View Full Version : Arguing over civil rights legal strategies - it's not just us

05-27-2009, 9:26 PM
Gay rights activists: Anti-Prop. 8 lawsuit is wrong approach (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/05/27/MNDC17SB47.DTL&type=politics&tsp=1)

Gay rights advocates today blasted two veteran attorneys for filing a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn Proposition 8, California's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban, saying the move is premature and could be disastrous for the marriage movement.

While they knew of the objections, attorneys Theodore B. Olson and David Boies - who opposed each other during the 2000 Bush v. Gore presidential election case - filed the suit Friday in San Francisco on behalf of two same-sex couples who wanted to be married but were denied because of Prop. 8.


The advocates say it took 17 years to undo a 1986 Supreme Court decision that upheld Georgia's sodomy law. An Arkansas court used that law as justification to deny a lesbian mother custody of her children, said Jon Davidson, legal director at Lambda Legal, a national gay rights group.

"It is a difference in strategy," said Davidson. "We agree with the goal (of the federal lawsuit). But if (they) were to lose, it could be a huge setback for the gay rights movement."

Let's avoid the discussion of whether there is / should be a right to gay marriage and so on - I'm posting this just to show, we're not the only movement that is trying to break new ground in civil rights, and worries a lot about trying the wrong suit too early. Apparently the "right people" in the gay rights movement think that going for a "damn the torpedoes" federal lawsuit right now is very unwise because they risk major setbacks that could take decades to overturn. They want to build up smaller state-level victories to build on, before they go for "D-day" in Federal court.

To some degree, what can you do, one of the flaws of a system like ours is that ill-conceived cases can set precedents that can last a long long time. We have Miller, to some extent, as an example of that.

05-27-2009, 10:20 PM
I agree with our issue and theirs, but they need to focus more on the fact that the government shouldn't touch the issue rather than "our view on the subject is right"