75 GOP Bigwigs Sign Brief Backing Gay Marriage

Top Republicans show support before key Supreme Court case

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 26, 2013 4:13 AM CST | Updated Feb 26, 2013 7:56 AM CST

(Newser) – Scores of prominent Republicans have made an unprecedented show of support for gay marriage. The GOPers, including Jon Huntsman, former George W. Bush administration officials, and four former governors, have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have the constitutional right to marry, the New York Times reports. The brief will be submitted to the Supreme Court before it hears the pivotal Proposition 8 gay rights case next month and analysts believe it could do much to sway the justices—as well as provoke fierce clashes within the party.

The signers—most of whom are no longer in office—include some who have never supported gay marriage before and others who have changed their positions, including former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. "Like a lot of the country, my views have evolved on this from the first day I set foot in Congress. I think it’s just the right thing, and I think it’s on solid legal footing, too," says Deborah Pryce, a former member of the House Republican leadership. The brief is missing the signatures of some prominent pro-gay marriage Republicans, including Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, and Laura Bush—who recently asked to be removed from a pro-gay marriage ad.

Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman has changed her position on gay marriage since her 2010 campaign for California governor.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Jon Huntsman was one of those who signed the brief.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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We are trying to say to the court that we are judicial and political conservatives, and it is consistent with our values and philosophy for you to overturn Proposition 8. - Former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman

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