Attorney promises national push for same-sex marriage
Updated On: Jun 27 2013 12:51:40 AM CDT
In the wake of Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling effectively allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in California, one of the key attorneys who led the legal fight against the state's ban on same-sex marriage told CNN it will open the door to push same-sex marriages in other states.
"I think no court can now uphold discriminatory laws that prohibit gay and lesbian citizens from marrying. I think that all of those laws are going to be held unconstitutional, justifying the principle that the Supreme Court articulated today," David Boies told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.
Boies told CNN proponents of same-sex marriage now have a major goal. "In five years, our goal is to have marriage equality throughout the country. I think that is an achievable goal."
Boies and his co-counsel Ted Olson, who have been dubbed the legal "odd couple" because of their different political views, became an unlikely duo four years ago joining together to mount a major legal fight against California's Proposition 8. Olson was a prominent conservative lawyer who had served in the George W. Bush Justice Department while Boies was a leading Democratic lawyer. They had faced off during the Bush v. Gore 2000 election recount. Their teaming up on this issue garnered a lot of headlines and helped bring the effort a lot of publicity and money.
"We are going to make sure that the promise that the Supreme Court made today that all American citizens deserve marriage equality is fulfilled," Boies told CNN. He would not provide specific details but said "we'll be talking to state legislatures, trying to convince them they are not to waste a court case, that they are to adopt marriage equality now" and saying advocates will work state by state not only in state legislatures but through voter referendums and through the courts.
While some conservative legal experts vow to continue fighting in California, Boies said he did not believe those efforts will go anywhere. Asked about the possibility of another legal challenge in California, Boies said "Zero chance. No, that is over. Proposition 8 is dead, and it's not coming back."
One disappointment for Boies on Wednesday was that his legal partner, Olson, was not able to hear the Supreme Court announce its decision in person. He was arguing an appeals court case in Philadelphia. Olson later flew to California to join up with Boies and the two gay and lesbian couples who brought the lawsuit at a victory celebration Wednesday evening.
"My only regret...is that Ted can't be here. I mean, we've been joined at the hip for the last four years. And it could not have been a better experience. I could not have had had a better colleague and partner," Boies told CNN.
Boies and Olson were working with the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which sponsored the legal fight on Proposition 8 and bankrolled the effort. Chad Griffin, a leading national rights leader, a co-founder of AFER and the person who helped bring Olson to the case, told a conference call Wednesday the group will now use the Supreme Court decision to push same-sex marriage in the 38 states where it is not legal.
"We commit to fight like we have never fought before...this movement for equality will advance on all fronts," Griffin vowed. "It will prevail." AFER officials would not discuss specifics of their next steps to push same-sex marriage but said they are certain there will be additional litigation, and they will be engaged.
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