Major figure in the conservative legal movement supports marriage equality

In 2009, Theodore Olson joined with David Boies – his previous adversary in Bush v. Gore – to bring the federal lawsuit [Perry v. Schwarzenegger] in an attempt to overturn Proposition 8. The voter-approved measure overturned California’s constitutional right to marry a person of the same sex.

Newsweek publishes an article wrtitten by Olson. In the piece, Olson explains why he supports marriage equality. He bases his position on, “…a lifetime of exposure to persons of different backgrounds, histories, viewpoints, and intrinsic characteristics, and on my rejection of what I see as superficially appealing but ultimately false perceptions about our Constitution and its protection of equality and fundamental rights.”

He also writes: “Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of our neighborhoods and our nation. At its best, it is a stable bond between two individuals who work to create a loving household and a social and economic partnership. We encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make to one another provide benefits not only to themselves but also to their families and communities. Marriage requires thinking beyond one’s own needs. It transforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations, and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being of society. The fact that individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this vital social institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance. Conservatives should celebrate this, rather than lament it.”