Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Department of Stopped Clocks

I'm no fan of former Solicitor General and all-around right-wing legal asshat Ted Olson, but he's shockingly correct in his opposition to Prop 8:
"It is our position in this case that Proposition 8, as upheld by the California Supreme Court, denies federal constitutional rights under the equal protection and due process clauses of the constitution," Olson said. "The constitution protects individuals' basic rights that cannot be taken away by a vote. If the people of California had voted to ban interracial marriage, it would have been the responsibility of the courts to say that they cannot do that under the constitution. We believe that denying individuals in this category the right to lasting, loving relationships through marriage is a denial to them, on an impermissible basis, of the rights that the rest of us enjoy…I also personally believe that it is wrong for us to continue to deny rights to individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation."

[h/t: Sullivan who is astonished to outflanked n the issue by the likes of Olson]


Smitty said...

First a question: do I gather from Sully's piece that, as a gay guy, he's against gay marriage?

Anyway, I love Olson's reasoning behind why he is engaged in the suit. I understand some of the GLBT groups are concerned about this strategy, because if they lose this argument...those lose big. BUT, if they lose this argument, then so does any minority group. Nothing will stop, say, Alabama (or North Carolina!) from passing laws that limit things like interracial marriage and the like.

It also warms my soul to see a conservative say "I also personally believe that it is wrong for us to continue to deny rights to individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation."

Mr Furious said...

I'd say it's more a question of strategy that puts Olson out in front of Sullivan. He's certainly in favor of gay marriage, but I think he wants a swinging public opinion to sweep across the country in favor of it, not court battles.

I suspect many people will ask him about that, and he will clarify today...

steves said...

I was going to do an entry on this, but it already looks like ATK steals our stuff from Mr. F.

Gay marriage is one of those issues that seems to transcend party affiliation. While Gay marriage certainly enjoys more support among progressive liberals than it does among religious conservatives, it is harder to guess where someone stands when you move closer to the center. Prop 8 in a solidly Blue state shows that not all groups that traditionally support most "liberal" policies support all "liberal" policies. Iowa's supreme court gave the green light to gay marriage in their state and there hasn't been some kind of revolution, which has probably come as a shock to those that think all of the midwest is full of ingnorant homophobes.

Ted Olson's position doesn't surprise me at all. Besides the libertarians, there are many conservatives that take the position that there is too much gov't control over people's behavior. They might say that if gay people want to get marriead and it doesn't hurt anyone else, then why should they not allowed to be married.

If you spend any time on Conservative forums, you will find these people. The MSM aren't really interested in them and they aren't very vocal. Consequently, most of the voices that are heard are of the obnoxious, idiotic, blowhard type (Coulter, Malkin, Hannity, et al).

I think Olson's strategy and argument are sound and the best idea I have seen so far. I hope it works.