American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Conservative Leaders File Amicus Brief Calling for Marriage Equality

What do Mary Bono Mack, James B. Comey, Jon Huntsman, Ken Mehlman, Steve Schmidt, William F. Weld, and Meg Whitman have in common? In addition to being conservative leaders, they’re also signatories to a brief calling on the Supreme Court to overturn Prop. 8.

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.

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.

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

  1. Kenneth B. Mehlman, Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
  2. Tim Adams, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2005-2007
  3. Cliff S. Asness, Businessman, Philanthropist, and Author
  4. David D. Aufhauser, General Counsel, Department of the Treasury, 2001-2003
  5. Charles Bass, Member of Congress, 1995-2007 and 2011-2013
  6. John B. Bellinger III, Legal Adviser to the Department of State, 2005-2009
  7. Katie Biber, General Counsel, Romney for President, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012
  8. Mary Bono Mack, Member of Congress, 1998-2013
  9. William A. Burck, Deputy Staff Secretary, Special Counsel, and Deputy Counsel to the President, 2005-2009
  10. Alex Castellanos, Republican Media Advisor
  11. Paul Cellucci, Governor of Massachusetts, 1997-2001, and Ambassador to Canada, 2001-2005
  12. David C. Chavern, Business Association Executive
  13. Mary Cheney, Director of Vice Presidential Operations, Bush-Cheney 2004, 2003-2004
  14. Thomas J. Christensen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, 2006-2008
  15. Jim Cicconi, Assistant to the President and Deputy to the Chief of Staff, 1989-1990
  16. James B. Comey, U.S. Deputy Attorney General, 2003-2005
  17. Jeff Cook-McCormac, Senior Advisor, American Unity PAC
  18. R. Clarke Cooper, U.S. Alternative Representative, United Nations Security Council, 2007-2009
  19. Julie Cram, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, 2007-2009
  20. S.E. Cupp, Author and Political Commentator
  21. Michele Davis, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Director of Policy Planning, Department of the Treasury, 2006-2009
  22. Tyler Deaton, Secretary, New Hampshire Young Republicans, 2011-Present
  23. Alicia Davis Downs, Associate Political Director, White House, 2001-2003
  24. Kenneth M. Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President, 1981-1984 and 1987-1989
  25. Janet Duprey, New York State Assemblywoman, 2007-Present
  26. Clint Eastwood, Producer, Director, Actor, and Mayor of Carmel, California, 1986-1988
  27. Christian J. Edwards, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Press Advance, 2005-2007
  28. Lew Eisenberg, Finance Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2002-2004
  29. Mark J. Ellis, State Chairman, Maine Republican Party, 2005-2006 and 2007-2009
  30. Elizabeth Noyer Feld, Public Affairs Specialist, White House Office of Management and Budget, 1984-1987
  31. Charles Freeman, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for China Affairs, 2002-2005
  32. David Frum, Author and Special Assistant to the President, 2001-2002
  33. Reed Galen, Director of Scheduling and Advance, Bush-Cheney 2004, 2003-2004
  34. Richard Galen, Communications Director, Speaker’s Political Office, 1996-1997
  35. 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
  36. Benjamin Ginsberg, National Counsel, Bush-Cheney 2000 and 2004
  37. Josh Ginsberg, National Field Director, Romney for President, 2007-2008
  38. Juleanna Glover, Press Secretary to the Vice President, 2001-2002
  39. John Goodwin, Chief of Staff to Raul Labrador, Member of Congress, 2011-2013
  40. Adrian Gray, Director of Strategy, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
  41. Richard Grenell, Spokesman, U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations, 2001-2008
  42. Mark Grisanti,  New York State Senator, 2011-Present
  43. Patrick Guerriero, Mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts, and Member of Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1993-2001
  44. Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce, 2005-2009
  45. Stephen Hadley, Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor, 2005-2009
  46. Richard L. Hanna, Member of Congress, 2011-Present
  47. Jill Hazelbaker, Communications Director, John McCain for President, 2007-2008
  48. Israel Hernandez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, 2005-2009
  49. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director, Congressional Budget Office, 2003-2005
  50. Margaret Hoover, Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, 2005-2006
  51. Michael Huffington, Member of Congress, 1993-1995
  52. Jon Huntsman, Governor of Utah, 2005-2009, and Ambassador to China, 2009-2011
  53. David A. Javdan, General Counsel, U.S. Small Business Administration, 2002-2006
  54. Reuben Jeffery, Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs, 2007-2009
  55. Greg Jenkins, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Advance, 2003-2004
  56. Coddy Johnson, National Field Director, Bush-Cheney 2004, 2003-2004
  57. Gary Johnson, Governor of New Mexico, 1995-2003, and Libertarian Party Nominee for President, 2012
  58. Nancy L. Johnson, Member of Congress, 1983-2007
  59. Robert Kabel, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, 1982-1985
  60. Neel Kashkari, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, 2008-2009
  61. Theodore W. Kassinger, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, 2004-2005
  62. Jonathan Kislak, Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for Small Community and Rural Development, 1989-1991
  63. David Kochel, Senior Iowa Advisor, Mitt Romney for President, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012
  64. James Kolbe, Member of Congress, 1985-2007
  65. Cyrus Krohn, eCampaign Director, Republican National Committee, 2007-2009
  66. Jeffrey Kupfer, Chief of Staff and Acting Deputy Secretary, Department of Energy, 2006-2009
  67. Ed Kutler, Assistant to the Speaker of the House, 1995-1997
  68. Kathryn Lehman, Chief of Staff, House Republican Conference, 2003-2005
  69. Thomas A. Little, Vermont State Representative, 1992-2002 and Chairman of the Vermont House Judiciary Committee, 1999-2002
  70. Daniel S. Loeb, Businessman and Philanthropist
  71. Alex Lundry, Director of Data Science, Romney for President, 2012
  72. N. Greg Mankiw, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005
  73. Catherine Martin, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director for Policy and Planning, 2005-2007
  74. Kevin Martin, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2005-2009
  75. David McCormick, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2007-2009
  76. Mark McKinnon, Republican Media Advisor
  77. Aaron McLear, Press Secretary to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 2007-2011
  78. Bruce P. Mehlman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, 2001-2003
  79. Susan Molinari, Member of Congress, 1990-1997
  80. Connie Morella, Member of Congress, 1987-2003, and U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2003-2007
  81. Michael E. Murphy, Republican Political Consultant
  82. Beth Myers, Romney for President Campaign Manager, 2007-2008 and Senior Advisor, 2011-2012
  83. Michael Napolitano, White House Office of Political Affairs, 2001-2003
  84. Ana Navarro, National Hispanic Co-Chair, John McCain for President, 2008
  85. Susan Neely, Special Assistant to the President, 2001-2002
  86. Noam Neusner, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Speechwriting, 2002-2005
  87. B.J. Nikkel, Colorado State Representative and Majority Whip, 2009-2012, and District Director for Marilyn Musgrave, Member of Congress, 2002-2006
  88. Meghan O’Sullivan, Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan, 2005-2007
  89. Richard Painter, Associate Counsel to the President, 2005-2007
  90. Ruth Ann Petroff, Wyoming State Representative, 2011-Present
  91. Nancy Pfotenhauer, Regulatory Advisor, Romney for President, 2008, and Economist, Presidential Transition Team, 1988
  92. Gregg Pitts, Director, White House Travel Office, 2006-2009
  93. J. Stanley Pottinger, Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, 1973-1977
  94. Michael Powell, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2001-2005
  95. Larry Pressler, U.S. Senator from South Dakota, 1979-1997, and Member of Congress, 1975-1979
  96. Deborah Pryce, Member of Congress, 1993-2009
  97. John Reagan, New Hampshire State Senator, 2012-Present
  98. Luis Reyes, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Assistant to the President, 2006-2009
  99. Tom Ridge,  Governor of Pennsylvania, 1995-2001, and Secretary of Homeland Security, 2003-2005
  100. Mark A. Robbins, General Counsel, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 2001-2006
  101. Kelley Robertson, Chief of Staff, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
  102. Brian Roehrkasse, Director of Public Affairs, Department of Justice, 2007-2009
  103. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Member of Congress, 1989-Present
  104. Harvey S. Rosen, Chairman and Member, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005
  105. Lee Rudofsky, Deputy General Counsel, Romney for President, 2012
  106. Patrick Ruffini, eCampaign Director, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
  107. Corry Schiermeyer, Director for Global Communications, National Security Council, 2005-2007
  108. Steve Schmidt, Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to the Vice President, 2004-2006, and Senior Advisor, John McCain for President, 2008
  109. Adam Schroadter, New Hampshire State Representative, 2010-Present
  110. Christopher Shays, Member of Congress, 1987-2009
  111. Faryar Shirzad, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, 2004-2006
  112. Ken Spain, Communications Director, National Republican Congressional Committee, 2009-2010
  113. Robert Steel, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, 2006-2008
  114. Nancy Stiles, New Hampshire State Senator, 2010-Present
  115. David Stockman, Director, Office of Management and Budget, 1981-1985
  116. Jane Swift, Governor of Massachusetts, 2001-2003
  117. Richard Tisei, Massachusetts State Senator 1991-2011, and Senate Minority Leader 2007-2011
  118. Michael E. Toner, Chairman and Commissioner, Federal Election Commission, 2002-2007
  119. Frances Fragos Townsend, Homeland Security Advisor to the President, 2004-2008
  120. Michael Turk, eCampaign Director for Bush-Cheney 2004, 2003-2004
  121. John Ullyot, Communications Director, U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 2003-2007
  122. Sally A. Vastola, Executive Director, National Republican Congressional Committee, 2003-2006
  123. Jacob P. Wagner, Chairman, New Hampshire Federation of College Republicans, 2012-Present
  124. Mark Wallace, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Representative for UN Management and Reform, 2006-2008
  125. Nicolle Wallace, Assistant to the President and White House Communications Director, 2005-2008
  126. William F. Weld, Governor of Massachusetts, 1991-1997, and Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Criminal Division, 1986-1988
  127. Christine Todd Whitman, Governor of New Jersey, 1994-2001, and Administrator of the EPA, 2001-2003
  128. Meg Whitman, Republican Nominee for Governor of California, 2010
  129. Robert Wickers, Republican Political Consultant
  130. Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, 2001-2005, and President of the World Bank Group, 2005-2007
  131. Dan Zwonitzer, Wyoming State Representative, 2005-present