Republican Leaders Sign Pro-Gay Marriage Brief

Supporters of same-sex marriage hope for a boost this week when dozens of high-profile Republicans, many no longer in office, submit their legal argument to the Supreme Court on why gays and lesbians should be allowed to wed, bucking their party's platform in a move that one who had a change of heart on the issue said would "strengthen our nation as a whole."

More than 80 Republicans are signatories to the "friend of the Court" brief to be filed in the case over Proposition 8, a California law banning same-sex marriage, according to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is waging the legal battle against the law. 

Meg Whitman, HP's chief executive officer and president, at a meeting on Jan. 16. She says she has had a change of heart on the issue of gay marriage.

"As the Republican nominee for governor of California three years ago, I supported the majority of Californians who voted for Proposition 8 and against same sex marriage," Whitman, president and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., said in a separate statement. "After careful review and reflection since then, I have come to embrace civil marriage for same sex couples."

Six former governors, including Jon Huntsman of Utah and Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey, and members of President George W. Bush's cabinet, such as former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, four former and two current members of Congress signed the brief, AFER said. Members of the Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain presidential campaigns also signed.

The brief will be filed Thursday, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group. 

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