Laura Bush Wants Off Gay Marriage Ad

Image Credit: Dr. Billy Ingram

Laura Bush was apparently caught off guard this week when she was featured in a TV ad in support of gay marriage.

The ad, created by a group called Respect for Marriage Coalition, includes a statement Bush made during an interview with CNN's "Larry King Live" in 2010 in which she talked about her memoir, "Spoken from the Heart."

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"When couples are committed to each other and love each other, then they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has," she told King three years ago.

The former first lady's office told the Dallas Morning News that Bush had not given her consent to be part of the ad, and had asked that she be removed from it.

Bush also told Larry King that she disagreed with her husband on the issue of gay marriage. Although Bush told King that she'd talked to her husband about same-sex marriage and abortion, she "did not really"express her views on either of these issues when she lived in the White House.
The ad also included sound bites from past TV interviews with former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Vice President Dick Cheney, as well as President Obama's declaration in last month's inaugural address that gays and lesbians must be "treated like anyone else under the law."
Neither Obama nor Cheney support a federal statute for gay marriage. In an interview last May with ABC's Robin Roberts, Obama endorsed gay marriage but said it was "an issue that is going to be worked out at the local level," and that it had not historically "been a federal issue."

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The $1 million Respect for Marriage ad campaign is part of a new national effort by the group to start a discourse on same sex marriage.

As of Thursday the ad has not been taken down.

"We used public comments for this ad from American leaders who have expressed support for civil marriage," reads a statement from the Respect for Marriage Coalition. "We appreciate Mrs. Bush's previous comments but are sorry she didn't want to be included in an ad. The ad launched a public education campaign that will now move to new and different voices that reflect the depth and breadth of our support."

A second ad for the campaign featuring a Republican military veteran named Craig Stowell will begin running this weekend.

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