Advisers to former President George W. Bush, governors and members of Congress were among the dozens of notable Republicans to sign a legal brief arguing in favor of the constitutional right of gay people to get married, the New York Times reported online Monday.
The brief will be filed with the Supreme Court this week to show support for a suit that seeks to strike down Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage.
From the Times:
Legal analysts said the brief had the potential to sway conservative justices as much for the prominent names attached to it as for its legal arguments. The list of signers includes a string of Republican officials and influential thinkers — 75 as of Monday evening — who are not ordinarily associated with gay rights advocacy, including some who are speaking out for the first time and others who have changed their previous positions.
Among them are Meg Whitman, who supported Proposition 8 when she ran for California governor; Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York; Stephen J. Hadley, a Bush national security adviser; Carlos Gutierrez, a commerce secretary to Mr. Bush; James B. Comey, a top Bush Justice Department official; David A. Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s first budget director; and Deborah Pryce, a former member of the House Republican leadership from Ohio who is retired from Congress.
Ms. Pryce said Monday: “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.”
Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the former Utah governor, who favored civil unions but opposed same-sex marriage during his 2012 presidential bid, also signed.
Huntsman last week urged the GOP to champion same-sex marriage. The Times noted that former First lady Laura Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of State Colin Powell did not sign the brief after the three were featured in a pro-gay marriage ad that ran last week. Bush subsequently asked to be removed from the ad.