Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ted Olson and "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage"

Ted Olson is the conservative (yes conservative) lawyer arguing in front of a California court that Proposition 8 in that state that banned gay marriage is unconstitutional. As you may have already heard, Olson is an unlikely proponent for gay marriage given his conservative Republican background (he successfully represented President Bush against Al Gore in the 2000 election). As a side note--I agreed with the Bush decision as well.

Thankfully, Olson has decided to push his "moral majority" conservatives aside and follow his real conservative values--values that honor equality and freedom for all people. He's a great ally for our side not only because he's eloquent and presents a solid argument, but also because his conservative backgrounds leave the anti-gay folks with no ammo to accuse him of being just another liberal nut, gay activist, etc., etc.

Olson has been on somewhat of a media blitz recently getting the word out about why he supports, and is arguing for, gay marriage. His article in Newsweek, entitled "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage" is powerful and a well laid-out argument against marriage discrimination. His opening statement in the California trial, which started yesterday, is equally as powerful. Both are worth the read and are worth spreading around to people on both sides of the marriage debate.

I've been saying this for a long time, but it has always amazed me that the people of a state/this country can pass a Constitutional Amendment that goes against the Constitution that already exists (i.e. pass an amendment that discriminates even though discrimination is already banned in the Constitution). That's really what this trial boils down to.

The problem as I see it, though, is whether for all of his hard work showing that the anti-gay marriage folks are full of hot air at best, and out to intentionally discriminate against a group of people at worst, whether Olson et. al. can prove that the amendment itself should not have been passed in the first place because it was unconstitutional. Unfortunately that might be a harder burden to prove. And, if he does prove it, where do we go from here?


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