(CNN) – David Boies, one of the key attorneys who led the legal fight against California’s ban on same-sex marriage, reiterated Sunday he will work with proponents to make sure marriage equality becomes legal “in every single state in the union.”
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal over California’s same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8, effectively clearing the way for gay and lesbian couples to legally wed in the state. That began Friday night after the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a court order that allowed such marriages to resume.
Boies argued Sunday that the decision made by the Supreme Court can be applied on a national scale, rather than just California. Earlier this week, he told CNN’s Gloria Borger that proponents of same-sex marriage plan to get marriage equality in all 50 states within the next five years. Currently, 13 states plus the District of Columbia approve same-sex marriage.
Experts say the road to that goal will be a rocky one. Lawyers for groups opposed to same-sex marriage in California have already petitioned the federal appeals court to reverse its decision to allow same-sex marriage again. Opponents say the Supreme Court overruled the will of the people in California, who approved the same-sex marriage ban in the first place.
John Eastman, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said if the fight is going to take place, it should take place among voters or through legislative action, rather than in the courts. But, he cautioned, if state legislatures don't approve same-sex marriage, he's concerned the battle will shift to the judicial system.
"The courts will impose this on them whether the people want them or not," he said on “State of the Union.” "That's the troubling part."
Of the 13 states that have made same-sex marriage legal, about a third did it through court rulings.
“We are manufacturing a right to redefine marriage and impose it, no matter whether the state or the country wants to have that redefinition,” he said. “That's judicial tyranny.”
But Boies said the 14th Amendment establishes that a state does not have the right to “discriminate against its own citizens.” He said he and others will push states to recognize that there are some rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution, despite the will of the people, who in 2008 voted 52% in favor of Prop 8 in California.
“The whole purpose of the Constitution is to say there are certain rights that are fundamental that can't be taken away by the vote of the people,” he said. “If you hadn't overruled the will of the people in Brown v. Board of Education, you'd still have segregated schools.”
– CNN’s Kevin Bohn and Bill Mears contributed to this report.
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