May 27th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Bush v. Gore lawyers launch new same-sex marriage appeal


A crowd protests the court ruling upholding Proposition 8 in Los Angeles, California, Tuesday.
A crowd protests the court ruling upholding Proposition 8 in Los Angeles, California, Tuesday.

Opponents of California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages launched a new court challenge Wednesday, led by lawyers who were on opposite sides of the case that settled the 2000 presidential race.

Attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies have asked a federal judge to block California from enforcing the ban, known as Proposition 8.

"We are two lawyers from opposite ends of the political spectrum who have come together to support one of the most important issues of our time," Olson told reporters. The case "is not about liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. We're here in part to symbolize that," he added. Wednesday's lawsuit was filed on behalf of two same-sex couples who have been denied marriage licenses under Proposition 8. A federal judge in San Francisco has set a July 2 hearing on the matter.

"Our Constitution guarantees every American the right to be treated equally under the law," Boies said. "There is no right more fundamental than the right to marry the person you love and to raise a family."

Olson was the lead attorney for George W. Bush in the 2000 Florida recount. Boies, meanwhile, was the top legal strategist for former Vice President Al Gore, that year's Democratic presidential nominee.

California's Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the marriage ban Tuesday, but left intact about 18,000 same-sex marriages conducted before voters approved the ban in November. The court rejected arguments that the measure improperly amended the state constitution.


Filed under: Proposition 8 • Raw Politics
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Gillian

    What century are we living in?
    We think we are so smart and technologically advanced and yet we hold onto antiquated ideas regarding sexuality.
    Homosexuality is NOT a choice, NOT a perversion, NOT a mental defect, it is a state of being determined in-utero.
    The birth right of every American is the guarentee of EQUAL protection under the law. Being married, serving in the military just living in this world why do we hold onto this "don't ask don't tell" mentality. People are who they are, no excuse, justification or apology necessary.
    Marriage as an institution carries with it certain rights and responsibilities for both spouses. If those rights and responsibilities are only guarenteed under the term "marriage" then ALL couples, opposite sex or same sex, should be able to marry and in the venue of their choice.

    June 3, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  2. AJ

    I believe, as do many people in my church, that marriage is a religious right protected under the First Amendment, regardless of race or sex.

    Should ULC Ministers have the right to officiate Gay Marriages?


    Many ministers in both my church, in addition to less traditional protestant churches, officiate gay weddings and preside over ceremonies. Believe it or not..

    However State Governments continue to restrict our First Amendment protections and further restrict our ministerial duties, not providing legal recognition for couples or clergy.

    Redress of Grievances? Perhaps we'll simply have to wait for our modern day Loving Vs. Virginia...

    Good Night

    June 2, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  3. Will

    What's good for 18000 people is good for ALL AMERICANS regardless of Sexual orientation...how can the California supreme court rule that the Marriages of the So called 18000 be legal under there ruling but not for the rest of the GLBT community much less the rest of us Americans.

    June 2, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  4. GH

    I'll keep writing about this until I'm blue in the face. It IS a civil rights matter. Who says children should be the only purpose for marriage? Who says you need a marriage to have children? Should atheists be banned from marriage because they don't believe in God? This comes down to extremists trying to impose their religious beliefs upon my life (which in itself is a violation of civil rights). Civil unions do NOT grant "all the same rights" as a marriage, and you know it! Keep your religion out of my bedroom and stop trying to deny me my civil rights!

    May 28, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  5. Amber

    "No civil rights movement has EVER lost. Never. It is not a matter of if our community will win full equal rights, including marriage. It is only a matter of when. But as in all civil rights movements, we will have to fight like hell for it."

    We are winning.. it is just a matter of time. I am glad to see someone finally taking a strong enough stance for human rights.

    May 28, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  6. Terry, TX

    Enough already....voters made it clear ....for the second time. This homosexual subject that CNN beats a dead horse over...is weary and tiresome. Marriage....man and a woman....duh. MSNBC and Anderson Cooper on CNN are not going to change people's mind... Do you think mentioning this over and over and over ....it's like a personal media campaign agenda. Stop it already.

    May 28, 2009 at 8:34 am |
  7. Andre O.

    The lawyer was right in stating that it isn't a partisan or political-spectrum related issue. However, I think the protesters should be demonstrating in their own neighborhoods rather than at the courthouses. After all, it was their fellow Californians who decided to uphold the ban on gay marriage. What sort of respect for the other side's views are Prop 8 Opposers showing by calling the outcome unconstitutional?

    May 28, 2009 at 3:51 am |
  8. Liza

    Definitely a state issue, all states doesn't have a majority LGBT and it affects people living in their respective states to allow this kind of social practice like marrying same sex. It should be voted by people living in that state because the majority does not believe in same sex marriage that affects family values. Fight for some kind of a legal right but separate marriage from it. It is never the same!

    May 27, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  9. Chelsea

    My partner and I were together for 5 years while i was legally living, working and paying taxes in the US. I am not a US citizen therefore had to leave my partner and try to maintain a long distance partnership for the last 4 years. It feels criminal that others opinions dictate who I can love and live with. This is a federal matter but I dont see us winning the "marriage" deal. For heavens sake lets look at another name eg "civil unions" or something just so long as we are all given equal FEDERAL rights which includes same sex immigration. Please all you religous bigots where is your compassion and at the end of the day who on earth are you to pass judgement on others?

    May 27, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
    • Graciele

      so Ron,how would you define mgarirae? like if you were engaged to a girl could you and her just make a promise before the two of you and God and then call yourselves married and have sex then? does a couple have to sign the mgarirae certificate before they are officially allowed to have sex? or when you have sex does that make you married to the person you had sex with? the question isn't just should you have sex before you're married because the issue is, what does it mean to be married? and what does sex have to do with it? what was sex intended for?

      July 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  10. Ana P

    Remember that Prop 8 is about the term "marriage"...that gay couples can't use the word "marriage". I think the best solution is to call all ceremonies conducted in any church "marriage" and all ceremonies conducted outside the church "a union" for every couple, gay and straight. As an agnostic, I don't want my union with my husband to be called "marriage" if it is defined as a covenant between a couple and God. I would prefer that it be called "a union".

    May 27, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  11. Terry P

    This is not an equal rights issue because there is no constitutional right to gay marriage, just like there is no constitutional right to polygamy or concubinage. It simply isn't a marriage, as the voters decided. Let it go. No society in western civilization in three millenia has ever recognized same-sex marriage. Not even pagan Rome or Greece.

    May 27, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  12. Annie Kate

    The lawyers from Bush's camp and Gore's camp from the 2000 election working together for same sex marriage – I guess it is true that politics makes strange bed fellows. I think if we value our constitution as the foundation of our government and the basis for our citizen rights then we ought to walk the walk and have those rights apply to everyone and not just the people who are "like us".

    May 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm |
  13. Mike in NYC

    I don't see this as "one of the most important issues of our time.” That kind of statement would be expected from a liberal like Boies, but sounds very odd coming from Olson. Even Republicans of the libertarian variety, who might see this as an individual rights matter, have more important things with which to concern themselves.

    This issue has immediate pertinence to a small minority and their passionate opponents, but for the rest of us, not so much.

    @David J:

    Most opponents of gay marriage come at it from a religious viewpoint, but opposition could also be based on a secular view of traditional family structure and why it has persisted for so long. Perhaps it just works.

    May 27, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  14. Mari

    @ David J........... True.

    May 27, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  15. Eleanor Coombs, Ga.

    “Our Constitution guarantees every American the right to be treated equally under the law,” Boies said. “There is no right more fundamental than the right to marry the person you love and to raise a family.”

    In a job you usually need qualification to be equally treated. Does one of the "want to be" spouse qualifies to give birth ( considering that she is not barren, and may want to adopt) to the person they marry and raise a family?
    Partner up, that is between you and yours.To marry because of equality...you aren't , unless you are of two different sex. Does the law of morality equal things out?

    May 27, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  16. David J

    Bruce, infringing on someone's constitutional rights to equality and freedom from religious oppression is a federal and not state issue.

    May 27, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  17. Bruce H

    It's a State issue!
    Either figure out how to properly amend the State Constitution or Move!
    California's tax payers can't afford to spend their tax dollars on nonsense at the expense of everyones tax dollars that are providing your bailout!

    May 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |

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