After Stepdaughter Comes Out, Supreme Court Lawyer Who Argued Against Gay Marriage Says His Views Have Evolved

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 17 2014 6:46 PM

After Stepdaughter Comes Out, Supreme Court Lawyer Who Argued Against Gay Marriage Says His Views Have Evolved

138486437-opponents-of-proposition-8-californias-anti-gay
Opponents of Proposition 8, California's anti-gay marriage bill, demonstrate outside of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on February 7, 2012 in San Francisco.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The lawyer who argued before the Supreme Court last year in defense of California’s Proposition 8 that banned gay marriage in the state, says his views on same-sex marriage are evolving. It’s a stunning change of heart from attorney Charles Cooper who argued before the court that same-sex unions weaken marriages between a man and a woman.

The reason behind Cooper’s rethink on the issue is an understandable one—during the high profile case, he learned his stepdaughter was gay. "My views evolve on issues of this kind the same way as other people's do, and how I view this down the road may not be the way I view it now, or how I viewed it ten years ago," Cooper is quoted as saying in an upcoming book, the Associated Press reports. In journalist Jo Becker’s book "Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality," Becker recounts how, as the case rose through the court system, “Cooper's family began to consider the plaintiffs in the case, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, as an inspiration for their daughter,” according to the AP.

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With the case resolved, and Prop 8 dismissed by the Supreme Court, signaling a victory for gay rights advocates, Cooper opened up about his evolving personal opinion on gay marriage. Cooper’s stepdaughter plans to marry her partner in Massachusetts this summer. In a statement to the AP: Cooper said his family "is typical of families all across America." "My daughter Ashley's path in life has led her to happiness with a lovely young woman named Casey, and our family and Casey's family are looking forward to celebrating their marriage in just a few weeks," he said.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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