Friday, January 29, 2010

Is it too soon to petition the Supreme Court on gay marriage?

Olson-Boies team hopes for a Supreme Court ruling that will transform the legal and social landscape nationwide, something on the order of Brown v. Board of Education, in 1954, or Loving v. Virginia, the landmark 1967 Supreme Court ruling that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
Olson, who is sixty-nine, in early December, he sounded confident and impassioned; the case clearly fascinated him both as an intellectual challenge and as a way to make history. "The Loving case was forty-two years ago, and it's inconceivable to us these days to say that a couple of a different racial background can't get married." Olson said, "Separate is not equal. Civil unions and domestic partnerships are not the same as marriage. We're not inventing any new right, or creating a new right, or asking the courts to recognize a new right. The Supreme Court has said over and over and over again that marriage is a fundamental right, and although our opponents say, 'Well, that's always been involving a man and a woman,' when the Supreme Court has talked about it they've said it's an associational right, it's a liberty right, it's a privacy right, and it's an expression of your identity, which is all wrapped up in the Constitution."

-excerpt from "A Risky Proposal" by Margaret Talbot
The New Yorker, January 18, 2010, pps 40-52.

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