In a separate friend of the court brief, the signers — called amici — argued that gay marriage promotes conservative values of strong family and limited government.
“Many of the signatories to this brief previously did not support civil marriage for same-sex couples; others did not hold a considered position on the issue,” the brief said. “However, in the years since Massachusetts and other States have made civil marriage a reality for same-sex couples, amici, like many Americans, have reexamined the evidence and their own positions and have concluded that there is no legitimate, fact-based reason for denying same-sex couples the same recognition in law that is available to opposite-sex couples.”
The legal brief signed by these Republicans has been dismissed by pro-traditional marriage advocacy groups, such as the National Organization for Marriage, which argues that opposition to same-sex marriage continues to be a central tenet to the Republican Party's platform.
"None of these people are actively in politics. They are not running for office because they know … supporting same-sex marriage will end your career if you're a Republican," Brian Brown, NOM's president, told NBC.
"There's overwhelming support for traditional marriage in the Republican Party, that's why it's part of the party platform, and any attempt by the establishment to redefine marriage and redefine what it means to be a conservative will mean the death of the Republican Party," Brown added.