The news, on the front page of the Times this morning, that dozens of leading Republicans had signed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the case of Proposition 8, the California gay-marriage ban, merited the A1 treatment that it received. Despite their party and their own past positions, Jon Huntsman, Meg Whitman, Ken Duberstein, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and others said that they supported a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. This comes two days before the Obama Administration must decide whether it is ready to file a similar brief. In the most high-profile Supreme Court case of the year, with the future of how we view civil rights and treat our fellow-citizens at stake, someone had quietly engineered enough prominent conservatives from the opposition party to sign onto a legal brief supporting full equality for gay and lesbian Americans. That someone was Ken Mehlman, the openly gay former political director of the George W. Bush White House, the campaign manager for Bush’s 2004 reëlection campaign, and the former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Richard Socarides on Ken Mehlman’s gay-marriage mission: http://nyr.kr/Weh7Q1
Photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty.