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Republicans sign brief in support of gay marriage, reports The New York Times

The New York Times on Tuesday reports that at least 75 influential Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami (the first House Republican to co-sponsor a law to repeal DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act), have signed a legal brief declaring that gay couples should be able to marry:

The document will be submitted this week to the Supreme Court in support of a suit seeking to strike down Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative barring same-sex marriage, and all similar bans. The court will hear back-to-back arguments next month in that case and another pivotal gay rights case that challenges the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Click here to read the complete NYT article.

Here's reaction from HRC, Human Rights Campaign:

Washington - As the New York Times reported last night, a number of prominent Republicans have signed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Hollingsworth v. Perry supporting the freedom for gay and lesbian couples to marry. The following is a statement by Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

“There's nothing partisan about standing up for American values like freedom, liberty, and equality. We're proud to have these prominent Republicans join Ted Olson in supporting a freedom-based Constitutional argument for equality. None of us--Democrat, Republican or Independent--would want to be told that we can't marry the person we love, and these signatories are blazing the trail for the next generation of fair-minded Republicans still to come. "

Perry has been found unconstitutional by the Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals because it violates our nation’s fundamental concepts of liberty and equal treatment under the law.  The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on March 26.

From Freedom to Marry:

Washington, DC -- Current and former Republican officials announced their participation in an amicus brief in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case today, speaking out in support of the freedom to marry. The case, now before the U.S. Supreme Court, challenges California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment pushed through by anti-gay activists in 2008 to strip same-sex couples of the freedom to marry in California.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, released this statement:

"A who's who of the Republican Party has come before the Supreme Court to affirm that support for the freedom to marry is a mainstream position that reflects American values of freedom, family, and fairness, as well as conservative values of limited government and personal responsibility. As opposition to the freedom to marry becomes increasingly isolated and the exclusion from marriage increasingly indefensible, Americans all across the political spectrum are saying it's time to end marriage discrimination, do right by families, and get our country on the right side of history."

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