The bipartisan legal dream team behind Prop 8 is back at it. Republican Ted Olson And Democrat David Boies announced Monday that they're joining a case that will challenge the constitutionality of Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage.
Olson explained to reporters at a National Press Club briefing that the Virginia law hit a little too close to home.
"I'm a Virginian, I've lived in Virginia for 32 years," Olson said. "I've come to really love Virginia – it's natural beauty, the entrepreneurial spirit of its people, it's history, the state of Patrick Henry and George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the state of the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal. Of all places in the United States, Virginia should recognize rights of equality."
The Virginia Marriage Amendment was enacted in 2006 and defines marriage in the commonwealth as between a man and a woman and bans legal recognition of relationships similar to marriage, like civil unions.
"It is a draconian, distasteful, gratuitously insulting and mean statute to our citizens, who are just as valuable, just as important as every other citizen in this country," Olson stated.
In the Bostic v. Rainey case, the plaintiffs are two couples, one of whom got married in California, but whose marriage isn't recognized in Virginia. The other couple, partners Tim Bostic and Tony London, applied for a marriage license in Norfolk in July, after the Supreme Court knocked down the Defense of Marriage Act and said Prop 8 defenders didn't have standing, making gay marriage legal in California.
In Virginia, Bostic and London had their marriage request denied, setting up a scenario where Boies and Olson can have another crack at a history-making, legalize-gay-marriage-everywhere Supreme Court ruling.
"Last June, when we had the Supreme Court decision, it was really the end of the beginning of our fight for marriage equality," Boies said. "What we're hoping, with the case in Virginia, [is] it's the beginning of the end."
Olson had a good feeling about this one, too. "And we're not only going to be successful, but we're going to have a good time doing it," he said, smiling from the podium.