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GHW Bush signs same-sex wedding certificate

Timothy Kincaid

September 25th, 2013

This past weekend President George H. W. Bush attended a same-sex marriage in Maine (WaPo)

Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara served as an official witnesses this past weekend at the Maine wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen, co-owners of a Kennebunk general store.

No big statement from the ex-prez’s office. His rep Jim McGrath confirmed his and wife Barbara’s presence at the wedding: “They were private citizens attending a private ceremony for two friends.”

In an email from their honeymoon in London, Clement told us they’ve known the former first couple first years and were thrilled they accepted the wedding invitation. Thinking about “how monumental this time is in our lives” and “how blessed we are to be in their lives,” they decided to ask them “to really personalize it for us” as witnesses.

While the first President Bush never expressed much animosity towards the gay community, my first response was a bit of surprise. And then I thought that the Bushes are people, and we often say that we welcome the evolution of thought of people on the issue of equality. So I definitely welcome this.

I guess I’m not really all that surprised that Bush Sr. now seems to value and appreciate marriage equality. And, frankly, I won’t be that surprised when Bush Jr. does so.

Comments

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Joseph Singer
September 25th, 2013 | LINK

Not that hard to understand even politically. GHWB has no further political aspirations in the Republican party. He can pretty much do as *he* pleases and doesn’t have to pander to Tea Party or Evangelicals any longer.

Priya Lynn
September 25th, 2013 | LINK

Whenever I think of GHW Bush I think of the time he was asked if atheists are citizens and he said “No and they shouldn’t be considered citizens.

TampaZeke
September 25th, 2013 | LINK

What’s with the socks?

Timothy Kincaid
September 25th, 2013 | LINK

Apparently Bush has been into wacky socks for a while. It’s kinda a ‘thing’

histrogeek
September 26th, 2013 | LINK

Bush Part 1 was always in the country club wing of the party, and resented the hell out of needing to pander to the evangelical wing. In terms of LGBTQ issues, he increased AIDS funding and sign the first federal hate crimes law (which included LGBTQ as a protected class). So his presidency wasn’t so bad for a modern Republican on gay rights.
Mind you the man was a bad president overall and he was a goddamn weather vane. If he were running for office today, he’d be shrieking about the ruin of America brought about by equal marriage.

Rob
September 26th, 2013 | LINK

Sorry, histrogeek, but the first Federal Hate Crimes Act was signed in 1968.

GHW Bush signed the Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990. And yes, that was the First Federal Law that included LG but did NOT include Bi or Trans. It specifically states “As used in this section, the term `sexual orientation’ means consensual homosexuality or heterosexuality.”

I don’t mean to quibble, but there was 22 years difference between the first Federal Hate Crimes Law and the Statistics Act, which only kept STATISTICS, it did not outlaw or make illegal acts against Homosexuals, it just started keeping records (I should actually say made any enhancements including LGBT, AS ANY CRIME IS ILLEGAL). Actual Legislation that made what we now call hate crimes laws (enhanced punishment) of crimes committed against LGBT people wasn’t enacted until 2009 when it was attached to the DOD funding bill and signed by President Obama.
Trans people were not included by name untill 2005.

And I do know that he may have mentioned LGBT in his signing statement, but the law as it was written didn’t apply to all orientations, only hetero, And homosexual.

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