Seated in a wheelchair, former President George H.W. Bush officially witnessed the same-sex wedding of two longtime friends, Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen. Thorgalsen posted a photograph of the former president signing the marriage license as witness on September 21. Her caption: "Getting our marriage license witnessed!" Also attending the ceremony was Barbara Bush.
Bush 41 has strong family ties to Kennebunkport, a small coastal town in Maine. The female couple own a general store in nearby Kennebunk. They are now traveling overseas. Same-sex marriage became legal in Maine in December
The son of Bush 41, former President George W. Bush, opposed same-sex marriage. In 2004 he announced his support for a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw the practice. However, his wife, Laura, and their daughter Barbara have both expressed support for same-sex marriage. Another Republican on the same-sex bandwagon is former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter, Mary, is admittedly lesbian. Cheney's wife, Lynn, once published a torrid romance novel that purportedly featured lesbian themes.
George W. Bush has declined to describe his current feelings about same-sex marriage or about his father's role in a same-sex wedding. This year Bush 43 raised conservatives' eyebrows when he said he would not comment on the issue, saying he "shouldn't be taking a speck out of someone else's eye when I have a log in my own." His brother Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida, has said same-sex marriage is an issue best left to the states to decide. In a speech this year, he told the Faith & Freedom Coalition the nation needs to be supportive of non-traditional families.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.