Transcript: Attorney David Boies’s remarks on the Supreme Court’s rulings on same-sex marriage

Transcript of remarks by David Boies, attorney who represented the gay and lesbian plaintiffs seeking the right the marry, on the Supreme Court’s decisions to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor and to reject the appeal of Proposition 8 proponents in Hollingsworth v. Perry on June 26, 2013:

This is a great day for America.

Ten years ago today, the United States Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas took the first important step to guaranteeing that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, were equal citizens under the law.

Today, the United States Supreme Court in two important decisions brings us that much closer to true equality.

In the decision striking as unconstitutional the so-called DOMA or Defense of Marriage case, the United States Supreme Court held that there was no purpose for depriving gay and lesbian couples of the right to marry the person they love. There was no legitimate justification for that.

As Justice Scalia noted, that holding – that principle – guarantees the right of every individual in every state to marriage equality.

In the California case, the Supreme Court held that the proponents of Proposition 8 did not have standing. What that means is that in that case, the Supreme Court could not reach the merits. But everything that the Supreme Court said in the Defense of Marriage case, where they did reach the merits, demonstrates that when that case finally does come to the United States Supreme Court on the merits, marriage equality will be the law of this land.

Our plaintiffs now get to go back to California and – together with every other citizen of California – marry the person they love.

And the next step is to translate the promise that was in Lawrence and that was reaffirmed today in the DOMA case that every citizen in every state has the right to marry the person that they love.

The Supreme Court’s decision on standing is important for another reason.

When we started out in this case, we said we were going to prove three things.

We were going to prove that marriage is a fundamental right, and the other side accepted that.

We said, second, we were going to prove that depriving gay and lesbian citizens of the right to marry the person they love seriously harm them and seriously harm the children they were raising. And even the opponents agreed with that.

And third, we said we were going to prove that allowing everyone to marry the person that they love, regardless of sexual orientation, did not – could not – harm anyone. And not only did the proponents on cross-examination have to accept that but today the United States Supreme Court said as much because they said the proponents have no concrete injury. They cannot point to anything that harms them because these two loving couples and couples like them throughout California are now going to be able to get married.

And so this is a wonderful day for our plaintiffs. It’s a wonderful day for everyone around this country and in California particular that wants to be able to marry the person they love.

But it’s a wonderful day for America because we have now taken this country another important step towards guaranteeing the promise that’s in our Constitution, in our Declaration of Independence, that all people are created equal, that all people have the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

So this is a great day. We thank the Supreme Court.

We thank all of you. And perhaps, most importantly, we thank all the people who’ve devoted so much to this battle over so many decades, people who did it at a time when it was not as easy as it was for Ted Olsen and myself to go into court.

The only thing I regret today is that my friend and colleague, Ted Olsen, can’t be here. He has been a leader in this battle for the last 4 years. He is unfortunately today in another court, in another part of the country, arguing another case. But his spirit is here and he will be with me tonight and we will celebrate because this is a victory not just for us, not just for the plaintiffs, not even just for the people who have worked for this so many decades but for all Americans.

Thank you.

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One Comment on “Transcript: Attorney David Boies’s remarks on the Supreme Court’s rulings on same-sex marriage

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Remarks by Kris Perry & Sandy Stier on the Supreme Court's rulings on same-sex marriage | What The Folly?!

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