A pro-gay marriage organization apologized to Laura Bush for including her in a recent advertisement supporting gay rights. Laura Bush formally asked to be removed from the television ad campaign that launched this past week, claiming that she never provided consent to participate in the message. In response, the support group is releasing a new advertisement this weekend to replace it.
In a formal statement, the Respect for Marriage Coalition said it was moving on “to different and new voices.”
“We utilized public comments for this advertisement from American leaders who have expressed support for same-sex marriage,” the group claimed. “We appreciate Mrs. Bush’s previous statements but are sorry she did not want to be included in our advertisement. The ad sparked a public education platform that will now shift to new and different voices that reflect the breadth and depth of our support.”
The new advertisement features a Republican former Marine, Craig Stowell, speaking on how he came to support gay marriage after learning his brother was a homosexual.
“None of us should be told we cannot marry the person we love,” Stowell claims in the advertisement while sitting with his wife, Berta. “As citizens of this country, we believe in the freedom of choice. That’s why I fought for this nation as a marine, and that’s what we believe in as Republicans. Freedom doesn’t discriminate; freedom means freedom for every American. I did not understand the importance of gay marriage, but after learning of my brother’s sexual orientation, I wanted to extend the same rights to him. He was the best man at my wedding, and I hope to be the best man at it his. It’s only right that my brother should be given the freedom to marry the individual he loves.”
Laura Bush was originally featured in the advertisement to support same-sex marriage, along with two prominent members of her husband’s former cabinet—former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
However, on Wednesday a spokeswoman for Bush told the Dallas Morning news that the former first lady “did not approve of her inclusion in the ad, and as a result, we formally requested that the group remove her from it.”
“When couples are committed to each other, they ought to have the same rights that everyone has,” Bush says in the advertisement. The quote came from an appearance on Larry King’s CNN show in 2010.
The million-dollar television campaign is also backed by print advertisements The Washington Post and The New York Times. The advertisements are expected to air during the Sunday political talk shows.
Laura Bush is far more supportive of gay rights than her husband. In her memoir, she claims that she asked George not make gay marriage a primary issue in his 2004 reelection bid, and during the Larry King interview, Laura Bush makes it clear that she supports same-sex marriage and predicts it will be legal throughout the United States in the upcoming years.