Meg Whitman, who ran for Governor of California on a platform that included supporting Prop 8 and marriage as the union of one man and one woman only, just signed onto an amicus brief with 74 other top-level prominent Republicans, requesting the Supreme Court overturn the Golden State’s anti-gay marriage measure, Prop 8.
Whitman, a high-level Republican who was seen as a likely candidate for Secretary of the Treasury under a President John McCain had he won the 2008 election, endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 and was also rumored to have been considered for a cabinet position in a Romney administration. Having turned eBay into a company with 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual sales from the 30 employees and $4 million in annual sales it had when she joined the company a decade relier, Whitman today is the CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
Whitman is just one of 75 top Republicans who have signed onto the 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 New York Times reported late Tuesday night.
The Times notes Jon Huntsman — who penned an op-ed last week in support of same-sex marriage — also signed onto the brief, and lists several other prominent Republicans who have joined the group organized by the highest-ranking gay man in the GOP, Ken Mehlman:
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 Times adds that “the presence of so many well-known former officials — including Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey, and William Weld and Jane Swift, both former governors of Massachusetts — suggests that once Republicans are out of public life they feel freer to speak out against the party’s official platform, which calls for amending the Constitution to define marriage as ‘the union of one man and one woman.’”
“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 Times notes:
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.
Image by Max Morse via Wikipedia
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