Barack Obama | David Bowie | Federal Prop 8 Trial | Gay Marriage | News | Proposition 8 | Ted Olson

Obama Needs to Catch Up, Says Prop 8 Challenge Atty Boies

Maureen Dowd interviews Ted Olson and David Boies about the federal challenge to Proposition 8 in the NYT. Olson told her, "I think there’s something the matter with you if you don’t care enough to feel the suffering that they’ve been through and if you’re not emotionally upset about the fact that we’re doing an immense amount of harm to people,” he said. “We’re not treating them like Americans. We’re not treating them like citizens." And Boies took Obama to task for his pace on the issue:

Boies While Charles Cooper, the lawyer on the anti-gay-marriage side, cited President Obama’s declaration that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, Olson noted that Obama’s parents could not have married in Virginia before he was born.

I asked the lawyers if they were disappointed that the president who had once raised such hope in the gay community now seemed behind the curve.

“Damned right,” Boies snapped. “I hope my Democratic president will catch up to my conservative Republican co-counsel.”

Olson added: “I’m not talking about Obama, but that’s what’s so bad about politicians. They say, ‘I must hasten to follow them, for I am their leader.’”

Obama sees himself as such a huge change that he can be cautious about other societal changes. But what he doesn’t realize is that legalizing gay marriage is like electing a black president. Before you do it, it seems inconceivable. Once it’s done, you can’t remember what all the fuss was about.

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  1. Exactly what Olson said. I'm tired of my country, which I love, hating me.

    Posted by: Pecos Bill | Jan 17, 2010 7:50:44 PM

  2. OK, then. I am officially in love with David Boies.

    Posted by: K | Jan 17, 2010 8:29:31 PM

  3. Hear, hear.

    Posted by: Ian M. Walker | Jan 17, 2010 9:06:48 PM

  4. You can't spell backbone "ne"where with Barack Obama...

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 17, 2010 9:36:42 PM

  5. These 2 are taking the GLBT and the whole bible thumping hate mongering community to TASK . Where headed into a new direction. GLBT had better get on board the days of moving slow are OVER!!! Thanks to these two brave men; best wishes and all my hopes go out to these 2 and Rob Reiner.

    Posted by: Xman | Jan 17, 2010 9:52:29 PM

  6. I feel like Emmy Lou Who, and every time I read a quotation from these guys my heart grows two sizes.

    Posted by: stephen | Jan 17, 2010 11:22:50 PM

  7. If Obama actually had the balls to pass real health care reform through reconciliation - which is what the House Democrats told him to do at the beginning of this process in March 2009 - he'd be in a much better position to deliver on LGBT rights and all this other stuff now.

    But no, the president had to listen to Harry Reid, Joe Lieberman, and his old buddies in the Senate.

    The chamber where legislation goes to die.

    Now, instead of working on ENDA, DADT, climate change, or immigration, he's going to spend the next year trying to save this water-downed, ineffectual health care plan the Senate HMO is trying to shove down everyone's throats. It is a disaster completely of the White House's own making. They listened to the Senate instead of the House. They allowed the teabagging racists to organize. They put everything off until later thinking Obama's popularity would last forever.

    I dislike the racial attacks on Obama. And I will continue to speak out against those. But by the same token, I am not going to defend a failed strategy that has led the party to the verge of 1994 all over again.

    Posted by: John | Jan 18, 2010 1:10:03 AM

  8. As a gay man, I will never root for the Democrats again. I have seen how Democrat-controlled legislatures in New York and New Jersey have recently voted down gay marriage. So much for Democrats believing in equal rights.

    Posted by: jason | Jan 18, 2010 8:58:09 AM

  9. Agreed that Obama has been a huge disappointment and a crappy leader, kissing the asses of Republicans and pushing gays to the side. Still...STILL...we are better off with Obama than we were under Bush and the Republicans. The right wingers were actively anti-gay, pushing state referenda to enshrine discrimination in state and the federal constitions. Better to be poorly led than to be continually attacked.

    Posted by: Brian from Tucson | Jan 18, 2010 10:02:47 AM

  10. It amazing How the non-white President needs to catch up. But nobody told Bill this when sigining D.A.D.T and D.O.M.A


    Posted by: twirly | Jan 18, 2010 12:10:06 PM

  11. I agree Twirly.

    Posted by: Sam | Jan 18, 2010 2:08:14 PM

  12. Twirly -- the issue isn't about a white president and a black president (which is what your post implies). It's about a shift in perspective from the mid-1990s to today. That's why a lot of folks think that Obama isn't living up to his promises.

    Posted by: Gayprof | Jan 18, 2010 10:05:42 PM

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