May 27th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Bush v. Gore lawyers target same-sex marriage ban

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) - Opponents of California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages launched a new court challenge Wednesday, led by lawyers who were on opposite sides of the case that settled the 2000 presidential race.

Attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies have asked a federal judge to block California from enforcing the ban, known as Proposition 8. Though California's Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 in a ruling issued Tuesday, Olson and Boies argue that the ban violates the U.S. Constitution.

"It is impossible to reconcile the restrictions that Prop. 8 imposes on the right of gay men and lesbians to marry with the U.S. Supreme Court's conclusion that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the right of all citizens to make personal decisions about marriage without unwarranted state intrusion," their lawsuit, filed on behalf of two same-sex couples, states.

Boies and Olson filed suit Wednesday on behalf of two couples who were denied marriage licenses under Proposition 8. A federal judge in San Francisco has set a July 2 hearing date on the matter.

California's Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the marriage ban Tuesday, but left intact about 18,000 same-sex marriages conducted before voters approved the ban in November.

Olson was the lead attorney for George W. Bush in the 2000 Florida recount. He served as solicitor general in the Bush administration after the Supreme Court ruling that effectively decided the election in Bush's favor.

Boies, meanwhile, was the top legal strategist for former Vice President Al Gore, that year's Democratic presidential nominee. Before that, he was the Clinton administration's top lawyer in the anti-trust case against computer software giant Microsoft.

Filed under: Same-sex marriage
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. William Bailey

    why stop with banning gay marriage? blacks and whites should not be allowed to marry. chrisitans should never marry jews. and allah forbid that a muslim marry anyone but another muslim. i'm not even sure that a texan should be allowed to marry someone from california. it just doesn't seem "right".

    May 27, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Tom

    Mahatma Ghandi said this:
    "First, they ignore you.
    Then, they ridicule you.
    Then, they fight you.
    Then, you win."

    It ain't over.

    May 27, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Jeff - Texas

    kevin in Ohio

    Sorry man I don't play that side of the fence
    ask sniffit

    May 27, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Steph

    For all of you saying things about procreation being the reason to ban gay should we outlaw marriage between a man and a woman who don't agree first to have children? Should older couples not be allowed to marry because they can't procreate? What about couples who find out after they are married that they can't have children? Should we force them to get divorced?

    May 27, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. Jim in San Jose

    Dear Keith,

    How could you possibly know whether or not it's a choice? Just because we don't turn pink at birth doesn't mean we're not different.

    Being gay is like being left handed, it's not a choice that any of us makes. The only choice is to be who are you or to be who are are not.

    May 27, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. RobK

    What state interest do civil unions provide? If the state is no longer concerned with supporting a mother and father to raise children and create a stable society, get the state out of marriage and civil unions. People can hire a lawyer and draw of whatever legal agreement they want concerning their "union". Why should taxpayers have to pay for recording and keeping track of all this nonsense?

    May 27, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. Truth be told

    Why are gay and ethnic/racial issues being used in the SAME BREATH? One is a lifestyle and the other is simply not. RESPECT IS DUE!

    May 27, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. Josh

    All goes back to Brown v. Board of Education. "Separate but Equal" is not equal.

    May 27, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. John


    so you think being black is better than being gay because you can't hide.
    so if you could hide being black you should and you should be forced to live a white life?

    what kind of american are you....

    May 27, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Larry from RI

    Divorce is the biggest threat to heterosexual marriage!

    Why is it that the "family values" party are not trying to make divorce illegal?

    I mean with Newt, Rudy, McCain and Rush all having more wives than most folks have fingers and toes I guess divorce is now OK as a "Christian Moral Value"!

    May 27, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. single mom

    Who are these people who decided that what the majority of VOTERS in California approved into the state constitution is invalid? They had their chance. If it was so important then maybe they should have VOTED.
    To quote the President to his opponents – Get over it. You lost.

    May 27, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. deb

    Show me where in our tax and legal code the words "civil union" appear? They don't. However, married and spouse does.

    Separate but not equal is not equal.

    May 27, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. Steph

    I love that quote! Thank you!

    May 27, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Collin Kelley

    Let's get a few things..ummm...straight for you crazy Christian wingnuts:

    Human and civil rights should never be put to a vote. Ever.

    Homosexuality is not a "choice" or "lifestyle."

    Marriage is not a "Christian" institution.

    For all crazy Christian whackjobs, we didn't vote on who you could marry, cheat on and divorce, so please don't tell us how to lead their lives. Go look up what it means to be a Christian, learn it and then live it. Jesus doesn't like looneys using his name to advance bigotry, discrimination and hate.

    May 27, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Linda

    Marriage should not be the hostage of religous organizations. Marriage should be a civil term. If you wish to have it consecrated in your particular religous belief so be it. Call it a consecration cermony for the religous organization and they can do that for whomever qualifies for their religous creed. Guess what I'm not a Roman Chatholic and I'm a hetrosexual and they wouldn't have to married me because I don't subscrbe to their creed of belief, but I still have a legal marriage. Come on people let's start using our brains.

    May 27, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Chuck

    Ted Olsen has a long history of being wrong, and can add this one to the list. His suit is based on a false assumption that state intrusion is unwarranted. But, state intrusion is warranted because the gay agenda is immoral and offensive to most Americans - we don't want America to turn into Babylon like San Francisco.

    May 27, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Senor Randolph Carter

    As of this moment, I have chosen the Mexican lifestyle. Buenas Tardes!

    May 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. texassucksass

    "let them marry only they have to to comply with the following since they want it a marriage:
    2 men- one wears a tux, the other a wedding dress one always has to wear womens clothes.
    2 women the same applies.

    This way we know which one is the husband and which one is the wife"
    Leave it to a stupid hick in Texas to write something so lame.

    May 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    @ keith, who said "when i walk into a room they know im black"

    Let's get down to brass tacks: are you saying you can't spot most homosexual men and women when you see them? Get real. Go to a club or a performance of Oklahoma or something, then come back to tell us you still think that same thing.

    May 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Ben

    About time. If I was gay, I would have already sued the courts. Bravo.

    May 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Ennis, LA

    If Obama wants, he can order his Attorney-General to legally challenge
    Prop 8 in federal court. He doesn't because he won't spend his
    political capital for a cause most blacks won't support. Race is an
    inborn characteristic; gayness, on the other hand, is often a matter of
    choice. Obama also has put gays in the military on the back burner.

    Gays need to wait in line behind all the coveted racial groups Democrats like Obama loves to court. Now they must wait for a bone
    he cares to throw their way. He takes gay votes for granted just like
    Clinton did.

    May 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Jimmy the Greek

    How RICH is this.... people angry with State's rights now calling on the Federal Government to over-rule the California Supreme Court.

    Hey – all you grade-school flunkies.... this country is not "America" – we are the United STATES of America.

    Our founding fathers created a government which deferred to States' rights – with the Federal Government providing for only the common needs (defense, etc).

    WOW – no wonder our educational system is in such disarray! You all prove that democracy real doesn't work.

    May 27, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Hawk

    If we are going to deny gays the title of "Marriage", then let us do this properly. Let us strike the title of "Marriage" from all government sanctioned unions – thus further strengthening the separation of Church and State. We can call all unions, regardless of the genders involved, "Civil Unions" and let Churches call them "Marriages". Remove the word "Marriage" as a proper legal term and relegate it to its proper place as a religious term – which Churches can recognize according to their own beliefs.

    May 27, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. keith


    The point i am trying to make is that the two a not even in the same league. There was never a time in history where a gay man had to go to a back door to get food.

    May 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. Recession ender

    Lawyers will make money especially with the divorces; banquet halls will profit; hoteliers will be siniging in the rain when there is a run on rooms for honeymoons. Money, money, money!

    May 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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