Meg Whitman: There’s “No Legitimate, Fact-Based Reason” To Ban Marriage Equality

whitman7738I have joined a prominent group of conservatives, moderate Republicans and social libertarians in signing an amicus brief on behalf of Paul Katami, Jeff Zarrillo, Kristin Perry and Sandra Steir in their case challenging Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. I feel the time has come to bestow marriage equality to same-sex couples.

I have come to embrace same-sex marriage after a period of careful review and reflection. As a candidate for governor three years ago, I supported Proposition 8. At the time, I believed the people of California had weighed in on this question and that overturning the will of the people was the wrong approach. The facts and arguments presented during the legal process since then have had a profound impact on my thinking.

In reviewing the amicus brief before deciding to put my signature on it, one passage struck an immediate chord with me. In explaining his own support for same-sex marriage, British Prime Minister David Cameron once said, “Society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.”

During my business career, I have lived by a philosophy I refer to as “the power of many.” I truly believe that what we can do together, none of us can do alone. By leading from this principle, I have been able to manage thriving organizations that have delivered great results. I believe the same holds true for society at-large. We are simply better when we are bonded together.

Marriage is the fundamental institution that unites a society. It is the single greatest contributor to the well-being of adults and children because it promotes eternal principles like commitment, fidelity and stability. It makes no difference whether the marriage is between a man and woman or a woman and woman. Marriage makes society better.

The core argument of the amicus brief is that there is no legitimate, fact-based reason for providing different legal treatment of committed relationships between same-sex couples. Without the presence of such a rationale, precedent should result in the U.S. Supreme Court overturning California’s ban on gay marriage.

The amicus brief argues that the oft-cited claims that civil marriage between same-sex couples will somehow hurt traditional marriage and be detrimental to children have been rejected by social science. Rather, we now know that children who grow up in intact, married families are much more likely to do well in school, achieve professional success and enjoy the benefits of stable, adult family lives.

In contrast, children who live with unmarried, cohabitating partners encounter significant challenges in their lives due to the higher separation rates of their parents and lower household incomes. Laws like California’s Proposition 8 do not fortify traditional marriage, they merely prevent hundreds of thousands of children of same-sex couples from enjoying the benefits that accrue from marriage.

Like several others who have either sought or held public office, including President Obama, I have changed my mind on this issue. Same-sex couples and their children should have equal access to the benefits of marriage.

My decision to support civil marriage is solely my own. I hope that the Supreme Court will heed the arguments in the amicus brief. Establishing a constitutional right of marriage equality in California will strengthen our nation as a whole.

Hewlett-Packard CEO and onetime California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, explaining why she’s come to endorse marriage equality after backing Proposition 8, on LinkedIn. We could have used you a littler earlier, Meg.

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  • Red Meat

    Good for her, still hate her.

  • jwrappaport

    Another shameless opportunist who had no problem throwing us under the bus when it suited her ambitions, but who is quick to change her tune as the political tides change.

    All of these GOP conversos remind me of a great Thomas More/Robert Bolt quote “We must just pray that when your head’s finished turning, your face is to the front again.”

  • Dionte

    Thank you for your support.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Oh, God…Is this Hag running again? Go away! California doesn’t want you! Go far, far away.

  • stvrsnbrgr

    Candidates Whitman and Obama held basically the same position on Prop 8 in 2008: she campaigned for it; he did not campaign against it. And they have both undergone a politically expedient “evolution” in the past year to support marriage equality. As a practical matter, I don’t care if politicians do the right thing for the wrong reason. But it is truly tragic that politics now trumps any notion of moral or ethical leadership for America.

  • Katbox

    Money speaks louder than words.
    How’s-about you donate some to help the cause to help reverse the effects that your previous donations have caused.
    What a bitch.

  • Joetx

    @jwrappaport: ITA.

  • frshmn

    @stvrsnbrgr: Obama taking a position in 2008 would have probably have changed the result of prop 8 in CA. His opinion evolved based on our groundwork coming out to relatives and friends, and taking part in grassroots efforts towards marriage equality/rights since then. I appreciate his support and any efforts he takes, but this is still our movement.

  • unclemike

    @stvrsnbrgr: Uh, no, actively campaigning for something is not “basically the same” as not campaigning against it. Otherwise, people who didn’t vote would still all be counted as yes votes.

  • Billysees

    @Dionte: 3

    You wrote, “Thank you for your support.”

    I second your comment.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    ul·te·ri·or [uhl-teer-ee-er]
    being beyond what is seen or avowed; intentionally kept concealed: ulterior motives.
    coming at a subsequent time or stage; future; further: ulterior action.
    lying beyond or outside of some specified or understood boundary; more remote: a suggestion ulterior to the purposes of the present discussion.
    1640–50; < Latin: farther, akin to ultr? on the far side; cf. ultra-

    1. hidden, covert, undisclosed, undivulged.

  • Spike

    Whatever, she wasn’t saying this when she was playing to the homophobic religious republican right when she was running for Gov. of Calif., and had she been successful in buying the office, she wouldn’t be saying it now either.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    This is the same hag who let her maid go for fear that the housekeeper’s legal citizenship status would negatively impact her campaign. She cares so little about anyone, but her own ugly self. This major hag is laying the groundwork for another run, politically and is throwing the gay community an ulterior motive bone now. Go away Meg! Nurses and Fire fighters can’t stand you either. Go the Hell away and take your bigoted sons with you. Her son got thrown out of a school function because of racial comments he was making. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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