Lawyer Who Defended California’s Proposition 8 Looking Forward To His Daughter’s Lesbian Wedding
The lawyer who defended California’s Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court is having what some are calling a change of heart:
The lawyer who argued before the Supreme Court in favor of upholding California’s ban on gay marriage learned while he was handling the case that one of his children is gay and now is helping her plan her wedding with another woman.
Attorney Charles Cooper says his view of same-sex marriage is evolving after having argued in court that gay unions could undermine marriages between a man and a woman.
The revelation is an unexpected footnote in the years-long debate over Proposition 8, the California measure struck down by the Supreme Court last year. It is also offers a glimpse, through the eyes of one family, of the country’s rapidly shifting opinions of gay marriage, with most public polls now showing majorities in favor of allowing the unions.
Cooper learned that his stepdaughter Ashley was gay as the Proposition 8 case wound its way through appellate court, according to a forthcoming book about the lengthy legal battle. And with the Supreme Court ruling now behind him, Cooper cast his personal opinion on gay marriage as an evolving process.
“My views evolve on issues of this kind the same way as other people’s do, and how I view this down the road may not be the way I view it now, or how I viewed it ten years ago,” Cooper said in journalist Jo Becker’s book “Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality.”
Cooper’s words are reminiscent of the language President Barack Obama used throughout his first term to describe his “evolving” views on gay marriage. In 2012, Obama announced publicly that he did, in fact, support the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
In June, Cooper’s daughter plans to marry her partner in Massachusetts, one of 17 states plus the District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is legal. In a statement to The Associated Press, Cooper said his family “is typical of families all across America.”
“My daughter Ashley’s path in life has led her to happiness with a lovely young woman named Casey, and our family and Casey’s family are looking forward to celebrating their marriage in just a few weeks,” he said.
Cooper’s prominence in a landmark case on same-sex marriage makes this interesting, of course, but it is really just another reminder that one of the best arguments against discrimination of any kind comes when you actually get to know people different from you. When those people are already someone you love like a son or daughter, it is probably an even more effective teaching device. Congratulations to the Cooper family.