Attorney general welcomes same-sex marriage backer as top legal adviser | Arkansas Blog

Friday, July 31, 2015

Attorney general welcomes same-sex marriage backer as top legal adviser

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 8:47 AM

click to enlarge LEE RUDOFSKY: New hire at a.g. supported marriage equality.
  • LEE RUDOFSKY: New hire at a.g. supported marriage equality.
I'd like to add a further word of praise to Attorney General Leslie Rutledge for not letting Lee Rudofsky's record as a supporter of same-sex marriage get in the way of hiring him for $120,000 a year as her solicitor general.

Perhaps this might lead to some good practical advice as the state contends with an ongoing legal action over giving married couples equal treatment in such matters as issuance of birth certificates, a case that will be Rutledge's to handle if the Health Department doesn't get things fixed soon. Or if the legislature tries to stand in the way.

Rudofsky was among 131 prominent Republicans who signed a friend of the court brief in 2013 urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage.

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.”

This, of course, was not the position the attorney general's office argued in unsuccessfully fighting to preserve the Arkansas ban in both state and federal lawsuits, now completed in favor of equality by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The full list of signers is at the link. They are a blue-ribbon group of Republicans.

Rudofsky has differed with a former boss on this issue. After Rudofsky and other former campaigners for Mitt Romney signed the brief, it led to interviews with Romney, who reasserted his opposition to same-sex marriage. Wrote Christian Post then:

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.

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