On The Legal Front Lines Of Same Sex Marriage “Redeeming The Dream” By David Boise And Theodore B. Olson

For more than four years a group of prominent lawyers led by Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, along with political consultants and Hollywood celebrities, campaigned against Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriages approved by California voters in 2008. The group, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, had two primary goals: to secure a judicial victory in the Supreme Court extending marriage to gay couples nationwide and to increase support for the cause through a public-relations blitz.

 

A year after the Supreme Court sidestepped the first part of that quest in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the publicity campaign to shape the cultural and legal memory of their effort continues. Theatrical, film and newspaper accounts by insiders and others given extraordinary access have chronicled the litigation. Most notably, the recently published “Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality,” by Jo Becker, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, angered longtime gay-marriage advocates for depicting the movement as having “languished in obscurity” until the Perry litigation rescued it.

 

The latest triumphal installment comes from Mr. Olson and Mr. Boies, in “Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality.” This self-described “odd couple”— Mr. Olson is a Republican, Mr. Boies is a liberal Democrat — were legal adversaries in the contested 2000 presidential election, Bush v. Gore, before teaming up to challenge the constitutionality of Proposition 8.

 

More dual memoir than history book, “Redeeming the Dream” takes us through the legal proceedings, dutifully summarizing briefs, oral arguments and decisions. It is padded with redundancies, digressions and trivia, lacks footnotes and offers few substantive revelations about the case.

 

But the book’s faults are deeper still. The authors assert that the Perry decision “gave us, and the country, a victory that would echo throughout history.” They maintain that the publicity their case generated “contributed in a material way” to a “sweeping change in public opinion.” Simply put, Mr. Olson proclaims, “We have changed the world.” [NYT]

 

Twitter @sheriffali

 

The Proposition 8 case restored same-sex marriage to California, and the authors are justifiably proud of; Open NYT Link

 

http://nyti.ms/1qp28QY

 REDEEMING THE DREAM

 

 

 

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