Legal Lions Boies and Olson Set Back Gay Marriage

In the effort to legalize gay marriage, there's no room for Ted Olson and David Boies, two accomplished, intelligent and charming people who have lumbered into a sensitive and complex area of legal activism in which they are, frankly, newcomers. 

Eons ago -- OK, 1996 -- I was a fresh-faced summer associate at the venerable white shoe law firm Davis Polk and Wardwell in New York. As part of their civilizing mission for law students, the firm not only taught us how to drink dry martinis but urged us to adopt a pro bono cause. The most dynamic associate I met happened to be out of the closet, and by his good offices I ended up doing some work that summer for the Marriage Project of the Lambda Legal Defense Fund, run by the pioneering gay-marriage activist Evan Wolfson. At the time, the Hawaii Supreme Court had just become the first court to find that equality required same-sex marriage, and the predecessor to the Defense of Marriage Act was being bandied about in Congress: For an aspiring constitutional lawyer, it was game on.

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