The wife of former President George W. Bush finally has revealed her views on two of the most contentious social issues facing both the Republican Party and this nation.
Laura Bush, appearing this week on CNN’s "Larry King Live," revealed that she would not like to see abortion outlawed again, and she believes that same-sex couples should have the right to marry.
During the past decade, her husband has made quite clear his opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion in Roe v. Wade, and has made equally clear his support for banning same-sex marriage through Congressional statute and Constitutional amendment.
“I understand his viewpoint and he understands mine,” the former first lady told King of her view on same-sex marriage. “I think we ought to look at gay marriage and debate it. A lot of people have trouble coming to terms with it, because they see marriage traditionally as a man and woman. But I also know that when couples are committed to each other and love each other, they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has.”
Her interview with King is part of a promotional tour for her new memoir “Spoken From the Heart,” in which she writes that she cautioned the president against “making gay marriage a significant issue” in the 2004 political campaign. Political observers are in general agreement that Karl Rove engineered an effort that year to place gay marriage on a number of state ballots in an effort to energize the GOP base on Election Day.
Both the political left and right have responded to Laura Bush’s comments.
In a statement to both the London Daily Telegraph and the Huffington Post website, gay rights spokesman Michael Cole said: “When the right wing was using same-sex couples as election year pawns and the president calling for a cynical constitutional amendment to deny people rights, we would have welcomed support from the first lady. Nonetheless, her speaking out for marriage equality shows that more and more Americans realize all families need the same rights and protections.”
Carrie Gordon Earl, spokeswoman for the conservative group Focus on the Family, put out this statement: “It’s disappointing to hear Laura Bush, who is a well respected and admired former first lady, espouse positions on marriage and the value of human life that are contrary not only to her husband’s and arguably, according to polls, in conflict with the majority of Americans.”
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