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Prop 8 Defense Attorney Reveals Daughter is Gay and Getting Married, Says Views are Evolving

Attorney Charles Cooper, who argued for 'Protect Marriage in the Proposition 8 case, says he learned during the trial that his daughter is gay and he's now helping plan her wedding, the AP reports:

CooperAttorney Charles Cooper says his view of same-sex marriage is evolving after having argued in court that gay unions could undermine marriages between a man and a woman.

The revelation is an unexpected footnote in the years-long debate over Proposition 8, the California measure struck down by the Supreme Court last year. It is also offers a glimpse, through the eyes of one family, of the country's rapidly shifting opinions of gay marriage, with most public polls now showing majorities in favour of allowing the unions.

Said Cooper:

"My views evolve on issues of this kind the same way as other people's do, and how I view this down the road may not be the way I view it now, or how I viewed it ten years ago," Cooper said in journalist Jo Becker's book "Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality."

The AP adds:

In a statement to The Associated Press, Cooper said his family "is typical of families all across America."
"My daughter Ashley's path in life has led her to happiness with a lovely young woman named Casey, and our family and Casey's family are looking forward to celebrating their marriage in just a few weeks," he said.

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  1. You get a big kick out of exposing. Like a tabloid on Valium.

    Posted by: Gary | Apr 17, 2014 12:31:20 PM

  2. he'll still cash the checks though....nice...

    Posted by: styler | Apr 17, 2014 12:33:19 PM

  3. He's lucky he found out in this manner. Rick Warren had to have his youngest son blow his brains out with a shotgun, and he still ignores the true reason why.

    Only thing missing in this is a statement from him about his relief about losing the case.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 17, 2014 12:37:01 PM

  4. This just really bothers me, although I'm glad he's "evolving"... what, did all those other sons and daughters not deserve equal treatment under the civil law? I guess when it's "other people", it doesn't matter.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Apr 17, 2014 12:38:16 PM

  5. As always, some antigay people's views on gay people change as soon as it actually affects them or those they love. But being an informed, thoughtful, compassionate person BEFORE it cost them personally was just too much to ask for,.

    Posted by: Ben in Oakland | Apr 17, 2014 12:42:23 PM

  6. Pathetic father!


    Posted by: steve | Apr 17, 2014 12:43:40 PM

  7. @TheMilkman that's how i feel about GOP Senator Rob Portman, who decided his gay son was deserving of marriage equality, TWO YEARS after finding out his son was gay, and *AFTER* Romney lost the election.

    Portman faces an uphill battle - to get his fellow republicans to do something he himself was not able to do - give a f**k about someone else's child.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 17, 2014 12:45:33 PM

  8. He is evil pigscum.

    Posted by: MaryM | Apr 17, 2014 12:49:13 PM

  9. Typical @ssh0le republican is enough to say.

    Posted by: Ppp | Apr 17, 2014 12:55:38 PM

  10. It's still progress when people evolve because of a gay friend or family member; it affirms why being out is still the most important thing we can do. This is how many people are won over--when it personally affects them.

    It's just unfortunate that people like Cooper had such a narrow frame of mind that they fought against the civil rights of so many, including their own children, for so long before finally seeing the light. Meanwhile, the people who really deserve credit are those who saw beyond their own doorstep and fought Prop 8 simply because it was wrong.

    Cooper can evolve but he can't change his legacy.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 17, 2014 1:02:47 PM

  11. It's amazing how people can argue that "THOSE gays" are intrinsically evil and trying to destroy all things good and holy (and no plea from gay people or evidence to the contrary will sway their opinion). And they can then take their misinformed personal belief and try to legislate it to deny the entire gay community basic civil rights. And then they have a son/daughter come out and all of the sudden they begin to listen to the arguments that they so easily and arrogantly and self-righteously dismissed before.

    This seems to be a particularly common phenomenon with anti-gay conservatives. Selfishness seems to be the only thing that can sway their "deeply held beliefs".

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Apr 17, 2014 1:04:42 PM

  12. I guess some commenters would prefer he remained opposed to marriage equality. What's the point of getting people to change their minds if you're going to keep ragging on them about their previous - and incorrect position? Sometimes you have to take "Yes" for an answer.

    Posted by: Jason Macbride | Apr 17, 2014 1:06:08 PM

  13. @ ERNIE,

    you're so right. Sometimes it takes only one Gay person to come out, and it can change an entire family's views on civil rights and acceptance for Gay folks. And sometimes the "out" status happens without a formal announcement by the Gay family member. I know, they know, and they'd better accept...if they want me to bake another German Chocolate cake next Thanksgiving.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 17, 2014 1:09:21 PM

  14. Good for him. I still don't want him as CEO of Mozilla.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Apr 17, 2014 1:09:35 PM

  15. I'm not going to berate this man. We're living in a time when the majority understands what equality means, but that doesn't mean we should turn our backs on those who *used* to be against us. I'm all for forgiving people. I accept his statements and I wish him well. We all evolve in our own ways.

    Posted by: Kess | Apr 17, 2014 1:13:15 PM

  16. Typical of empathy. They remain anti-gay until they can be personally impacted by the suffering their loved ones endure from them.

    Posted by: Anony6 | Apr 17, 2014 1:14:11 PM

  17. oh, c'mon you guys...

    He's an attorney. No one really thought he defended Prop 8 over deeply held convictions, did they? Really??

    I may have been born yesterday... but I've been UP ALL NIGHT!

    Posted by: pete n sfo | Apr 17, 2014 1:17:49 PM

  18. Charles Cooper's inept defense of Traditional Marriage was an inside job by the Radical Homosexual Agenda. The whole thing was a setup--secretly gay judge (Walker), gay-friendly attorneys (Boies, Olsen, and now Cooper), stealth-gay-friendly witnesses for the defense (Blankenhorn), who somehow couldn't provide any testimony in support of Real Marriage, and then miraculously after the "trial" came out in support of Sodomite Marriage.

    The last two shoes to drop will be when Mike Huckabee gets caught with RuPaul, and Justice Scalia's mistress comes out as a lesbian.

    Posted by: Rainbow Riot | Apr 17, 2014 1:19:13 PM

  19. So his daughter said nothing and didn't come out before or during the case? If not, take away her friggin gay card.

    Posted by: Qj201 | Apr 17, 2014 1:27:46 PM

  20. @Pete: Well, he has a long long history of fighting gay rights and gay people (Google him) so it's not a leap to assume some convictions were involved, albeit convictions shallow enough to overthrow now that his offspring wants in.

    He certainly deserves some berating--all that anti-gay fruit didn't fall off the trees into his lap. He picked it himself.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 17, 2014 1:29:06 PM

  21. Man, what an amazing psych job by the daughter. Dad is preparing to argue against Marriage Equality before the Supreme Court, the biggest most high-profile case of his career, and Ashley walks into his study one night and says, "Daddy, there's something I need to tell you....."

    Posted by: Soy Tortillera! | Apr 17, 2014 1:32:56 PM

  22. The damage done to his daughter is almost certainly permanent. Can you imagine struggling to come out while watching your Father beat your brothers and sisters done publicly?

    And all he can say is "his views are evolving". Not a word about his daughter.

    Dear Charles Cooper: Step away from your massive ego (and career climbing) and step back to being a father.

    Posted by: jc | Apr 17, 2014 1:40:41 PM

  23. @Ernie : Pete has a valid point - attorneys are the socially acceptable equivalents of hired guns. A long history of fighting gay rights could be simply the result of referrals - clients looking for an attorney with prior experience in some area. You'd have to show that he was investing a lot of personal time that he could not justify as marketing for fighting against gay rights.

    Ask any attorney about the need for "billable hours" and what not getting enough of those implies.

    @ Soy Tortillera! : I can imagine what happens next. "Daddy" says, "That's wonderful, and I should be able to pay for a very nice wedding for you with the fees I'm earning working on this case."

    Posted by: Bill | Apr 17, 2014 1:42:29 PM

  24. One little amusing fact that might be of interest for this discussion. There was some opposition to appointing Vaughn Walker, the judge who ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, because of concerns that he was anti gay. As a private attorney, he handled a trademark infringement case against an group calling itself the Gay Olympics, and even tried to get the person running that group to pay his client's legal expenses. Walker was merely representing his client and probably viewed the case as a vanilla trademark-infringement case.

    Ironically, after the Prop 8 ruling, the homophobes tried to claim that Walker was prejudiced against them because he's gay.

    Posted by: Bill | Apr 17, 2014 1:53:14 PM

  25. Right, Bill and Pete. No doubt he was in the Reagan administration and was voted "Best Republican Lawyer of the Year" because of being paid. Likewise clerking for Rehnquist, who never met a gay rights case he didn't vote on the wrong side of.

    And how about these highlights from his career:

    In 1986, Mr. Cooper wrote a policy memo for the Reagan administration that argued a law prohibiting discrimination based on handicap didn't apply to employers who wanted to fire employees with AIDS, if the basis for the decision was fear of catching the disease. He later wrote a brief to the Supreme Court on behalf of several states, defending a Colorado constitutional amendment that denied gay men and lesbians equal protection. In 1997, Mr. Cooper defended Hawaii in the state's Supreme Court for not performing same-sex marriages, in one of the first major cases tied to the issue.

    Right. It's just the money.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Apr 17, 2014 1:58:29 PM

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