that is why he asked me to participate in this litigation."
Today, Freedom to Marry issued a press release with a coalition of LGBT groups warning that a federal lawsuit could set the fight for marriage back. They also released a new publication to that effect (PDF) entitled "Why the ballot box and not the courts should be the next step on marriage in California”: "This publication discourages people from bringing premature lawsuits based on the federal Constitution because, without more groundwork, the U.S. Supreme Court likely is not yet ready to rule that same-sex couples cannot be barred from marriage."
Freedom to Marry Documents...
"Why the ballot box and not the courts should be the next step...” [freedom to marry]
"Make Change, Not Lawsuits" [freedom to marry]