This afternoon, Ted Olson — whose wife died in the September 11th attacks — distanced himself from other conservatives and told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that he did not oppose the building of a mosque near ground zero. “It may not make me popular with some people, but I think probably the President was right about this,” he began:
OLSON: I do believe that people of all religions have a right to build edifices or structures, places of religious worship or study where the community allows them to do it under zoning laws and that sort of thing. And that we don’t want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith. And I don’t think it should be a political issue. It shouldn’t be a Republican or Democrat issue either. I believe Governor Christie from New Jersey said it as well, that this should not be in that political partisan marketplace.
On Proposition 8, Olson said that he expected the ninth circuit court of appeals to stay Judge Walker’s decision and “keep everything as it is until we get a chance to decide this case on the merits.” “We will argue that case in early December. That’s where we are anxious to get a decision promptly,” he said.
Olson also argued that fighting for marriage was consistent with conservative values. “What could be, at the end of the day, more conservative than two loving people, that want to get married, that want to build a family, that want to be part of our neighborhoods and community — that is a conservative value.”