Today’s LA Times has an interview with Ted Olson on his effort to overturn Prop. 8 in federal court. I’ll admit to being one of the people who was stunned when I first heard about Olson taking up our cause. The interview is definitely worth a read.
Here are a couple of the questions:
You make it sound personal as well as philosophical. Do you have gay friends or family? I ask because for some Americans, gay people are unknowns. They’re “them.”
I don’t know that we have anybody in the immediate family who’s gay. But I have had [gay] friends my entire life. People who say they don’t know any gay people — they’re wrong, they do. They may not recognize them as gay. There are gay people in our neighborhoods, there are gay people wherever you work. Knowing [gay] people helps [you] to understand that it is not “us and them.” It should all be “us.”
Some anti-Proposition 8 strategists think gay marriage has been doing pretty well in elections state by state, so why risk taking this to federal court?
In the first place, we believe we can be successful. In the second place, it has been very difficult to win elections, and the California election was one example of that. Three, it’s very difficult to tell the people we represent that you must wait until people throughout the country decide to recognize that you are to be treated equally. Not everyone is going to agree with the legal strategy, but we think we are at the right place at the right time in the right court, and we’re hopeful we’ll be successful.
Olson has heard from some former colleagues in the Bush administration who are quite happy that he’s taken the case. And, some who aren’t so happy. Unfortunately, he doesn’t name names.