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. Dawn

    @ Obama victim; you are so wrong that marriage is not a privilege. it is between couples who want to be married, then there is shotgun weddings... I believe that people, all people are equal, and should be misrable like the straight people.

    @Jeff, Texas, that is great for a woman, most women wear pants, maybe bring back the Annie Hall Look.Well the "wifey" he could be a cross dresser.

    Ta Ta fer now

    May 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    @ Collin Kelley, who said "Homosexuality is not a "choice" or "lifestyle.""

    I'll do you one better: it's still protected under the Constitution even if it is. Don't argue against their points when their points aren't points but rather just blather. You only let them control the discussion by doing that.

    May 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. the southern progressive

    for any person or persons to say they own the definition of the word "marriage" is like saying paris hilton owns the phrase "that's hot"

    some people are idiots and always will be. its time for people to grow up and realize they and their religion are not the center of our universe.

    May 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. John in Ohio

    I would say to take it to the voters again next year.

    May 27, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Chi Town

    I support gay marriage... even if Obama doesn't.

    I would also like to marry multiple people if the tax breaks can be used multiple times... poligamy could be a very nice tool for monitary reasons... I'm all for it... cause if it's discrimination for gays... it has to be for poligamists as well.

    May 27, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. phoenix86

    Why don't all the gay in California move to Iowa, or MA, or ME or NH instead of trying to overturn the votes in Califonia?

    Homosexuality is not natural or normal and Californians (at least the racial "minorities" in CA) realize this.

    May 27, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Liberal Democrats are Pathetic

    Homosexuality is a choice, and not something that you are born with! Period.

    If that is not the case, then any law based on issue should be struck down, including rape, incest, pornography, child pornography, sex with animals, murder, etc.

    The fact is, you make a choice and you decide to live that way. In other words, your mind becomes perverted and you decide to live a perverted lifestyle. That is what the gay lifestyle is... nothing but a perversion of the way it is supposed to be.

    May 27, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Kevin Denver Colorado

    The republican FEAR is disgusting. God hates a coward. Please don't leak on me, I can smell your terror and it makes me want to puke.

    May 27, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Jon in CA

    @ Collin Kelly,

    In your lame attempt to disparage Christians you state,

    "Jesus doesn't like looneys using his name to advance bigotry, discrimination and hate."

    Collin, what does Jesus think about people who kill babies?

    May 27, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. John


    Well yeah... unless that gay man was black.

    But anyway, point well taken. I don't think anyone disagrees that blacks suffered even more.

    But that should be not reason to say that blacks can have the same rights as every american while gays shouldn't.

    May 27, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. phoenix86

    Collen Kelly,

    You are embarrassingly ignorant.

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

    Collin Kelley – Beautifully said.

    May 27, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. phoenix86


    By your arguement to protect minority rights, we should overturn smoking bans as well.

    May 27, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. single mom

    Someone brought up the 'single/married' aspect on the IRS forms. How about a change to 'single/legal partner'?
    Gays have the right to civil unions which legally should have the same footing as people united in a religious ceremony. Just don't call it marriage. That implies a religious aspect. Although, come to think of it, in regular conversation, it would be 'We were married..., this is my wife/husband.' Wouldn't it?

    Honestly, I don't care what people do in the privacy of their own home as long as it is between consenting adults and there are no children or otherwise legally incompetent people involved.

    May 27, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. Steve

    I knew I liked Ted Olsen better than I like most conservatives!

    Oh, and to all the bigots out there: gay marriage is coming. Gavin Newsom probably shouldn't have given you folks that sound bite to use, but you know what? He was right.

    Whether you like it or not.

    May 27, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Craig

    I do not understand the argument that gay people would be allowed to sue a religious organization if they were allowed to get married. If you are not Catholic, are you allowed to get married in a Catholic Church? No. Why? because it is against their rules. Religious institutions are protected by our Constitution.

    May 27, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. ray ray

    The law of Nature proves a destructive trait (homosexuality can not naturally reproduce) can not continue through out time – unless it's a birth-defect.

    SO WHICH IS IT? Is being gay a birth-defect or a choice?

    May 27, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. Brian

    @"Liberal Democrats are pathetic"...I am a moderate gay man, not a dem nor a republican. And, you just totally disproved the point you tried so hard to make . If it were a choice, would we choose to deal with people like you? @Phoenix...racist homophobe are we?

    May 27, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Andy

    GAY MARRIAGE & HOMOSEXUALITY is Unnatural, because: It is natural that Penis goes into Vagina and not into Anus, Mouth, Ears, Nose, since those organs are made for other uses, not for sex.

    May 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Idiot_Pelosi

    Yeah, here we go again. The VOTERS have spoken, so the losers try legal BS.

    Here's my party line, I didn't get my way in the Presidential Election so I guess I should sue to have OBUMMER removed from office.

    The MAJORITY voted, but the minority seems to think that the Majority is wrong.

    Hmmmm, go figure.

    May 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. paul (staunch Moderate)

    Kyle May 27th, 2009 3:54 pm ET

    If homosexual marriage is forced on the nation by judicial fiat, then not long after homosexual activists will begin to sue Christian churches for "discrimination" when the church refuses to "marry" them in an attempt to bankrupt every church in the nation except for those pseudo-churches which back their so called "lifestyle."


    Kyle – What you propose can NOT and will NOT happen. Why? The U.S. Constitution protects religious freedom.

    May 27, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. John

    To all of you who think being Gay is a choice....well, first – ITS NOT. Basically you are damning yourselves by saying that you KNOW its a choice, because youve made the choice! Until youve walked in our shoes, then shut the hell up. Most of us spent years praying to God to make it go away – until one day we woke up and after our prayers werent answered, realized that God made us EXACTLY how he wanted us to be!

    Im just going to assume that all of you saying its a choice are a bunch of closet cases!

    May 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Craig

    I think it is ignorant and inflammatory to say that gay people are perverts. When I read the newspaper about the child molesters, and rapists of the country they are almost always straight men with wives, girlfriends, and children.

    Just saying....

    May 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. DaBird

    I want to marry my athiest dog and my sister and her two friends. I want my employer to pay for health insurance for the vet and my three wives. I want to push my agenda onto all gays so they can teach my ways to their adopted children. Then I want to force the schools to have kids read that polygomy is good for 2nd graders. Yeh, that's the ticket.

    May 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. John

    Under the law ALL American citizens are EQUAL: men and women are equal, whites and blacks, christians and jews, and yes... even heterosexuals and homosexuals.

    Under this same law there is absolutely no reason why an American citizen has the right to be legally bound to another and receive all the benefits of such union, while another person does not have that same right.


    Whatever else you decide to believe in your church or mosque or temple or whatever is up to each person.

    May 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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