Among many fascinating things about the Prop 8 trial in California is that a prominent conservative lawyer, Theodore B. Olson, is helping to make the argument that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

As Olson wrote recently in Newsweek:

My involvement in this case has generated a certain degree of consternation among conservatives. How could a politically active, lifelong Republican, a veteran of the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, challenge the "traditional" definition of marriage and press for an "activist" interpretation of the Constitution to create another "new" constitutional right?

His lengthy answer, in which he derides his fellow conservatives' "knee-jerk hostility toward gay marriage," politely calls their legal arguments for prohibiting gay unions "not very persuasive," and explains why it's important to bring this case now, is a must-read.

(Via Sullivan)