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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Courts - "Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage" (but not Indiana, which is leading the opposition)

Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports today in a long story the NY Times:

WASHINGTON — 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 arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry, a position that amounts to a direct challenge to Speaker John A. Boehner and reflects the civil war in the party since the November election. * * *

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.

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.”

What about Indiana? Indiana, through Attorney General Zoeller, is the lead counsel on a brief for nineteen states in support of the constitutionality of Proposition 8; Indiana is also the lead counsel on an amicus brief in Windsor, joined by 16 other states, arguing in favor of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). See this ILB post from Feb. 14th for more information.

In addition, see this ILB post from Aug. 23, 2012 headed "Who should decide Indiana's position on national legal issues? Who should know?"

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 26, 2013 09:28 AM
Posted to Courts in general