August 19, 2009

The Spectacle Of The Principled Conservative

I don't know why people find Ted Olson's advocacy against Proposition 8 to be so surprising. He got to being opposed to Prop. 8 the same way a lot of people did -- by realizing that restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples only is discrimination that cannot be justified by any legitimate governmental interest, and understanding that discrimination without such justification is simply wrong. I don't think that should even be a conservative-versus-liberal sort of calculus in this day and age.

What's saddening is that so many people think that this is an aberration, something unusual. Thus has the conservative movement descended into disrepute.

And if the quote near the front of the article is correct, then that explains why. Dick Cheney gets a "pass" to deviate from the conservative movement's party line and support gay marriage because he has a daughter in a relationship with another woman. But Ted Olson does not have anyone in his family who is gay, so he has no "reason" to not march in lock step with his fellow conservatives.

Why can't Ted Olson realize that what's right for the Cheney family is right for everyone? If it's OK for Dick Cheney to deviate from the movement's platform for the sake of his daughter, why can't Olson deviate from it for the sake of Cheney's daughter? Anyone's daughter? For the sake of wanting to see the government treat all people fairly?

Can no one imagine that a person might act based on consistent adherence to a set of firmly-believed principles?

Postscript: Olson and his co-counsel David Boies have a trial date, by the way -- January 11, 2010. The main issue in the trial will be whether proponents of Prop. 8 were motivated by anti-gay animus or whether they were acting to protect a legitimate state interest. The degree of legitimacy demanded -- whether the interest has to be compelling or not -- will be something decided by the bench. Stumble Upon Toolbar

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