In the Times today is a story that underlines the old saw about politics making for strange bedfellows, and just maybe opens a small window into a few common human touchstones. The lawyers who argued Bush v Gore in 2000 — David Boies for Gore and Ted Olson for Bush — are now on the same side in one of the more touchy questions in today’s culture wars — same sex marriage, specifically Prop. 8 in California. The lawyers have teamed up to have Prop. 8, passed by referendum to ban same sex marriage, reversed.

This turn of events caught the eye of Mary Ellen Capek in Corrales. She is the principal at Capek & Associates, a Corrales resident and author (Effective Philanthropy — Organizational Success Through Deep Diversity & Gender Equality). She is married to Sue Hallgrath and former board chair of the Equality New Mexico Foundation. When she saw that Ted Olson had joined forces with David Boies, it made her sit up a little straighter in her chair.

“This Ted and Dave Show blew me away,” she said. “I think it was Ted who lost his wife in the Pentagon 9/11 crash (this is correct). That’s the kind of tragedy that will either make or break most people. So maybe that has something to do with softening him up. I keep looking for the downside myself, but can’t find it. The biggest fear of the national groups is losing in the Supreme Court, and the one federal suit they’ve filed is very narrow, surgically aiming at only a piece of the federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act.) It will be interesting to watch, to say the least.”

She said she’s not privy to the national gay rights organizational debates on the subject, but that a lot of her friends have asked the same questions.

“They have wondered why the caution, citing the same argument Ted and Dave do about having the same majority that won the other two major cases,” she said. “And speaking personally, with the obvious caveat that they are on the level, it feels quite wonderful to see two straight, white guys taking up this cause with the visibility and timeliness that they have. It feels so good. I’m concerned about the risks of losing in front of the Supremes, but can’t see the logic that it would take another 20 years if we did. We’ll learn from it and come back with better arguments.”