02/13/2012 05:43 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Exclusive: Ted Olson and David Boies React to Last Week's Prop 8 Ruling (AUDIO)

2012-02-10-HuffProp8.jpgI love my life. A few weeks ago I was approached by the American Foundation for Equal Rights to do an audio interview with Dustin Lance Black to talk about his new play 8, based on the transcripts from the California trial of Proposition 8. Last week AFER asked if I would like to be included in a press conference call scheduled two hours after the Prop 8 decision with lead co-counsel Ted Olson and David Boies. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. I nervously awaited the decision. Then at 10 a.m. PST the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling in Perry v. Brown upholding the historic August 2010 decision of the Federal District Court that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional. "Proposition 8 serves no purpose and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples," Judge Reinhardt wrote. "The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort."

This historic audio recording is with members of the press, AFER Board President Chad Griffin, and lead co-counsel Ted Olson and David Boies. In his opening remarks about this enormous victory for our LGBT community, Ted Olson stated:

The very first words that we spoke when the trial began in San Francisco was that this case is about marriage and equality. It's about the right to marry, and this decision today affirms the importance in American society of the right to marry. The very proponents who opposed us in this case talked about how important marriage was. The difference is that they wanted to keep it for themselves. They wanted to deny this relationship, this institution, this building block of our society, the most fundamental right according to the Supreme Court that we have in America. They wanted to deny that right to a large segment of our society because they felt that those persons were unequal or undeserving and should be treated differently under the California Constitution. This case was about marriage, and it's also about freedom and decency: How we are going to treat our fellow citizens, our brothers and sisters, our cousins and our neighbors? Are we going to treat them with the same dignity that we ourselves enjoy in this country? The District Court earlier and the Ninth Circuit today ringingly reaffirmed the right to equality, the fundamental right to marriage, and the fact that it cannot be denied to citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation or the basis of sex. This is a very significant milepost on the way to equality in this country. We're not there yet. One of these days soon, I suspect, I feel strongly that we will be. So this is a very important decision, and it was 80 pages of tightly reasoned, very thoughtfully articulated Supreme Court analysis, so we are one major step forward, and we're very grateful to the Ninth Court for upholding the right of the citizens in California.


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