Theodore Olson, US Solicitor General for the Bush administration and who represented Bush in Bush v. Gore 2000, and David Boies, who was the lawyer for Gore in Bush vs. Gore in 2000, have teamed up to challenge the California Supreme Court's upholding of Proposition 8, a voter initiative that passed in the November 2008 elections and which struck down the gay marriage rights passed by Sacramento legislators.
Recently, in a discussion on TRUTH 101's blog, a commenter wrote this when I gave my opinion on California's Prop 8 and other states that prohibit gay marriage:
SHAW KENAWE: "This piece of bigotry will not stand."
COMMENTER TO SHAW KENAWE: "Yawn. Typical left-wing McCarthyism."
SHAW KENAWE'S REBUTTAL: It is a fact that this country, bless it, always moves in the direction of extending civil rights to minorities. The resistance to gay marriage is predicated solely on religious sensibilites. This country does not recognize religion as a basis of it civil laws. This piece of bigotry will not stand. You’ll see this in your lifetime. Believe me.
Theodore Olson, writing in a recent Newsweek magazine issue, thoroughly demolishes all arguments against granting civil rights to our gay and lesbian citizens, and in doing so, enforces my answer to the commenter who believes standing up for equality and calling any movement to deny equality "bigotry" is "left-wing McCarthyism."
But I'll let Attorney Olson explain his supremely logical and pro-American, pro-equality reasons for supporting gay marriage.
"My involvement in this case has generated a certain degree of consternation among conservatives. How could a politically active, lifelong Republican, a veteran of the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, challenge the "traditional" definition of marriage and press for an "activist" interpretation of the Constitution to create another "new" constitutional right?
My answer to this seeming conundrum rests on a lifetime of exposure to persons of different backgrounds, histories, viewpoints, and intrinsic characteristics, and on my rejection of what I see as superficially appealing but ultimately false perceptions about our Constitution and its protection of equality and fundamental rights.
Many of my fellow conservatives have an almost knee-jerk hostility toward gay marriage. This does not make sense, because same-sex unions promote the values conservatives prize. Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of our neighborhoods and our nation.
The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly held that marriage is one of the most fundamental rights that we have as Americans under our Constitution. It is an expression of our desire to create a social partnership, to live and share life's joys and burdens with the person we love, and to form a lasting bond and a social identity. The Supreme Court has said that marriage is a part of the Constitution's protections of liberty, privacy, freedom of association, and spiritual identification. In short, the right to marry helps us to define ourselves and our place in a community. Without it, there can be no true equality under the law.
It is true that marriage in this nation traditionally has been regarded as a relationship exclusively between a man and a woman, and many of our nation's multiple religions define marriage in precisely those terms. But while the Supreme Court has always previously considered marriage in that context, the underlying rights and liberties that marriage embodies are not in any way confined to heterosexuals.
The simple fact is that there is no good reason why we should deny marriage to same-sex partners. On the other hand, there are many reasons why we should formally recognize these relationships and embrace the rights of gays and lesbians to marry and become full and equal members of our society
No matter what you think of homosexuality, it is a fact that gays and lesbians are members of our families, clubs, and workplaces. They are our doctors, our teachers, our soldiers (whether we admit it or not), and our friends. They yearn for acceptance, stable relationships, and success in their lives, just like the rest of us.
California's Proposition 8 is particularly vulnerable to constitutional challenge, because that state has now enacted a crazy-quilt of marriage regulation that makes no sense to anyone. California recognizes marriage between men and women, including persons on death row, child abusers, and wife beaters. At the same time, California prohibits marriage by loving, caring, stable partners of the same sex, but tries to make up for it by giving them the alternative of "domestic partnerships" with virtually all of the rights of married persons except the official, state-approved status of marriage. Finally, California recognizes 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place in the months between the state Supreme Court's ruling that upheld gay-marriage rights and the decision of California's citizens to withdraw those rights by enacting Proposition 8
So there are now three classes of Californians: heterosexual couples who can get married, divorced, and remarried, if they wish; same-sex couples who cannot get married but can live together in domestic partnerships; and same-sex couples who are now married but who, if they divorce, cannot remarry. This is an irrational system, it is discriminatory, and it cannot stand.
Americans who believe in the words of the Declaration of Independence, in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, in the 14th Amendment, and in the Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and equal dignity before the law cannot sit by while this wrong continues. This is not a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American one, and it is time that we, as Americans, embraced it."
I urge everyone to read the entire article here.