Which 80 Prominent Republicans Just Signed A Legal Brief Proclaiming Gay Marriage Is A Constitutional Right?

Photo Credit: APAs the gay marriage debate continues to heat up, prominent Republicans — and some surprising names at that — are emerging to voice their support for same-sex unions. Following a blistering loss in the 2012 presidential election, discussion about social issues, particularly gay rights, has emerged as a potentially-problematic area for right-of-center politicians. And in an era colored by increasing support for homosexual marriage, the pressure is mounting.

This week, more than 80 prominent Republicans, including top advisers to President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress signed a legal brief that proclaims gay people have the right to marry under the U.S. Constitution. The document will be submitted to the Supreme Court this week, where it is purportedly intended to add to the voices that will be heard during two upcoming gay rights cases, The New York Times reports.

Next month, the High Court will hear a battle over Proposition 8, California’s controversial law banning same-sex unions. Additionally, a separate case concerning the Defense of Marriage Act will be argued. The legal brief could have an impact on conservative justices who support traditional marriage, but who are also sympathetic to gay marriage arguments surrounding equal rights.

Many of the names on the document argue that legalizing same-sex unions advances conservative values by expanding personal freedom and supporting family structures. The Times has more about some of the surprising names who are accepting this view:

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.

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