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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

TED OLSON, AFER Opening Remarks February 7, 2012




Chad Griffin, AFER President, spoke first.. and note he was able to include our soldiers as a class benefitting from new laws on equality.

Ted Olson, introduces himself.

'Thanks all who worked so hard on this case. David Boies unable to make it out, is in New York celebrating too with his firm, as is ours. Thanks to the board of AFER including the Michele and Rob Reiners, and Lance Black, and others not here..and to all the plaintiffs in the case. It is not easy to be in landmark civil rights case that goes on and on, they stand for the humanity of what we are doing.

This is a huge day, the United States Court of Appeals which represents the nine western states and certain territories has decided that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.  It violates the fundamental human rights of citizens in this country.
We had already won an important decision by the US district court for the northern district of California a year and a half ago. This affirms that decision. It strikes down
Proposition 8 as violating the fundamental charter of the United States Constitution.

This case is about equality and freedom, dignity and fairness and decency

It is about whether we are going to eliminate government sponsored discrimination written into the Constitution of the biggest state in United States.

It is about whether we are going to eliminate 2nd class citizenship

It is about whether we are going to treat millions of our citizens as less equal, less respected, different, less entitled, isolated. We are bringing a stop to that discrimination. 

Discrimination on this level hurts all of us. As Chad said it is our neighbors, our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, our coworkers, our doctors, our contractors, our ministers, our soldiers, it is about us, about every one of us. 

And as opposing witness said during our case in this trial 'We will be more American when we eliminate this discrimination based upon sexual orientation.'

Today we are more American because of this decision. This is very important. When citizens of California on November 4, 2008,  voted to take away the right to marry from many, many of our citizens it violated the Constitution. That cannot stand. 

Thank god for the judiciary in this country to respect the Constitution. To stand up to whatever pressures are put upon the judiciary to stand up for the law. That's what the Ninth Circuit did today.'


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