Laura Bush Wants Nothing to Do With New Gay Marriage Ad
Earlier this week the Respect for Marriage Coalition, which is co-chaired by the Human Rights Campaign, launched a $1 million media campaign with ads that used footage of Republicans voicing their support for marriage equality. One of those right-wingers is former First Lady Laura Bush.
But it now looks like Bush wants to be removed from the newspaper and online advertising campaign as the Dallas Morning News reports her spokeswoman Anne MacDonald said in a statement on Wednesday that the former first lady "did not approve of her inclusion in this advertisement nor is she associated with the group that made the ad in any way."
"When she became aware of the advertisement last night, we requested that the group remove her from it," MacDonald added.
The new gay marriage ad featured a clip of Bush saying, "When couples are committed to each other and love each other, then they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has." The statement was made when she was speaking to Larry King on CNN in 2010.
It may not come as a surprise that Bush wants nothing to do with the campaign as her husband, former President George W. Bush, has opposed gay rights in the past. He did meet with the Log Cabin Republicans, a group for LGBT conservatives however, which was a first for a Republican presidential candidate. While in office, he did not repeal President Clinton's Executive Order banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and did not attempt to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which barred gay service members from openly serving in the military. President Bush has never endorsed marriage equality but was the first Republican president to appoint an openly gay man to serve in his administration - Scott Evertz was hired as director of the Office of National AIDS Policy.
Laura Bush isn't the only conservative in the pro-gay marriage campaign; the ad also shows clips of former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsing marriage equality. President Barack Obama is featured in the ad as well, USA Today reports.
Cheney has supported marriage equality for a while, as his daughter, Mary, is a lesbian and had a daughter with her partner during the 2004 presidential election.
"People ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish," he told the National Press Club in 2009. "I do believe, historically, the way marriage has been regulated is at a state level. It's always been a state issue, and I think that's the way it ought to be handled today."
According to the Daily Beast, Cheney also urged Maryland lawmakers to vote to legalize gay marriage in the state in 2012.
As for Powell, who has supported Obama in the past presidential elections, he has expressed his support for same-sex marriage in May 2012 and backed the repeal of DADT.
When the Respect for Marriage Coalition first unveiled the ad, the group said, "The Respect for Marriage Coalition comprises more than 80 organizations supporting the freedom to marry -- and this is the first time in history that LGBT advocacy organizations across America have come together to fund a national ad buy. Against the backdrop of President Obama's historic comments about marriage rights in his inaugural address, freedom to marry legislation pending in a number of states, and two landmark marriage cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Coalition is working to grow support for marriage rights for same-sex couples across the nation."
Officials from the organization have yet to respond to Bush's request.
Watch the ad below: