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The F Word: Willing to Reconsider

OK, so I’ve been a feminist against marriage for as long as I can remember but I will if you will.

Here’s the back story on that.   I have been in love with my partner Elizabeth for 19 years, maybe more.  What’s it mean to be a lesbian? If you’d asked me yesterday I’d have said it was a crazy question. It’s not about “being” something. “It” (in so far as there’s an “it” in the mix,) is about loving someone, another person, in my case, an astonishing woman who flies.

But — and I’m getting to the point — when I read that on the first day of the Proposition 8 Trial, Theodore B. Olson asked his client, “What does it mean to be a lesbian?”  I was struck.  Right there in federal court, Ted Olson asked his client, Kristin M. Perry, “what does it mean to be a lesbian?” And I found myself saying.  “Good for Olson.” This trial will make history. I mean, I found myself saying it out loud, and good for Olson’s nothing I’ve ever said before.

In my book, Ted Olson’s the root of no small evil. His argument before the Supremes in Bush vs. Gore stopped the ballot recount in Florida and started the slip-slide into Bushwar.  A leader of the creepy Federalist Society, it was with Olson that what beloved Molly Ivins called the Bushwacking began.

So no, I’m not in the habit of praising Ted Olson. To the contrary, I even had a beef with his wife —  for her role in the anti-feminist, not-very Independent Women’s Forum.

Yet here I am, saying “good for Ted.”  And he’s saying yes to David Boies. Eight and a half years after their epic battle over the 2000 election, lawyers Boies and Olson are on the same team challenging the constitutionality of California’s marriage equality ban.

My point is this: I can’t and don’t want to change how I feel about Elizabeth, or marriage, or the stolen election of 2000, but I am willing to reconsider Ted Olson.  It’s taken me a while to get here but here it is. The point: I’m willing to reconsider. Are you?  If I can reconsider Olson, and Olson can team up with Boies, can you out there, opponents of my equality, listen to Kristen Perry and change your mind about me?

Do I hear you say “I do?”  Oh go on.

The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at and Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on

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Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.