Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Former Utah governor and GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is urging support for same-sex marriage. / Joe Raedle, Getty Images

WASHINGTON - Top Republicans, including veterans of the George W. Bush administration, former members of Congress and ex-governors, are calling on the Supreme Court to support same-sex marriage.

More than 80 prominent leaders will file a friend of the court brief this week in advance of the justices hearing oral arguments in two gay marriage cases. These Republicans are essentially saying gay couples have a constitutional right to marry and want the court to strike down California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage.

STORY: Supreme Court to take up gay marriage cases

The signers currently include former governors Jon Huntsman of Utah, Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey and William Weld of Massachusetts; former White House chief of staff Ken Mehlman and former national security adviser Stephen Hadley; and retired members of Congress, such as Mary Bono Mack of California and Deborah Pryce of Ohio.

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman is also on record as backing the legal brief, which is a change of her previous position. When she ran unsuccessfully for California governor in 2010, Whitman supported Proposition 8. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., is the only active member of the House currently listed as supporting the brief.

The friend of the court brief is being organized by the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the advocacy group that is challenging the California ballot measure, which has already been struck down by two lower courts.

The group helped put together the legal team that is challenging Proposition 8, which was headed by former Bush solicitor general Ted Olson and David Boies, best known as the lawyer who handled the 2000 Florida recount challenge for Al Gore.

"The conservative movement toward the freedom to marry is what we like to call the 'Ted Olson effect,'" said Adam Umhoefer, executive director of the organization. "We value the support of our conservative colleagues and welcome their voices to the growing majority of Americans who stand for marriage equality."

The Supreme Court will hear arguments March 26 and March 27 in a pair of same-sex marriage cases. Many briefs have been filed challenging Prop 8, in part because the high court's ruling could have far-reaching impact beyond California on the right of gay men and lesbians to marry.

The other case before the Supreme Court deals with the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The case applies to the benefits available to gay couples that are already married.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Top Republicans urge court to support gay marriage

More In

test

Real Deals

Flip, shop and save on specials from your favorite retailers in central Ohio.

GET DEALS | COUPONS

Things To Do

THU
17
FRI
18
SAT
19
SUN
20
MON
21
TUE
22
WED
23

CLASSIFIEDS

Classifieds from across Central Ohio
Lancaster
Chillicothe
Newark
Marion
Bucyrus
Mansfield
Zanesville
Coshocton

Weeklies & Shoppers

10TV Headlines

Dispatch Headlines

METROMIX