David Boies, co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court challenge toProposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, said Sunday that marriage equality is a civil rights issue, and that the only question before the court is, should gay couples be denied the right to marry simply due to their sexual orientation.
“We believe that even if you simply apply the rational basis test, there is no rational basis to justify this ban. And that’s because … there is no evidence, none, that allowing gay and lesbians to marry harms the institution of marriage or harms anyone else.
“Every time the Supreme Court makes a constitutional decision, it’s making a decision that certain fundamental rights are too important to be left to the ballot box. We’ve done that with race, we’ve done that with women, we’ve done that with every discriminated class. Remember, when the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed the ban on interracial marriage in 1967, 64 percent of the American people opposed interracial marriage.”
On Tuesday, Boies and co-counsel Theodore Olson will try to persuade the justices to strike down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages and to declare that gay couples can marry nationwide.
“He was the lead organizer during the March on Washington, and yet you rarely hear his name mentioned. It is in part because he was a gay man in a time when that was difficult to talk about in society.”