Laura Bush tells her big secrets
ALEX SPILLIUS, WASHINGTON
May 15, 2010
LAURA Bush has admitted secretly supporting gay marriage and abortion rights
while her husband was president.
She said she kept quiet so as not to be seen backing measures that George Bush
had strongly opposed.
Mrs Bush said in a TV interview that they had disagreements in private but were
''I think we ought to look at gay marriage and debate it,'' she said. ''A lot
of people have trouble coming to terms with it, because they see marriage
traditionally as a man and woman.
''But I also know that when couples are committed to each other and love each
other, they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has.''
Mrs Bush said she did not discuss the issues when her husband was president
because she was rarely asked about them. She recalled biting her tongue when
asked her views on the Supreme Court judgment that legalised abortion during an
interview on her husband's inauguration day in 2001.
But in the interview with CNN this week she was more expansive, saying abortion
should ''remain legal, because I think it's important for people, for medical
reasons and other reasons''.
In her recently published memoir, Spoken from the Heart, Mrs Bush said she
spoke to her husband ''about not making gay marriage a significant issue'' in
the 2004 election. ''We have, I reminded him, a number of close friends who are
gay or whose children are gay,'' she wrote.
In 2004, several states put referendums on gay marriage on the ballot alongside
the vote for president in what was seen as an attempt to turn out right-wing
and evangelical voters.
Michael Cole, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, a US gay rights group,
said: ''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 realise all
families need the same rights and protections.''
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