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Meg Whitman changes stance, now supports same-sex marriage

Former California gubernatorial candidate says that "after careful review and reflection," she has reversed her opinion of Prop. 8, which bans gay marriage.

Meg Whitman on Election Night in 2010. Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman said today that her views against same-sex marriage had changed "after careful review and reflection" and that "the time has come" for marriage equality.

Whitman, who formerly supported California's Proposition 8 during her unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign in 2010, was one of dozens of prominent Republicans who have signed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit seeking to overturn the controversial proposition. The voter-approved amendment to the state's constitution, which bans gay marriage, is expected to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court next month.

She explained in a post on LinkedIn that her position on Prop. 8 had changed since running for governor three years ago.

"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," Whitman wrote. "The facts and arguments presented during the legal process since then have had a profound impact on my thinking."

The American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is spearheading the effort, argues that "there is no legitimate, fact-based reason for providing different legal treatment of committed relationships between same-sex couples," she wrote in her post. "Without the presence of such a rationale, precedent should result in the U.S. Supreme Court overturning California's ban on gay marriage."

Whitman called marriage "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."

Whitman joins a long list of prominent tech companies and leaders that have long supported same-sex marriage rights. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos donated $2.5 million last year to defend same-sex marriage in Washington state after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates made donations.

Last year, gaming company Electronic Arts joined a coalition of American businesses that include Google and Microsoft in opposing the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.