Friday, August 13, 2010

David Boies Gives Advice on Dealing with Critics of Recent Gay Marriage Court Ruling

Working on my next column for Northside San Francisco, I was reviewing the great speech and audience Q&A with lawyer David Boies, who is one-half of the team that convinced a federal judge to rule Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

Boies went through a careful demolition of the anti-gay marriage contingent, which you can hear for yourself if you watch the video of his speech. But in brief, he proved that the defendants' arguments didn't hold up on the witness stand, where they had to present evidence and explain facts. The anti-gay marriage folks don't have facts; they have fears.

Then Boies predicted that people would hear criticism not of the opinion that the judge wrote but of the judge and the courts. And he was right; that's exactly what we've heard in the post-ruling wailing of the hard Right in this country.

He gave this advice: He said you won’t hear people saying, This is what the judge said in his ruling, I think he’s wrong, and here’s why I think he’s wrong. Boies challenged people who hear their friends and neighbors say they disagreed with the ruling to ask them what exactly in the ruling did they disagree with? What did the judge say that they think is wrong, and why do they think it’s wrong? What facts and evidence to they have to share? “Because if we can simply move this debate out of the realm of emotion and bias and prejudice, and into the realm of dialogue, and logic, and evidence, there is not another side.”

He makes me hopeful.

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