Laura Bush is demanding all references to her, including video of her comments saying that she supports same-sex marriage, be removed from a new $1 million ad campaign. The Respect For Marriage Coalition launched the new campaign yesterday, as a bipartisan appeal to further support for marriage equality. The ads feature President Obama, former First Lady Laura Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
“The advertising blitz, first reported by Politico, features a clip of Bush talking to Larry King on CNN in 2010 and 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 Dallas Morning News reports:
But Bush spokeswoman Anne MacDonald said in a statement 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 said.
Yesterday morning, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts asked Evan Wolfson, co-chair of the Coalition, if the four political leaders knew they were being included.
Wolfson responded, “if every time somebody wanted their freedom to be respected — freedom to marry, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, an the freedom to marry — they had to go and put it up to a vote it wouldn’t be a right it would be a vote.”
Zack Ford at Think Progress notes:
This request is a cowardly escape from her role as a public figure. If Bush did not want her support for marriage equality to be widely known or cited, she should not have written about it in her book or openly discussed it with Larry King on CNN. Her comments and her position are part of the public record, and unless her position has changed and she now opposes same-sex marriage, she doesn’t really have room to be making such a request.
When Mrs. Bush revealed her long-time albeit never mentioned support for marriage equality in 2010, she also said she “could never have imagined” the path her husband and Karl Rove were going to take in the 2004 campaign for re-election, which demonized gay people. President George W. Bush won re-election largely by Rove’s get out the vote strategy, which had placed gay marriage bans on ballots in many states, thus driving antigay bigots to the polls, who then happened to also take a moment to vote for Bush.
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