June 30th, 2013
10:34 AM ET
1 year ago

Attorney envisions same-sex marriage in all 50 states

(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.”

“There isn't any state we're giving up on,” he told CNN’s chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on “State of 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.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Jaack65

    SCOTUS Justice McReynolds wrote two early decisions using the Fourteenth Amendment to protect civil liberties: Meyer v. Nebraska 262 U.S. 390 (1923), and Pierce v. Society of Sisters 268 U.S. 510 (1925). In Meyer, McReynolds wrote that the liberty guaranteed by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment included an individual's right "to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, to establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience, and generally to enjoy privileges, essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men". So the court already has ruled on this 90 years ago! The states will not be able to discriminate against its own citizens, it, the several states, duty is to PROTECT minorities against a majority discrimination.
    The religious right wants to deny us "... the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men".

    June 30, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Hillcrester

    The explanatory language in the majority decision might just as well have said, "if a suitable case were before us, we would have overturned Section 2 of DOMA as well; please send one ASAP."

    Once Section 2 if DOMA falls, there will be some people living in a non-SSM state whose other-state marriage is legal, while SS couples cannot marry in that state. Equls protection case, here we come!

    It is only a matter of time.

    June 30, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. saywhat

    Well while the nation celebrates the triumph of 'civili liberty', NSA espionage on own citizens stares us in the face. And is spinning out of control with the disclosure that 'EU offices in Washington were also spied upon by NSA". Great way to go America.

    June 30, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Donkey Party

    saywhat – And if there were a large-scale attack on US soil that could've been prevented by NSA "spying", you'd be here whining about why the government didn't do more, right?

    June 30, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Donkey Party

    Newsflash – The government has ben spying on it's citizens since the early 1900's, perhaps even earlier. If you aren't willing to sacrifice some privacy, then don't expect to enjoy some security.

    June 30, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. Paul

    John Eastman stated : "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." "

    Did this man even go to school????? Elementary civics teaches you that you don't vote for civil rights. The courts are there to protect the minority (or majority) from their rights being denied.

    If our country would have followed his advice..... only white male landowners would be voting today.

    June 30, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. saywhat

    Sure @Donkey Party that's what those driving this agenda have been pushing down our throats for the last 11 yrs.
    The 'large scale' attack that happened before and was the manufactured 'Pearl Harbor" those in power & their allies elsewhere wanted to embark on perpetual wars is not going to happen unless it is desired again.

    June 30, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. saywhat

    Unfortunately for this nation which has been bamboozled ( and perhaps wittingly some times) into being led down the path that brought us to the edge of financial bankruptcy, loss of credibility, prestige and moral clout worldwide lost us our geopolitical standing and allowed other regional powers to consolidate their positions, we are still being fed the same spiel.

    June 30, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |