Gay Marriage 'Odd Couple' Takes Fight to Virginia

Theodore Olson, David Boies join lawsuit

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 30, 2013 12:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – The "odd couple" legal team that got California's gay marriage ban overturned is setting its sights on Virginia, the Washington Post reports. Conservative Republican Theodore Olson and liberal Democrat David Boies, the lawyers on opposite sides of the 2000 Bush vs. Gore Supreme Court case, are joining a lawsuit filed by two Norfolk residents whose marriage application was rejected and another couple who wed in California, but whose marriage is not recognized by Virginia. The state's constitutional amendment, approved by voters in 2006, also bans civil unions. (Today, a majority of residents support legalizing gay marriage, but Republicans control Virginia's political leadership.)

That the ban on same-sex unions is so complete makes the state an "attractive target," says Olson, who lives there. "The more unfairly people are being treated, the more obvious it is that it’s unconstitutional." The suit is one of dozens filed in state and federal courts in 18 states, following the Supreme Court's decision to strike down DOMA and allow gay marriages in California. (Boies said earlier this year he planned to expand his efforts nationwide.) For now, the issue of gay marriage is still up to the states; the ultimate goal is for the high court to recognize gay marriage as a constitutional right. Some gay marriage supporters, however, fear lawsuits are being filed too quickly, considering that the justices declined to find a constitutional right to marry just months ago. That doesn't faze Olson, who says: “Given what was said in DOMA [decision] and given the record we made in California and given what we’re going to establish in Virginia, we’re going to be able to persuade a majority of the court that this is the right thing.”

Plaintiff attorneys Theodore Olson, right, and David Boies, meet with the media outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013.
Plaintiff attorneys Theodore Olson, right, and David Boies, meet with the media outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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