Ted Olson and David Boies Join Virginia Gay Marriage Case, Eyeing SCOTUS Once Again
Bostic v. Rainey, a Virginia case challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage which is expected to go to the Supreme Court is about to go very high profile, the Washington Post reports:
The American Foundation for Equal Rights — with its attention-getting political odd couple of conservative Republican lawyer Theodore Olson and liberal Democrat David Boies — will announce Monday it is joining a lawsuit against what the lawyers called Virginia’s “draconian” laws prohibiting same-sex marriages, the recognition of such marriages performed where they are legal, and civil unions.
Olson and Boies are hoping the case will inspire the justices to find that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right.
The paper adds:
Olson said AFER was invited to join the case by attorneys for the plaintiffs, Norfolk residents Timothy Bostic and Tony London, whose marriage application was turned down, and Carol Schall and Mary Townley, who have a 15-year-old daughter and whose marriage in California is not recognized by the commonwealth.
Virginia is an “attractive target,” said Olson, who lives in the state, because its rejection of same-sex marriage and civil unions is so complete.
Virginia's voters amended the state Constitution in 2006 to ban same-sex marriages and civil unions, and forbid recognition of unions performed outside of the state.
Tony London and Timothy Bostic are the main plaintiffs in the case, which they filed back in July.
Wrote the Virginian Pilot at the time:
"They thought about getting married in another state, but decided against it," said Robert Ruloff, an attorney for London, a Norfolk real estate agent, and Bostic, an Old Dominion University assistant professor of English. "They are Virginians and they want to be married in Virginia."
The lawsuit is the first such legal challenge filed in Virginia. It came one week after the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia announced plans to file its own lawsuit, and about three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court undercut two laws that stood as barriers to gay marriage.
Chris Freund, a spokesman for the Family Foundation, a conservative nonprofit based in Richmond, said he was not surprised by the lawsuit. He said the plaintiffs are trying to circumvent "the will of the people."