Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dream Team Boies and Olson to take on Virginia

I have often called Virginia the "State of Hate" because they not only ban marriages between same-sex couples, they also ban civil unions, recognition of any marriages, and indeed, any civil efforts to provide relationship protection like employer-benefits, etc. 
"A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges and obligations of marriage is prohibited." It goes on to add that any such union, contract or arrangement entered into in any other state, "and any contractual rights created thereby," are "void and unenforceable in Virginia." (Source)
The Prop8-AFER dream team of powerhouse attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies are going to take on Virginia.  Although they won their Prop 8 case, it was on a technicality that only applied to California.  Their goal is to achieve marriage equality nation wide.  From the WaPo:
Olson said AFER was invited to join the case by attorneys for the plaintiffs, Norfolk residents Timothy Bostic and Tony London, whose marriage application was turned down, and Carol Schall and Mary Townley, who have a 15-year-old daughter and whose marriage in California is not recognized by the commonwealth. 
Virginia is an “attractive target,” said Olson, who lives in the state, because its rejection of same-sex marriage and civil unions is so complete. 
“The more unfairly people are being treated, the more obvious it is that it’s unconstitutional,” Olson said.
Of course, there is a risk.
But some supporters of same-sex marriage fear the suits are coming too fast. The justices turned down the chance to find a constitutional right to marry only months ago, and Kennedy’s opinion in Windsor also contained his caution that “history and tradition” give states the right to define marriage. 
After giving the victories, the slim Supreme Court majority might favor letting the political process, rather than the judicial, take the lead. 
Olson is unmoved by that theory. 
“I’m not going to get into the justices and what they each said and what Justice Scalia said,” Olson said. “Given what was said in DOMA [decision] and given the record we made in California and given what we’re going to establish in Virginia, we’re going to be able to persuade a majority of the court that this is the right thing.”
Let us remember that George Bush senior recently was a witness at a same sex marriage, and Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg has officiated at two weddings.  Slowly, surely.....

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