LGBT Equality Orgs Do. Not. Like. Olson/Boies Lawsuit

[Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for the links and coverage of concerns about this lawsuit.]

The ACLU, GLAD, Lambda, NCLR, the Equality Federation, Freedom to Marry, GLAAD, HRC and NGLTF agree.

They are not happy with the Olson/Boies lawsuit, which I cover here.  These organizations, in the more than a decade since I’ve been involved with them, have never come to such an agreement on anything so quickly.

If this lawsuit was filed with no consultation with any of the above groups, I seriously have to question the wisdom of Olson and Boies in having done so.  Everyone has lots of problems with lots of LGBT orgs, but everyone respects at least a couple of leaders at a couple of the above-named groups.  If Olson and Boies thought that this was a good idea, both men are smart enough to at least have consulted with someone from one of these groups.  That they apparently didn’t is somewhat disconcerting.

[UPDATE: Note the second comment, which I detail further here.  It comes from Toni Broaddus, the executive director of the Equality Federation.]

Here’s their statement:

LGBT Organizations Warn that Lawsuits Could Set Back

Progress on Marriage for Same-Sex Couples


May 27, 2008

NEW YORK – In response to the California Supreme Court decision allowing Prop 8 to stand, four LGBT legal organizations and five other leading national LGBT groups are reminding the LGBT community that ill-timed lawsuits could set the fight for marriage back.  The groups released a new publication, “Why the ballot box and not the courts should be the next step on marriage in California.”  This publication discourages people from bringing premature lawsuits based on the federal Constitution because, without more groundwork, the U.S. Supreme Court likely is not yet ready to rule that same-sex couples cannot be barred from marriage.  The groups also revised “Make Change, Not Lawsuits,” which was released after the California Supreme Court decision ending the ban on marriage for same-sex couples in California.  This publication encourages couples who have legally married to ask friends, neighbors and institutions to honor their marriages, but discourages people from bringing lawsuits.

“Why the ballot box and not the courts should be the next step on marriage in California” is available at   “Make Change, Not Lawsuits” is available at

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About the Author

Chris Geidner is the award-winning senior political & legal reporter at BuzzFeed and has written for Metro Weekly, The Atlantic Online, The American Prospect,, Salon and other publications, as well as at his blog, Law Dork. He has appeared regularly on television commenting on current affairs, including MSNBC, PBS, HLN & Current. Prior to moving to D.C. in 2009, he served as an attorney on the senior staff at the Ohio Attorney General's Office and had earlier worked for a leading Columbus law firm. An extended biography can be found here, and you can follow him on Twitter.