Top Republicans sign brief in support of marriage equality


By Gage Skidmore

By Gage Skidmore

By Ryan Blodgett

Dozens of prominent Republicans, including “top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress” have signed a legal brief that argues in favor of marriage equality, NY Times reports.

The Supreme Court is deciding two cases involving marriage-equality this term. One involves California’s Proposition 8, which banned marriage between people of the same sex in California in 2008. The other involves the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a Clinton-era statute that prohibits the federal government from legally recognizing a marriage between same sex individuals.

In high profile cases, businesses, advocacy groups and other organizations often file amicus briefs, or “friend of the Court” briefs in support of one party or another, or just to expound on an issue important to the case. This brief will be used in the Proposition 8 case, although it will likely be persuasive as to the DOMA case as well.

Among the signers are Republicans not necessarily associated with the promotion of gay marriage, including Jon Huntsman, the former candidate for president and Meg Whitman, who supported Proposition 8 when she ran for governor of California. Notably not on the list as of Monday are Dick Cheney, the former vice president; Laura Bush, the former first lady; and Colin Powell, a former secretary of state — all of whom are top Republicans openly supportive of gay marriage.

It is unclear just how much we can expect this brief to impact the Supreme Court’s decision in the Prop 8 case, since the Supreme Court’s deliberations are held in closed door meetings. However, some legal experts believe that this brief is likely to influence conservative members of the Court not just through its legal reasoning, but through its growing list of names, which now includes at least 75 influential Republican officials and thinkers. This is an important case and it is close call how it will turn out, so any help persuading the conservative members of the Court is a step in the right direction.

That the Republican Party is splintering on this issue reflects a continuing divide in the party. It also shows us that many Republicans are coming to terms with the fact that marriage equality is inevitable. It may have to happen through piecemeal changes, one state at a time, as it has for the last 13 years, but it will happen. Many prominent Republicans are realizing that it is quickly becoming time to get on the right side of history.

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Posted by on February 26, 2013. Filed under Judicial,LGBT,Recent News,Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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