Lawyer Who Defended Prop 8 At Supreme Court Has Change Of Heart

Charles Cooper-photoEveryone please welcome Charles Cooper to the right side of history.

For decades, Cooper has been the lawyer on the other side of legal battles over marriage bans. He defended Hawaii’s marriage ban in the mid-’90s. And he was up to the same malarky as late as last year, when he defended Prop 8 before the Supreme Court.

But now his daughter, a lesbian, is getting married, and Cooper has confessed that he’s having second thoughts about discrimination. That’s great! We’d like to offer our congratulations to the happy couple, Ashley Lininger and Casey Cole, and our thanks to them for being such an inspiration.

And while their wedding is certainly a happy occasion, let’s not forget that in plenty of states, couples still can’t get married. Or they could only get married for a brief period. That’s the case right now in Michigan: there was a brief window between court rulings during which about 300 couples wed, and now the state is trying to undo those licenses. But those couples aren’t taking that lying down, and have filed suit to force Michigan to recognize their relationships.

Utah and Oklahoma are zooming towards a resolution on their marriage lawsuits. Judges overturned bans in both states recently, but marriages still can’t start pending appeal. The Tenth Circuit heard oral argument last week, and we should get a ruling on those appeals at some point this summer. And there’s a ruling due by the end of this month in Arkansas.

There’s also going to be some exciting news in Oregon this week, with a judge scheduled to hear oral argument in yet another marriage case. That case is particularly important, since organizers in Oregon are considering a ballot measure to overturn a marriage ban. But if they get a favorable ruling in the case, they might not need to go to the ballot this November after all.