Last night, former First Lady Laura Bush appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live to promote her new book, From The Heart. In the book, Bush reveals that she had talked to her husband “about not making gay marriage a significant issue,” reminding him that they shared “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,” Bush writes, referring to the administration’s effort to pass a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage ahead of the 2004 re-election campaign.
During her interview with King, Bush said that that she supports gay marriage and believes that it is inevitable:
KING: Gay marriage, you tell us in the book that during the 2004 campaign you talked to George about not making it a significant issue. Do you think we should have it?
BUSH: Well, I think we ought to definitely look at it and debate it. I think there are a lot of people who have trouble coming to terms with that because they see marriage as traditionally between a man and a woman. But I also know that, you know, when couples are committed to each other and love each other, that they ought to have I think the same sort of rights that everyone has.
KING: So would that be an area where you disagreed?
BUSH: I guess that would be an area that we disagree. I mean, I understand totally what George thinks and what other people think about marriage being between a man and a woman. And it’s a real, you know, reversal really for that to accept gay marriage.
KING: But you do?
BUSH: But I think we could, yeah. I think it’s also a generational thing.
KING: You think it’s coming?
BUSH: Yeah, that will come, I think.
Bush also reiterated that she disagreed with her husband’s pro-life stance on abortion, but said that she could understand her husband’s views. “Yeah, and I understand his viewpoint. I really do. I understand his viewpoint. And he understands mine,” she insisted.
Throughout his presidency, Bush was a strong opponent of LGBT equality. The administration opposed equal benefits for same-sex couples, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit workplace discrimination against gay Americans, the hate crimes act to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and supported the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.