by Gibbons J. Cooney
On November 9, 2012, the Public Interest Law Foundation of the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco will host their ninth annual gala. Each year the foundation honors, in their words “… community members who have made a commitment to supporting the public interest – like the 2012 foundation grantees and this year’s Public Interest Excellence Award recipient, David Boies, chairman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP.”
The primary qualification for being honored by the foundation is that one be an active supporter of same-sex “marriage.” It is the rule, not the exception. The first honoree in 2004, was then-San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, who had illegally directed the county clerk of the city and county of San Francisco to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Newsom was followed in 2006 by Ms. Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. From the center’s website: “NCLR was lead counsel on behalf of same-sex couples, Equality California, and Our Family Coalition in the California marriage case, which sought to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage in California.”
Kendall was followed in 2007 by Ms. Elizabeth Cabraser, of Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann, & Bernstein. Ms. Cabraser was the lead attorney for an amici curiae brief filed on behalf of 40 legal institutions with the California supreme court. The brief recommended the supreme court overturn Proposition 8. Ms. Cabraser donated $30,000 to the “No on Proposition 8” campaign.
Cabraser was followed in 2008 by Shannon Price Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and San Francisco chief deputy city attorney Therese Stewart. The USF website said they were honoring the two because “…Minter and Stewart successfully argued before the California Supreme Court this year that same-sex couples have the right to marry.”
Cabraser was followed in 2009 by retired California supreme court justice Carlos Moreno–the sole California justice who voted to invalidate the votes of a majority of Californians by overturning Proposition 8.
In 2011, USF honored San Francisco assistant district attorney Victor Hwang. The school justified the honor: “His work includes authoring and coordinating the filing of an amicus brief on behalf of the Asian American community in support of marriage equality…”
USF’s honoring of same-sex “marriage” advocates is thus the rule, not the exception. David Boies is a predictable choice to be the 2012 honoree. Boies is being honored because he is the co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the case of Perry v. Brown, (now known as Perry v. Schwarzenneger). Perry v. Schwarzenneger is the attempt by homosexual activists to overturn the will of California’s voters, as expressed by their support of natural marriage through the passage of Proposition 8. Boies has so far been successful, winning decisions in Federal Court under Judge Vaughn Walker and in the Ninth Circuit under Judge Stephen Reinhardt. The defenders of marriage are currently waiting to learn whether the Supreme Court will hear their appeal.
Support for same-sex “marriage” is not Boies’ only anti-Catholic activity. Boies is on record as denying there is any constitutional issue involved when the government forces Catholic institutions to fund abortion or contraception. Earlier this year, Boies discussed the HHS contraception mandate with Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball. He told Matthews: “You don’t exempt religious employers just because of their religion. You are not asking anybody in the Catholic Church or any other church to do anything other than simply comply with a normal law that every employer has to comply with.”
Boies’ argument is a categorical rejection of religious freedom, and it is illuminating to examine what the concrete results for specific Catholic institutions will be, should the HHS mandate stand. Here’s what the mandate would means for three Catholic elementary schools in San Francisco—schools that teach children from pre-kindergarten age through grade 8. The schools are chosen at random, and the number of employees is taken from publicly available information on their websites.
The three schools are St. Gabriel’s, St. Peter’s, and St. Vincent de Paul. If any of those schools choose to remain Catholic and not abide by the HHS mandate they will be fined. If they completely drop their health plan they will be fined $2,000 per employee per year. That would be a fine of at least $36,000 a year for St. Gabriel’s, $40,000 a year for St. Peter’s, and $60,000 a year for St. Vincent de Paul. Every year. Of course, those schools would prefer to offer health plans to their employees, but without the objectionable services. In that case they will face fines of $100 per day per employee: approximately $657,000 per year for St. Gabriel’s, $730,000 per year for St. Peter’s, and $1,095,000 per year for St. Vincent de Paul.
In USF’s own archdiocese of San Francisco the mandate, which their honoree David Boies considers “a normal law” would spell the end of Catholic education.