MAPLEWOOD, NJ -- An unlikely pair -- David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, renowned lawyers on the opposing sides of Bush v. Gore -- teamed up to fight California’s Proposition 8 in the Supreme Court and wrote about their journey for marriage equality in their book, “Redeeming the Dream.”
The two visited Maplewood Middle School Wednesday night for a discussion and book signing presented by [Words] Bookstore, co-sponsored by North Jersey Pride.
Boies began the conversation by explaining why the pair wrote the book: “Really, to tell three stories,” he said.
The first was the story of their plaintiffs, the second was the story of the lawsuit, and finally the story of how the unlikely duo came together to fight for marriage equality.
According to Boies, “We wanted everyone in this country to understand how ... deserving these couples were of the right to marry and how painful and damaging discrimination was to them and their children.”
Proposition 8 was the result of a voter initiative in 2008, amending the state constitution to only allow the right to marry for individuals of the opposite sex.
Olson said that although the lawyers were on opposite sides of the political spectrum and had literally opposed each other in the past in the courtroom, “We felt it was important to contribute in whatever small way we could to educate ... the American people to the rights of gay lesbian citizens and to the fundamental principles involved here.”
Olson thanked the bookstore for the opportunity and praised the community for its emphasis on learning and education.
Ultimately he concluded that through their journey and their book they just wanted to educate people on the fact that “this isn’t a liberal or conservative or Republican or Democratic value, this is an American value, this is a constitutional value.”
The reporter is a student participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.