Libertarian philanthropist David Koch is backing a federal challenge to same sex marriage bans, signing on to a Supreme Court brief urging the court to overturn state-level prohibitions on the practice.
He will join hundreds of other prominent right-of-center thinkers, activists, and public figures in asking the Supreme Court to prohibit states from outlawing the practice under the 14th Amendment.
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Koch, the vice president of Koch Industries and the world’s sixth wealthiest person, is a deep-pocketed donor to Republican and conservative groups.
Koch Industries general counsel Mark Holden confirmed on Tuesday that Koch will sign his name to the brief. Holden said he did so in his personal capacity.
"I believe in gay marriage," he told Politico in 2012. A former vice presidential candidate on the Libertarian Party ticket, Koch is in line with that movement’s thinking on the issue, despite his support for a party that frequently opposes gay marriage.
"I think the Republican Party has a great chance of being successful and that’s why I support it … but I believe in the libertarian principles," he told Politico.
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin on Tuesday reported some of the brief’s other signatories, and on the argument they’re presenting:
The brief’s signatories include former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, conservative pundits S.E. Cupp and Alex Castellanos, former White House chief of staff Ken Duberstein, former Mitt Romney senior advisers Beth Myers and Carl Forti, conservative economists Doug Holtz-Eakin (formerly director of the Congressional Budget Office) and Greg Mankiw (formerly on the Council of Economic Advisers), former senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), former homeland security adviser Fran Townsend and former Massachusetts state Senate minority leader Richard Tisei. The presence of an esteemed general suggests that there is no segment of society in which gay marriage is not gaining acceptance. There are on the list centrist Republicans, more libertarian figures and even social conservatives. In a phone interview Mehlman said, "I think the diversity of the people is a reflection of what we have seen which is increased support in every demographic [for gay marriage]."
In the brief, the signatories argue that they "have concluded that marriage is strengthened, and its value to society and to individual families and couples is promoted, by providing access to civil marriage for all American couples—heterosexual or gay or lesbian alike. In particular, civil marriage provides stability for the children of same-sex couples, the value of which cannot be overestimated. In light of these conclusions, amici believe that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits States from denying same-sex couples the legal rights and responsibilities that flow from the institution of civil marriage."