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Conservative Leaders Call for Marriage Equality in Prop. 8 Case

Conservative Voices 80+ Strong and Growing

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By: American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER)

Washington, DC February 26, 2013 – This week, more than 80 social and political conservatives, moderates, and libertarians from diverse religious, racial, regional, and philosophical backgrounds will file an amicus curiae, or "friend of the Court," brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of the Plaintiffs challenging California's Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry. Those currently listed as signatories to the brief include Mary Bono Mack, Alex Castellanos, James B. Comey, Gary Johnson, Stephen Hadley, Jon Huntsman, James Kolbe, Ken Mehlman, Steve Schmidt, William F. Weld, Christine Todd Whitman, and Meg Whitman. Additional names are still being added, with a final list of names to be released when the brief is filed with the Supreme Court. Enacted in November 2008, Proposition 8 eliminated the fundamental freedom of gay and lesbian Californians to marry.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) is the sole sponsor of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the federal constitutional challenge to Proposition 8.

"The support for marriage equality demonstrated by this amicus brief represents a microcosm of what we see happening all across the country," said AFER executive director Adam Umhoefer. "Americans are united behind the concepts of freedom, dignity and strong families. Since the inception of our case, AFER has worked to strip the partisan veil that had existed for too long around marriage equality. The conservative movement toward the freedom to marry is what we like to call the ‘Ted Olson effect.' We value the support of our conservative colleagues and welcome their voices to the growing majority of Americans who stand for marriage equality."

Building bi-partisan support has been part of AFER's mission ever since the filing of its federal constitutional challenge to overturn Proposition 8. AFER assembled a bi-partisan legal team led by Theodore B. Olson, Solicitor General of the United States during the first term of President George W. Bush, and renowned litigator David Boies to demonstrate that Proposition 8 violates the United States Constitution by denying millions of people their fundamental right to marry and their right to equal protection of the laws.

In January 2010, AFER worked with Ted Olson to land a cover story in Newsweek entitled "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage." This was the first time that a nationally recognized conservative of Mr. Olson's stature had laid out the reasons why conservatives should support marriage equality.

In September 2010, AFER hosted a New York event to help shore up support for the Perry case. The event was the first to tap into Republican support for marriage equality and was attended by members of John McCain's presidential campaign and Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign, members of the Bush administration, corporate CEOs, two former GOP governors, and representatives from every major firm on Wall Street. This coalition of supporters stayed together and went on to fund New York's successful marriage equality effort in 2011 and New Hampshire's successful effort in February 2012.

The challenge to Proposition 8, Hollingsworth v. Perry, was filed on May 22, 2009, in Federal District Court on behalf of two California couples, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo. On February 7, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a landmark ruling upholding the historic August 2010 decision of the Federal District Court that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

On December 7, 2012, the Supreme Court granted review in Perry to consider whether Proposition 8 violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court will hear oral argument in Perry on March 26, 2013.

While the list of amici continues to grow, the current list includes:

Ken Mehlman, Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
Tim Adams, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2005-2007
David D. Aufhauser, General Counsel, Department of Treasury, 2001-2003
Cliff S. Asness, Businessman, Philanthropist, and Author
John B. Bellinger III, Legal Adviser to the Department of State, 2005-2009
Katie Biber, General Counsel, Romney for President, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012
Mary Bono Mack, Member of Congress, 1998-2013
William A. Burck, Deputy Staff Secretary, Special Counsel and Deputy Counsel to the President, 2005-2009
Alex Castellanos, Republican Media Advisor
Paul Cellucci, Governor of Massachusetts, 1997-2001, and Ambassador to Canada, 2001-2005
Mary Cheney, Director of Vice Presidential Operations, Bush-Cheney 2004
Jim Cicconi, Assistant to the President & Deputy to the Chief of Staff, 1989-1990
James B. Comey, United States Deputy Attorney General, 2003-2005
R. Clarke Cooper, U.S. Alternative Representative, United Nations Security Council, 2007-2009
Julie Cram, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director White House Office of Public Liaison, 2007-2009
Michele Davis, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Director of Policy Planning, Department of the Treasury, 2006-2009
Kenneth M. Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President, 1981-1984 and 1987-1989
Lew Eisenberg, Finance Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2002-2004
Elizabeth Noyer Feld, Public Affairs Specialist, White House Office of Management and Budget, 1984-1987
David Frum, Special Assistant to the President, 2001-2002
Richard Galen, Communications Director, Speaker's Political Office, 1996-1997
Mark Gerson, Chairman, Gerson Lehrman Group and Author of The Neoconservative Vision: From the Cold War to the Culture Wars and In the Classroom: Dispatches from an Inner-City School that Works
Benjamin Ginsberg, General Counsel, Bush-Cheney 2000 & 2004
Adrian Gray, Director of Strategy, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
Richard Grenell, Spokesman, U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations, 2001-2008
Patrick Guerriero, Mayor, Melrose Massachusetts and member of Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1993-2001
Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce, 2005-2009
Stephen Hadley, Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor, 2005-2009
Richard Hanna, Member of Congress, 2011-Present
Israel Hernandez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, 2005-2009
Margaret Hoover, Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, 2005-2006
Michael Huffington, Member of Congress, 1993-1995
Jon Huntsman, Governor of Utah, 2005-2009
David A. Javdan, General Counsel, United States Small Business Administration, 2002-2006
Reuben Jeffery, Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs, 2007-2009
Greg Jenkins, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Advance, 2003-2004
Coddy Johnson, National Field Director, Bush-Cheney 2004
Gary Johnson, Governor of New Mexico, 1995-2003
Robert Kabel, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, 1982-1985
Theodore W. Kassinger, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, 2004-2005
Jonathan Kislak, Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for Small Community and Rural Development, 1989-1991
David Kochel, Senior Advisor to Mitt Romney's Iowa Campaign, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012
James Kolbe, Member of Congress, 1985-2007
Jeffrey Kupfer, Acting Deputy Secretary of Energy, 2008-2009
Kathryn Lehman, Chief of Staff, House Republican Conference, 2003-2005
Daniel Loeb, Businessman and Philanthropist
Alex Lundry, Director of Data Science, Romney for President, 2012
Greg Mankiw, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005
Catherine Martin, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director for Policy & Planning, 2005-2007
Kevin Martin, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2005-2009
David McCormick, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2007-2009
Mark McKinnon, Republican Media Advisor
Bruce P. Mehlman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, 2001-2003
Connie Morella, Member of Congress, 1987-2003 and U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2003-2007
Michael E. Murphy, Republican Political Consultant
Michael Napolitano, White House Office of Political Affairs, 2001-2003
Ana Navarro, National Hispanic Co-Chair for Senator John McCain's Presidential Campaign, 2008
Noam Neusner, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Speechwriting, 2002-2005
Nancy Pfotenhauer, Economist, Presidential Transition Team, 1988 and President's Council on Competitiveness, 1990
J. Stanley Pottinger, Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Civil Rights Division), 1973-1977
Michael Powell, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2001-2005
Deborah Pryce, Member of Congress, 1993-2009
John Reagan, New Hampshire State Senator, 2012-Present
Kelley Robertson, Chief of Staff, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Member of Congress, 1989-Present
Harvey S. Rosen, Member and Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005
Lee Rudofsky, Deputy General Counsel, Romney for President, 2012
Patrick Ruffini, eCampaign Director, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
Steve Schmidt, Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to the Vice President, 2004-2006
Ken Spain, Communications Director, National Republican Congressional Committee, 2009-2010
Robert Steel, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, 2006-2008
David Stockman, Director, Office of Management and Budget, 1981-1985
Jane Swift, Governor of Massachusetts, 2001-2003
Michael E. Toner, Chairman and Commissioner, Federal Election Commission, 2002-2007
Michael Turk, eCampaign Director for Bush-Cheney 2004
Mark Wallace, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Representative for UN Management and Reform, 2006-2008
Nicolle Wallace, Assistant to the President and White House Communications Director, 2005-2008
William F. Weld, Governor of Massachusetts, 1991-1997, and Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Criminal Division), 1986-1988
Christine Todd Whitman, Governor of New Jersey, 1994-2001, and Administrator of the EPA, 2001-2003
Meg Whitman, Republican Nominee for Governor of California, 2010
Robert Wickers, Republican Political Consultant
Dan Zwonitzer, Wyoming State Representative, 2005-present

About the American Foundation for Equal Rights

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the sole sponsor of Hollingsworth v. Perry (formerly Perry v. Brown), the federal constitutional challenge to California's Proposition 8. After bringing together bipartisan attorneys Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, AFER successfully advanced the Perry case through Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Foundation is committed to achieving full federal marriage equality. www.afer.org

 

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