Promoting her autobiography on CNN this week, former first lady Laura Bush told Larry King that she disagreed with her husband George Bush on gay marriage and abortion. In a thoughtful and measured response she went on to say that she believed gay marriage was a generational issue and that, in time, she thought marriage equality would be a reality.
On pro-choice and abortion issues, she said that abortion should stay legal “for medical reasons and other reasons.”
Watch the clip below:
In her book, Spoken From the Heart, she reveals that, during the run up to the 2004 election, she urged her husband not to make gay marriage a prominent part of his campaign given the “social issue” it had become, writing:
“Before the election season had unfolded, I had talked to George about not making gay marriage a significant issue. We have, I reminded him, a number of close friends who are gay or whose children are gay. But at that moment I could never have imagined what path this issue would take and where it would lead.”
Speaking on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign, Michael Cole remarked on the Larry King interview: “When the Right-wing was using same-sex couples as election year pawns we would have welcomed support from the first lady. Nevertheless, her speaking out now for marriage equality shows that more and more Americans realize all families need the same rights and protections.”
Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, commented in a similar way, saying: “Every first lady has to make choices on what they will take a public stance on, and she is not the elected official. But I am thrilled she is now going public with her views.”
What do you think? Is this advocacy too late to matter, or a welcome declaration?