Gives Thanks

BY Advocate Contributors

November 16 2010 10:00 PM ET


Olson and Boies Take on Prop. 8

Brilliant attorneys with undeniable courtroom charisma don’t always bring about the desired resolution in a lawsuit. But we’re hoping to have our cake and eat it too in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal challenge to California’s anti–marriage equality Proposition 8, which reaches the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit in early December and is expected to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. During the three-week trial in January, the former adversaries in Bush v. Gore (the high court case that effectively decided the 2000 presidential election) featured testimony from leading experts in the case for marriage equality (including University of Massachusetts, Amherst, economist M.V. Lee Badgett and Harvard University history professor Nancy Cott) and reduced their foes to a simpering mess on the witness stand (that’s you, Institute for American Values president David Blankenhorn). Speaking as everyday Americans rather than seasoned activists, the four plaintiffs in the suit—Kristin Perry, Sandy Stier, Jeff Zarrillo, and Paul Katami—proved infinitely moving as witnesses. Now’s not the time to gloat—but by any measure it was an impressive showing.