Ted Olson, the lead attorney in
marriage equality lawsuits in Virginia and California, said last week
that Donald Trump was not likely to roll back LGBT rights if elected
Olson, a former U.S. solicitor general
under President George W. Bush, made history as part of the first
team to file a federal lawsuit against state laws that restrict
marriage to opposite-sex couples. In 2009, Olson and David Boies
challenged California's voter-approved Proposition 8, striking fear
in the hearts of LGBT activists who worried that a conservative U.S.
Supreme Court would set back the marriage equality movement decades.
Olson and Boies filed a similar federal
lawsuit challenging Virginia's marriage ban.
In 2015, the Supreme Court found that
gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry in a
separate case from Ohio.
Trump has said that he's opposed to
marriage equality and that his Supreme Court nominees would be
modeled after the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a vocal dissenter in
last year's marriage ruling. The Republican nominee also supports
passage of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), a federal bill
which seeks to ban federal “discriminatory action” against those
who oppose the unions of gay couples based on a “religious belief
or moral conviction.”
Olson told the Washington Blade
that he believes Trump will be “fine” with LGBT rights.
“He can't change marriage issues,”
told the paper. “The Supreme Court decided it's a
“He couldn't change it if he wanted.
I just don't think he would change any of that. I don't think that
is something that is on his mind, but I don't have any special
knowledge,” Olson added.
Other Republicans attending the Log
Cabin Republicans annual Spirit of Lincoln dinner, including
Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, echoed similar
FADA, however, would work to undermine
the high court's ruling and stocking the court with conservative
judges opposed to LGBT rights may lead to a reversal of last year's