Public opinion will flip in favor of same-sex marriage—though it will take time to happen, an attorney who helped lead the legal fight against California’s anti-same-sex union law Proposition 8 said in Louisville this week.
This month, the Bluegrass Poll found opposition to same-sex marriage has grown in Kentucky from 50 percent to 57 percent since last summer.
Speaking at a forum with University of Louisville law students on Tuesday, attorney David Boies said other states have set an example of how acceptance of same-sex marriage will play out in the U.S.
“You have marriage equality now in Florida, in Virginia, in the Carolinas, and Utah,” Boies said. “I mean, these were states were people said ‘marriage equality will never work, people will be up in arms, the sky will be falling.’
“Well what happened? Well, nothing happened except everyone got to marry the person they love.”
Boies was in Louisville this week to part in the Kentucky Author Forum, during which he was interviewed by Jeffrey Toobin of CNN and the New Yorker magazine.
Boies has a history of taking on giants such as Microsoft and Major League Baseball in court. He has also represented famous clients, including Michael Moore, Blackwater and the NFL.
He is best known for representing Vice President Al Gore following the disputed results of the 2000 presidential election. But about six years ago he teamed with opposing counsel in the historic Bush v. Gore case, former Solicitor General Theodore Olson, to work on efforts to strike down gay marriage bans in states across the country.
Boise said this is the most important legal fight of his career.
“I think this is the case I have had the privilege of having the biggest impact on people’s lives than I have in any of the cases I have done before,” he said.
Boise said when he starting going to court against Proposition 8 in California, he was told he was going to lose that fight. Boise said he was told the country wasn’t ready for gay marriage.
But Boise said the challenge to Prop 8 paved the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear gay marriage cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee this April. Those cases are expected to settle the same-sex marriage question once and for all.
“By taking this case on and pushing this case, lawyers around the country—including lawyers here in Kentucky, in Ohio, Michigan, all over the country—have brought cases,” he said. “By bringing those cases, [they] have brought attention to this issue.”