George H.W. Bush: Witness at Same-Sex Wedding for Two Longtime Friends

Image: George H.W. Bush: Witness at Same-Sex Wedding for Two Longtime Friends Sept. 21, 2013 photo of former President George H.W. Bush, front left, former first lady Barbara Bush, right, posing for photos after wedding of longtime friends Helen Thorgalsen, center, and Bonnie Clement.

Thursday, 26 Sep 2013 02:39 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Former President George H.W. Bush was the official witness of the same-sex wedding of two longtime friends this past weekend, possibly becoming the first U.S. president to do so.

Bush, along with his wife Barbara, attended the wedding for Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen in Kennebunk, Maine, according to The Associated Press. Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said that the Bushes attended the wedding as private citizens.

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Gay marriage became legal in Maine in December.

Thorgalsen posted a photo on her Facebook page showing Bush signing her marriage license as a witness. 

Gay marriage was not a hot-button political issue when George H.W. Bush served as president from 1988-1992. His son, former President George W. Bush, said when he was in office that he would support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

That position has since changed. In July, he told ABC News that people should pause before criticizing gay couples "until you've examined your own heart." 

His wife, Laura Bush, and their daughter, Barbara Bush, have supported gay marriage along with former Vice President, Dick Cheney. Cheney's daughter Mary is openly gay.

Possible 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush, George W. Bush's brother, told the Faith & Freedom Coalition in June that the nation needs to be supportive of nontraditional families and same-sex marriage should be left up to the states.

Reactions to George H.W. Bush's participation as the wedding witness were mixed on Twitter.

Gay marriage is currently legal in 13 states and Washington, D.C.

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Related stories:

NOM President: IRS Ruling Forces Gay Marriage on States

GOP Rep. Pearce: Judge's Decision Legalizing Gay Marriage 'Reckless'

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