Several top Republicans have broken from the party platform and signed a legal brief showing support for same-sex marriage, the New York Times reported Monday.
The brief will be submitted to the Supreme Court as it prepares to hear two same-sex marriage cases in March.
According to the Times, 75 Republicans have signed the document that may have the “potential to sway conservative justices as much for the prominent names attached to it as for its legal arguments.”
Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman have signed. The article listed other Republicans who have signed:
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.
The traditional GOP platform opposes gay marriage and defines marriage between a man and a woman. However, the brief argues, “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,’” the article said.
A New York Times survey “found a third of Republicans favor letting gay people marry — that, too, is changing quickly as more young people reach voting age.”
Though amicus or “friend of the court” briefs generally don’t hold a lot of weight with Supreme Court justices, this brief may be an exception.
Tom Goldstein, publisher of Scotusblog, told the Times this amicus brief “has the potential to break through and make a real difference.”
“The person who is going to decide this case, if it’s going to be close, is going to be a conservative justice who respects traditional marriage but nonetheless is sympathetic to the claims that this is just another form of hatred,” Goldstein said. He added, “If you’re trying to persuade someone like that, you can’t persuade them from the perspective of gay rights advocacy.”