Lawyer David Boies, perhaps best known for his work on behalf of Al Gore during the 2000 presidential recount battle, sharply criticized Presdident Barack Obama for his stance on gay marriage in an interview in The New York Times on Sunday.
Boies has teamed up with Ted Olson, his arch-rival in the Bush v. Gore case, in the fight to challenge California's Proposition 8, a ballot initiative passed in Nov. 2008 that denied gay couples the right to marry.
In an interview, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd asked Boies said if he was disappointed with President Obama's stance that marriage should only be between a man and a woman:
"Damned right," Boies told Dowd. "I hope my Democratic president will catch up to my conservative Republican co-counsel."
President Obama has said he supports civil unions and opposes a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. During the presidential campaign, Obama came out against Prop. 8 while his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, supported the initiative.
Gay and lesbian advocacy groups have taken Obama to task during the first year of his presidency for not moving swiftly enough on gay rights issues, and have recently been pushing the White House to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell."
More from Dowd's column:
As the sun set on the Bay Bridge behind him and the curtain dropped on the first week of the dramatic trial to challenge the constitutionality of the state's ban on same-sex marriage, Olson reviewed the case: "We're going to explain why allowing same-sex couples to have that same right that the rest of us have is not going to hurt heterosexual marriages. It has no point at all except some people don't want to recognize gays and lesbians as normal, as human beings."
Boies, wearing a flag pin on his lapel, said that the state of California is engaged in "gay bashing." He spoke intensely about the gay and lesbian plaintiffs, who offered poignant testimony about their loving relationships and about wanting to be liked and accepted: "These people are people you would want your child to grow up and marry. You can be a child molester and get married. You can be a wife beater and get married. You can be a child-support scofflaw and get married. The importance of that emotional relationship is so vital to the pursuit of happiness that even prison felons, who aren't really procreating, have a right to get married."