KENNEBUNK — Former President George H.W. Bush served as a witness this past weekend at the same-sex wedding of two-long time lesbian friends.
Both Bush and his wife Barbara attended the event in Kennebunk, Maine, where they had been invited as private citizens. Bonnie Clement, 60, and Helen Thorgalson, 55, had asked Bush to serve as an official witness in signing their “marriage” license.
‘”Who would be best to help us acknowledge the importance of our wedding as our friends and as the former leader of the free world?” Thorgalson told the Washington Post. “When they agreed to do so, we just felt that it was the next acknowledgment of being real and normal.”
Bush representative Jim McGrath also confirmed to reporters that the former president and first lady were present at the event.
Following the ceremony, Thorgalson posted a photograph to her Facebook page of Bush signing his name as a witness. Bush, 89, is seated in a wheelchair, with Clement on the left and Thorgalson on the right. Other photographs were taken at the event of a smiling Bush and his wife with Clement and Thorgalson.
While George H.W. Bush has not made any public statements on his views about homosexuality, as previously reported, his son George W. Bush was in the headlines this summer regarding his response to a Zambian reporter who asked whether homosexual behavior is compatible with Christianity.
“I shouldn’t be taking a speck out of someone else’s eye when I have a log in my own,” he said, referring to the words of Christ in Matthew 7:3.
Later, ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl asked Bush about his comments, but he declined to elaborate further, stating that he was no longer involved in politics.
“I meant that I’m not going to answer the question then and I’m not going to answer it now in terms of the political question about whether or not [it’s compatible with Christianity]. I just don’t want to weigh back in the debate,” he responded. “I’m out of politics.”
“But, I meant it’s very important for people not to be overly critical of someone else until you’ve examined your own heart,” Bush added.
When Karl then asked whether Bush’s views had “evolved” on homosexuality, he again refused to explain.
“Jon, you didn’t hear my answer,” he replied. “I’m not going to weigh back into those kinds of issues. I’m out of politics. The only way I can really make news is either criticize the president, which I don’t want to do, criticize my own party, or weigh in on a controversial issue. And I’m off the stage.”
Bush’s wife, Laura, and daughter, Barbara, are reportedly supportive of homosexual “marriage.” Former Vice President Dick Cheney has also spoken favorably of homosexuality as his daughter Mary is a lesbian. Bush’s brother Jeb also shocked attendees of the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference this past June when he stated that Americans need to be open to “non-traditional” families.
“Let me remind you, families don’t look all the time like they used to, and that’s okay,” he stated. “We have to be supportive of a single mom or dad, or the grandmother taking care of young children, the non-traditional family as we are of any idealized families of our youth. … Things are not as black and white as they used to be — there’s a lot more gray now.”
“I didn’t have much respect for Bush when he was president and I have less respect for him now,” one commenter wrote about George H.W. Bush’s presence at Saturday’s ceremony. “Joining the devil and losing your only soul is a big price to pay to win votes.”