David Boies on How the Prop. 8 Witnesses Fell Apart

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An interesting fact about the court case against California's gay-marriage ban: the opposition's witnesses, all opponents of gay marriage, largely dropped off the witness list or were swayed to agree that gay marriage should be recognized, when deposed or cross-examined by the legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies, who have joined to fight California's gay-marriage ban after opposing each other in the 2000 Supreme Court case over Florida's presidential ballots.


At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Boies (who represented Al Gore in 2000) described how he and Olson managed to sway the opposition's witnesses:




Boies told George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen:

It was...in some senses almost predictable. Once you start down the road of forcing people to confront what's really at issue here--it's easy to have a bumper sticker, a slogan that says marriage is between a man and a woman, but when you begin to think about the issues, you think about the harm that it causes, you think about the gains that allowing people who are in love to marry the person that they love and not forcing them to marry somebody that they don't love and aren't attracted to, when you think about the harm that's done to the children, when you think about the lack of any redeeming social desires that this kind of ban has, it is inevitable that a rational person on the stand faced with those kind of questions is going to admit that.
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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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