The lawyer who argued before the Supreme Court in favor of upholding California's ban on gay marriage learned while he was handling the case that one of his children is gay and now is helping her plan her wedding with another woman.
Attorney Charles Cooper says his view of same-sex marriage is evolving after having argued in court that gay unions could undermine marriages between a man and a woman.
The revelation is an unexpected footnote in the years-long debate over Proposition 8, the California measure struck down by the Supreme Court last year. It is also offers a glimpse, through the eyes of one family, of the country's rapidly shifting opinions of gay marriage, with most public polls now showing majorities in favor of allowing the unions.
Cooper learned that his stepdaughter Ashley was gay as the Proposition 8 case wound its way through appellate court, according to a forthcoming book about the lengthy legal battle. And with the Supreme Court ruling now behind him, Cooper cast his personal opinion on gay marriage as an evolving process.
"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 said in journalist Jo Becker's book "Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality."
Cooper's words are reminiscent of the language President Barack Obama used throughout his first term to describe his "evolving" views on gay marriage. In 2012, Obama announced publicly that he did, in fact, support the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
Other politicians have also voiced support for same-sex marriage after learning that their own children were gay, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose position was at odds with President George W. Bush. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, reversed his opposition to gay marriage last year, saying that his gay son had caused him to think about the issue differently.
Ellen DeGeneres tops gay glossy Out's eighth annual Power 50 list.
The 56-year-old DeGeneres returned to the top spot in this year's list of most influential gay people, knocking out last year's champ Apple CEO Tim Cook.
“Everybody loves Ellen, and that's one of the reasons she's regained the top spot,” Out editors wrote. “In March, The Ellen DeGeneres Show shattered its own 10-year ratings record in the episode that immediately followed her Academy Awards hosting gig, which also gave the awards its best ratings since 2004. And her star-studded Oscars selfie almost shut down Twitter when the pic became the most retweeted ever.”
This year, Cook traded places with DeGeneres, who was named second most influential last year.
MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow received a third place finish.
In fourth place was Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin. And journalist Glenn Greenwald rounded out the top 5.
JoeMyGod noted the unusual absence of last year's #21 ranked Matt Drudge: “Since there's no obvious reason for Drudge to completely fall off the list in one year, I wouldn't be surprised if somebody got a cease-and-desist letter.”
Also missing from the list is Fox News' Shepard Smith, a staple of previous years.
Click here to view the full Power 50 list.
The White House hosted faith leaders for the fifth annual Easter prayer breakfast on Monday, where President Obama remembered those killed in an attack on two Jewish centers in Kansas and urged Americans to stand together against "religious-based violence."
After the program was over, Bishop Gene Robinson was surprised and delighted to receive an impromptu invitation from the President to close the gathering with prayer. Robinson is the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop.
Robinson joined MSNBC host Alex Wagner to discuss the moving moment. "I did what I always kind of do in prayer, which is to ask God's blessing on all of God's children, worldwide," he said. "I asked a special blessing on this nation and our President, and also, since you mentioned Pope Francis, I always pray for the poor, and the oppressed, and the marginalized. I think God cares especially about them."
Wagner asked him "How optimistic are you that the Catholic Church- and broadly the Christian Church in general- is getting closer to opening its doors truly and meaningfully to the LGBT community?"
Robinson replied, "I think it's taken on an air of inevitability. We see such change in the culture. President Obama's evolution on this topic is really a reflection of what has happened all across the nation, across every demographic group, and certainly among young people. They just don't know what the big deal is."
He added, "And I think we will see even the more conservative religious groups understand that the love that two people share, one for another, is of God. And the gender of those people is not the important thing, it's the love and the relationship."
According to Talking Points Memo, Robinson retired as the bishop of Diocese of New Hampshire in 2013, and is now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.