One hundred thirty-one prominent Republicans have signed a pro-same-sex marriage legal brief that is clearly at odds with the House GOP leadership and the party's platform in the most recent election. Because of the prominence of the signers, the brief stands out among the more than 150 friend-of-the-court briefs filed in two same-sex marriage cases to be argued at the U.S. Supreme Court this week.
The man who rounded up the group is Ken Mehlman, the former political director for the George W. Bush White House.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
This week, the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments in two cases that could determine the future of gay marriage in this country. In a few moments, NPR's Nina Totenberg brings us the story of a prominent Republican from the George W. Bush administration who's now working against many in his own party to legalize gay marriage.
But first, another point of view from one of the country's leading evangelical Christian leaders.
The soul-searching over the Defense of Marriage Act went viral last week after Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, a social conservative and original co-sponsor of the 1996 bill, sought out CNN to say something no one saw coming.
Portman said he'd decided to oppose DOMA and support same-sex marriage, two years after learning his college-age son was gay.
One argument used by some conservatives in the Supreme Court cases is that gay Americans have become so politically powerful and prominent they don't need special consideration from the courts. Whether or not that's true, it is clear that lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgendered advocacy groups have built a strong network of lobbyists and political activists in Washington, D.C.