American Foundation for Equal Rights

NPR: Olson An Unlikely Challenger Of Prop 8

In November 2008, Californians passed Proposition 8, the California Marriage Protection Act, which effectively banned gay marriage. It reads, “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

That change to the California constitution has been challenged in court, by an unlikely legal team: former solicitor general Ted Olson and David Boies, who faced off against each other in Bush v. Gore. Olson and Boies represent two same-sex couples, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo.

In his opening argument in Perry v. Schwarzenegger in January, Olson made a clear case for equal rights under the law. He cited the Supreme Court’s definition of marriage as “of fundamental importance to all individuals.” By that standard, Proposition 8 “ended the dream of marriage, the most important relation in life, for the plaintiffs and hundreds of thousands of Californians,” without “rational justification” for the discrimination.

Read more and listen to the story here.