Category Archives: Ted Olson

>I Didn’t Say It……

>President Obama, on marriage equality:

“I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage. But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today.”
What’s to “wrestle” with, Mister President?

There is no such thing as “traditional” marriage, because marriage has evolved since the beginning of time.
Used to be marriages were arranged and the bride and groom had no say.
Used to be women became the “property” of men.
Used to be one man could have many wives.
Used to be you didn’t marry outside your faith.

Used to be you didn’t marry outside your class.

Used to be you didn’t marry outside your religion.
Used to be you didn’t marry outside your race.
That isn’t tradition, that’s change, and evolution.

Rebecca Kleefisch, GOP candidate for lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, on marriage equality:

“This is a slippery slope. In addition to that at what point are we going to be okay marrying inanimate objects? Can I marry this table or this, you know, clock? Can we marry dogs? This is ridiculous. And biblically, again, I’m going to go right back to my fundamental Christian beliefs marriage is between one man and one woman.”
No, Rebecca, what’s ridiculous, and demeaning, and homophobic, is you comparing two people of the same sex, who want to be married, to bestiallity.
What’s even more disgusting, is you inflicting your religious beliefs on the rest of us.
You don’t beleieve in gay marriage, don’t marry a gay person [props to Whoopi Goldberg for that one.]

Jamie Lee Curtis, on her father, Tony Curtis:

“The invention of Tony Curtis was his life. He was in the navy, he was present for the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay – then he became this whole other thing, he changed his name and he changed his life.

Children, as we all know, are complicated and messy. He was not a father and he was not interested in being a father. It’s not a slant against him, he was very clear. He did what he was supposed to do from a financial standpoint, which was honorable of him but he was not an involved father.”
Strong words, but no anger.
She completely understands that her father chose to be “Tony Curtis” and not a father, and, well, now she’s okay with that.

Former Bush administration Solicitor General Ted Olson, on the Obama administration and DADT:.
“It happens every once in awhile at the federal level when the solicitor general, on behalf of the U.S., will confess error or decline to defend a law. I don’t know what is going through the [Obama] administration’s thought process on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ It would be appropriate for them to say ‘the law has been deemed unconstitutional, we are not going to seek further review of that.'”
Nicely put. The Obama administration does have the right to not pursue a law that has been deemed unconstitutional, and is, in fact, unconstitutional.

Alan Cumming, on his disappointment with Barack Obama and his administration’s banning the injunction on the DADT:

“We keep hearing that Obama is an ally, that DADT will end under his watch, but what do we actually get? Diddly squat thus far on a federal level and in addition to that some very offensive statements that would have made the Republicans look bad. In a time when America is full of hatred of all kinds, but especially hatred towards young gay people, what message is the president sending when he repeatedly goes out of his way to spread the message that the gay population is not worthy of the respect that everyone else is?!”

This is also my problem with Obama.
Simple lack of action.
Simple lack of making a statement.
On the campaign trail he was full of statements regarding the LGBT community, and now, though some of his actions have been pro-LGBT, his definitive statements have all but disappeared.

Angels in America/Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto, on whether or not he’s gay:

 “I’m grateful that celebrity or notoriety wasn’t thrust upon me when I was in my 20s, because I think I would have buckled under the weight of it, as so many people do, but I’ve come to realize through experience that ultimately I really do have a lot of power in terms of the way I relate to the public or to people outside of my intimate circle of friends and family. Boundaries are very important to me.

The fact that these things are such hot-button issues right now, socially and politically, I would much rather talk about that than talk about who I sleep with. I would love to be a voice in this maelstrom of chaos and obsessive celebrity infatuation that says, ‘Let’s talk about something that matters’.”
Look, I don’t know of he’s gay, though all the blogs seem to think he is, but I do know that he is very gay-friendly, and one of the few celebrities to speak out for gay rights on a consistent basis.

That makes him all right in my book.
But, if he is gay, then he needs to come out, and carry that same inspiration for the LGBT community.

Sharron Angle, on America being destroyed by gay marriage and straight divorce, and social services:

“I confess that we are a nation who has killed our children. I confess that we are a nation who has walked away from the family and allowed divorce even among our ranks. We have walked away from the biblical definition of marriage; one man, one woman, the two become one flesh. We as a nation have been walking away from our constitutional freedom and relying on government instead to take care of the widow and the orphan…we’re saying ‘well, the government we have all these programs now, aid for families with dependent children and medicare and social security.”

Not much left to say except that she is one crazy bitch, and Nevada, if you want her, and you elect her, then you deal with her.
Don’t come cryin’ to me that she’s a crazy bitch, because I told you so right here.

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Filed under Alan Cumming, Jamie Lee Curtis, President Obama, Rebecca Kleefisch, Sharron Angle, Ted Olson, Zachary Quinto

>The Five Best Things Ted Olson Said

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from change.org by Michael Jones

Here goes five of the best bits from Ted Olson’s opening statement. Prepare to get your equal rights on.

1. “In the words of the highest court in the land, marriage is ‘the most important relation in life,’ and ‘of fundamental importance for all individuals.’”
Ah, that phrase “all individuals.” Sure seems to indicate that judging from U.S. Supreme Court precedent, marriage has always been framed as something that everyone should have access to. That probably won’t sit well with Justice Clarence Thomas. But the best part about this is that opponents of gay marriage are always blabbering about how gay and lesbian folks want to redefine marriage. Marriage, as it’s been defined by the U.S. Supreme Court, has always been something that is vital for all. Nothing redefining about including gay and lesbian couples under that umbrella.

2. “[Marriage] promotes mental, physical and emotional health and the economic strength and stability of those who enter into a marital union. It is the building block of family, neighborhood and community.”
Cue the conservative argument for same-sex marriage. Folks like Andrew Sullivan and David Brooks have been making this case for years (in the case of Sullivan, decades). It makes no sense for “pro-family” groups to despise gay marriage since it fosters principles that they should buy into hook, line and sinker.
3. “Sadly, Proposition 8 is only the most recent chapter in our nation’s long and painful history of discrimination and prejudice against gay and lesbian individuals. They have been classified as degenerates, targeted by police, harassed in the workplace, censored, demonized, fired from government jobs, excluded from our armed forces, arrested for their private sexual conduct, and repeatedly stripped of their fundamental rights by popular vote.”
Perry v. Schwarzenegger is primarily about gay marriage, but let’s not lose sight of the forest for the trees. This case is also about equal rights across the board. From being fired from your job because you’re LGBT, to being discharged from the military, to having the police harass you at a local bar — that’s what this case is about in its bigger picture. Gay marriage is just part and parcel of the larger struggle for LGBT rights. For Olson to frame it this way gave the case an even bigger national profile. This case is equally about two Californians getting married as much as it is that LGBT couple in Indiana, or Michigan, or Louisiana.
4. “The State of California has offered no justification for its decision to eliminate the fundamental right to marry for a segment of its citizens. And its chief legal officer, the Attorney General, admits that none exists.”
Or, in playground talk, the other side just doesn’t have a clue. Opponents of gay marriage will say that same-sex marriage threatens families (although they don’t know how). They’ll say it ruins tradition (although they can’t explain why). They’ll say it threatens the purpose of marriage, “procreation” (something it clearly can’t do, given that straight couples marry all the time for reasons beyond making babies). But no matter how much their lips move, opponents of gay marriage have no justification at the end of their sentences. They just have personal philosophies and religious convictions. Those are swell, but they shouldn’t dictate the law.
5. “Proposition 8 ended the dream of marriage, the most important relation in life, for the plaintiffs and hundreds of thousands of Californians.”
And there you have the soundbyte to capture day one. “Prop 8 ended the dream of marriage,” despite having no rational reasons for doing so. If there’s a topic sentence for this case, this is it. At the heart of Perry v. Schwarzenegger is getting back the dream — the dream that no matter who you are in this country, you can be entitled to the full slate of rights that were afforded all Americans in our nation’s founding documents. It’s not about creating second-tier relationship mechanisms, or categorizing one set of couples differently. It’s about equality for all. Olson gets it. Boies gets it. Will Judge Vaughn Walker?

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Filed under California, Prop H8, Ted Olson

>Ted Olson’s Opening Statement

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This case is about marriage and equality. Plaintiffs are being denied both the right to marry, and the right to equality under the law.
The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly described the right to marriage as “one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men;” a “basic civil right;” a component of the constitutional rights to liberty, privacy, association, and intimate choice; an expression of emotional support and public commitment; the exercise of spiritual unity; and a fulfillment of one’s self.
In short, in the words of the highest court in the land, marriage is “the most important relation in life,” and “of fundamental importance for all individuals.”
As the witnesses in this case will elaborate, marriage is central to life in America. It promotes mental, physical and emotional health and the economic strength and stability of those who enter into a marital union. It is the building block of family, neighborhood and community. The California Supreme Court has declared that the right to marry is of “central importance to an individual’s opportunity to live a happy, meaningful, and satisfying life as a full member of society.”
Proposition 8 ended the dream of marriage, the most important relation in life, for the plaintiffs and hundreds of thousands of Californians.
In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court concluded that under this State’s Constitution, the right to marry a person of one’s choice extended to all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, and was available equally to same-sex and opposite-sex couples.
In November of 2008, the voters of California responded to that decision with Proposition 8, amending the State’s Constitution and, on the basis of sexual orientation and sex, slammed the door to marriage to gay and lesbian citizens.
The plaintiffs are two loving couples, American citizens, entitled to equality and due process under our Constitution. They are in deeply committed, intimate, and longstanding relationships. They want to marry the person they love; to enter into that “most important relation in life”; to share their dreams with their partners; and to confer the many benefits of marriage on their families.
But Proposition 8 singled out gay men and lesbians as a class, swept away their right to marry, pronounced them unequal, and declared their relationships inferior and less-deserving of respect and dignity.
In the words of the California Supreme Court, eliminating the right of individuals to marry a same-sex partner relegated those individuals to “second class” citizenship, and told them, their families and their neighbors that their love and desire for a sanctioned marital partnership was not worthy of recognition.
During this trial, Plaintiffs and leading experts in the fields of history, psychology, economics and political science will prove three fundamental points:
First – Marriage is vitally important in American society.
Second – By denying gay men and lesbians the right to marry, Proposition 8 works a grievous harm on the plaintiffs and other gay men and lesbians throughout California, and adds yet another chapter to the long history of discrimination they have suffered.
Third – Proposition 8 perpetrates this irreparable, immeasurable, discriminatory harm for no good reason.

Read in its entirety HERE at Towelroad

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Filed under California, LGBT, LGBT Rights, Marriage Equality, Prop H8, Ted Olson