There’s a rift growing in the GOP. Backing away from anti-gay positions held by party leaders, including those belonging to House Speaker John Boehner, a growing contingent of Republicans is now supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Last week, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman urged his fellow conservatives to join him in supporting marriage equality. And this week, dozens of influential Republicans—Huntsman included—will submit a legal brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative passed in 2008 that outlawed gay marriage in the state, and all other similar bans.
The justices are set to hear the Proposition 8 case and another gay rights one involving a challenge to the federal government’s 1996 Defense of Marriage Act next month.
The New York Times:
The Proposition 8 case already has a powerful conservative supporter: Theodore B. Olson, the former solicitor general under Mr. Bush and one of the suit’s two lead lawyers. The amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief is being filed with Mr. Olson’s blessing. It argues, as he does, that same-sex marriage promotes family values by allowing children of gay couples to grow up in two-parent homes, and that it advances conservative values of “limited government and maximizing individual freedom.”
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.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.