Lawyer Ted Olson leads off for the other side
Time to hear from the other side.
Attorney Theodore Olson steps up to argue against the gay marriage ban. He begins by noting that Virginia’s prohibition goes beyond prohibiting marriage between same-sex couples, also banning domestic partnerships or any other arrangements that approximate marriage.
“Marriage is a fundamental right,” he says.
He is quickly interrupted by Judge Niemeyer, who in the second half of the day’s proceedings is playing the flipside to what Judge Gregory was in the first half. Where Judge Gregory aggressively and skeptically grilled lawyers representing opponents of gay marriage, Judge Niemeyer does the same to the supporting side. Judge Floyd is mostly keeping mum, keeping observers guessing about what the outcome might be.
Niemeyer agrees that marriage is an important, even “sacred” right, but he questions whether it should be extended to non-heterosexual unions, which he referred to as “relationship B.”
“Now we have a new relationship that the state can well show respect to,” Judge Niemeyer said. “But it can’t create the same family unit that has been recognized through history.”
To call homosexual unions “marriage” is to “play with the language,” Judge Niemeyer says.