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Highlights of Prop 8 Amicus Briefs


By Matt Baume

Hundreds of high-profile organizations and individuals file amicus briefs, urging the Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8. We’ll have highlights from those briefs, including some names you might not expect.

There’s less than a month to go before oral argument at the Supreme Court. Last week was the deadline for friend-of-the-court briefs in favor of AFER’s plaintiffs. Among those registering their opposition to Prop 8: the United States government, over a hundred prominent Republicans, various faith organizations, businesses, athletes, lawyers, and more.

AFER’s gathered the briefs together and posted them online. Visit to read highlights of each one.

The most prominent is of course the Department of Justice.

In explaining his administration’s decision to file, President Obama said, “the basic principle that America is founded on, the idea that we’re all created equal, applies to everybody regardless of sexual orientation.”

He went on to explain that Prop 8 “doesn’t provide any rationale for discriminating,” and that marriage is a right that should be availabel to all people in this country.

In the brief itself, Soliciter General Donald Verrilli writes, “the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage does not substantially further any important governmental interest.” He goes on, “prejudice may not be the basis for differential treatment under the law.”

Then there’s the brief signed by over 130 Republican leaders. Among them: former Repbulican National Committee chair Ken Mehlman, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, Homeland Security Advisor Margaret Hoover, Romney advisor Beth Myers, and former Prop 8 supporter Meg Whitman.

Another brief is signed by states that have or seek marriage equality: that includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, and more. According to the brief, “the states’ interests in marriage are furthered by allowing same-sex couples to marry.”

The state of California filed a brief of its own, writing, “Proposition 8 serves no interest recognized by California as legitimate.”

A business brief is signed by over a hundred companies across a range of industries, from Facebook to Clorox to Panasonic to Barnes and Noble to Alaska Airlines.

And yet another brief represents faith groups, including various Episcopal, Lutheran, Jewish, and Unitarian organizations. They write, “civil recognition of same-sex relationships, including through marriage, is fundamentally consistent with the religious pluralism woven into the fabric of American law, culture, and society.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center submitted a brief. Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom. The Family Equality Council. The Campaign for Southern Equality. Twenty-five different statewide equality organization. The list goes on and on.

We’re now counting down the days to AFER’s day in court — the first time that anyone will argue for the freedom to marry before the United States Supreme Court. Over the last few years, we’ve seen some amazing progress towards full federal marriage equality, but this is going to be the biggest milestone of them all. Head over to to get involved, and remember to Like and Share these video updates with everyone you know. We need to make sure this case is at the top of everyone’s attention as we head to the Supreme Court.

1 Comment

  • 1. Bob  |  March 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Meg Whitman who supported Prop 8?? What a sleazy c**t

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