Ted Olson, who successfully argued the challenge to California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, says in a new interview that it's unlikely that the Supreme Court would rule in favor of state marriage bans.

The Supreme Court this month refused to hear appeals in cases challenging bans in five states, allowing lower court rulings striking down state bans to take effect. The high court also refused to halt an appeals court's ruling declaring such bans invalid from taking effect. The decisions effectively increased the number of states where gay couples can marry from 19 to 35, though three states have yet to comply. Gay couples can also marry in the District of Columbia.

“I do believe this is a point of no return. I do not believe that the United States Supreme Court could rule that all of those laws prohibiting marriage are suddenly constitutional after all these individuals have gotten married and their rights have changed,” Olson told USA Today's Susan Page, host of Capital Download. “To have that snatched away, it seems to me, would be inhuman; it would be cruel; and it would be inconsistent with what the Supreme Court has said about these issues in the cases that it has rendered.”

The 71-year-old Olson, a Republican lawyer best known for representing President George W. Bush in the landmark Bush v. Gore case that settled the 2000 presidential election, stunned fellow conservatives when he joined the legal team representing two gay couples challenging Proposition 8.

“Some Republicans disagree with me, some conservatives disagree with me, but the number who disagree is getting smaller and smaller,” Olson said. “Young Republicans are extraordinarily supportive. … The people who are under 30, whether they're Democrats or Republicans, don't even understand why this is an issue. They have friends that they want to see happy.”

After arguing 61 cases before the Supreme Court, Olson said that his work on marriage equality means the most to him.