Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lawyers Ted Olson & David Boies on Prop 8

American Foundation for Equal Rights held an audio press conference two hours after Prop 8 was found unconstitutional by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson Host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ participated in this historic discussion with members of the press, AFER Board President Chad Griffin and lead co-counsel Ted Olson and David Boies. In an opinion authored by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the Ninth Circuit concluded that Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort,” Judge Reinhardt wrote.

In his opening remarks about this enormous victory for our LGBT community Ted Olson stated, “When we started this trial the very first words that we spoke when the trial began in San Francisco was that this case is about marriage and equality. It’s about the right to marry and this decision today affirms the importance in American society of the right to marry. The very proponents who opposed us in this case talked about how important marriage was. The difference is that they wanted to keep it for themselves. They wanted to deny this relationship, this institution, this building block of our society, the most fundamental right according to the Supreme Court that we have in America. They wanted to deny that right to a large segment of our society because they felt that those persons were unequal or undeserving and should be treated differently under the California Constitution. This case was about marriage and it’s also about freedom and decency. How we are going to treat our fellow citizens, our brothers and sisters, our cousins and our neighbors. Are we going to treat them with the same dignity that we ourselves enjoy in this country? The District Court earlier and the Ninth Circuit today ringingly reaffirmed the right to equality, the fundamental right to marriage and the fact that it cannot be denied to citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation or the basis of sex. This is a very significant milepost on the way to equality in this country. We’re not there yet. One of these days soon I suspect, I feel strongly that we will be. So this is a very important decision and it was 80 pages of tightly reasoned, very thoughtfully articulated Supreme Court analysis, so we are one major step forward and we’re very grateful to the Ninth Court for upholding the right of the citizens in California.”
OUTTAKE VOICES™ Interview w/ Dustin Lance Black & His Play '8'
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