Clint Eastwood, NFL players offer support for gay marriage

National Constitution Center

Actor-director Clint Eastwood is the latest prominent conservative to sign on to a court brief opposing a California gay marriage ban. Also, two NFL players have opposed a gay-marriage ban in a separate brief to the Supreme Court.

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The news comes on the same day that President Barack Obama will file his own “friend of the court” brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California.

The court is expected to hear the case on March 26. The justices will listen to arguments about a related case, the Defense of Marriage Act, on March 27.

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli will file the brief on behalf of the Obama administration.

More than 100 people with current or past connections to the Republican Party or conservative causes have signed briefs in the case.

The website Brietbart.com first reported that Eastwood signed the brief. Eastwood made national headlines this summer when he appeared at the Republican National Convention and spoke to an empty chair onstage.

On Tuesday, the American Foundation for Equal Rights said that more than 80 “political and social conservatives” had signed the brief, and more signatures were expected.

Names on the brief include Mary Bono Mack, Gary Johnson, Jon Huntsman, William F. Weld, Christine Todd Whitman, and Meg Whitman.

Two prominent lawyers, Democrat David Boies and Republican Theodore B. Olson, will take the argument against Proposition 8 to the Supreme Court.

If those names sound familiar, it’s because they were also the top advocates in the 2000 Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore, with Olson representing George W. Bush and Boies representing Al Gore.

Another brief in the case was filed by two National Football League players, Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo.

“America has walked this path before, and courageous people and the court brought us to the right result. We urge the court to repeat those actions here,” the athletes said in a brief that was filed this month.

The recent news of Republicans supporting gay marriage is, of course, in contrast to the stance of House Republican leaders. In February 2011, when the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (which is being considered in another case, Windsor v. United States), the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Panel of the House voted to stand in to defend the law.

The court is expected to announce a decision in the Proposition 8 case in June.

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