Clint Eastwood signs pro-gay marriage brief

In this Aug. 30, 2012, photo, actor and director Clint Eastwood speaks to an empty chair while addressing delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Actor Clint Eastwood was among the over 80 conservative luminaries who signed an amicus "friend of the court" brief, filed with the United States Supreme Court, arguing in favor of federal marriage equality for same-sex couples.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) is waging a challenge in federal court against California's Proposition 8, which overturned same-sex marriage in the Golden State. Last December, the high court granted review in the case - Hollingsworth v. Perry - to determine whether Proposition 8 violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The court will hear oral arguments in Perry on March 26.

In a statement, AFER executive director Adam Umhoefer hailed the brief as evidence that Americans of all political persuasions are "united behind the concepts of freedom, dignity, and strong families."

"We value the support of our conservative colleagues and welcome their voices to the growing majority of Americans who stand for marriage equality," Umhoefer said.

The brief was also signed by former GOP presidential contender Jon Huntsman, former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, and GOP strategist Steve Schmidt, who oversaw Republican Sen. John McCain's 2008 campaign for the presidency.

Eastwood, a longtime conservative, created a buzz during last year's Republican National Convention after he ad-libbed his remarks to an empty chair meant to be a stand-in for President Obama.