George H.W. Bush Mellows on Marriage Stance: 'People Have a Right to Be Happy'

Illustration for article titled George H.W. Bush Mellows on Marriage Stance: People Have a Right to Be Happy

With age, 91-year-old President George H.W. Bush’s attitude toward same-sex marriage has softened, according to a new biography by Jon Meacham.


In the ramp-up for Bush’s 1988 campaign, he reportedly said that Americans did not want “homosexual marriages codified.”

However, he has since attended a same-sex wedding, and this September, sent Meacham a message on the topic, according to the New York Times.


“Personally, I still believe in traditional marriage,” he wrote. “But people should be able to do what they want to do, without discrimination. People have a right to be happy. I guess you could say I have mellowed.”

The biography, entitled Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush features his criticism of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and some of the decisions his son made in office, and comes just as his younger son Jeb Bush drowsily attempts to convince the nation that it should trust yet another Bush.

This June, the littlest Bush released a statement on same-sex marriage:

“Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage. I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision. I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.”


While it doesn’t have any real impact on the fate of our nation (since the chances of Jeb winning the nomination are laughably slim, and all the GOP candidates are in a constant battle to out-conservative each other), perhaps his father’s enlightened views might help sway this middle-aged “traditionalist.”

Contact the author at

Image via Getty.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



I honestly believe that half the time these dudes really don’t care. Like, they wouldn’t fight for equal rights, but they aren’t actively against things like marriage equality, either. They have to cater to the crazies, which is obviously an act of cowardice and oppression (not unknown to the likes of Obama and both Clintons), but I sincerely doubt the heartfelt nature of anti-marriage equality statements from even Repubs a fair amount of the time.