Former President George H.W. Bush is witness for same-sex wedding

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Former President George H.W. Bush served as a witness for a same-sex couple’s wedding on Saturday, September 21.

The brides, Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsan, are longtime friends of Bush. The newlyweds own a general store in a neighboring town to Kennebunkport, Maine, a small, coastal town where the former President has a summer home.

In a photograph posted to Thorgalisan’s Facebook page, Bush is shown seated in his wheelchair as he signs the document. She captioned the photo: “Getting our marriage license witnessed!”

Maine legalized same-sex marriage in December of last year. In June, The Pew Research center estimated a total of 428 same-sex marriages in Maine, and a total of nearly 72,000 nationwide.

But despite the country’s growing acceptance of marriage equality, many politicians remain opposed, including former President George W. Bush, George Bush Sr.’s eldest son. In 2004, he endorsed a proposed amendment to the constitution that would federally outlaw gay marriage.

Conversely, George W. Bush’s wife, Laura Bush, his eldest daughter Barbara, as well as former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter Mary is openly gay, all support same-sex marriage.

George W. Bush’s brother, Jeb Bush, is the former governor of Florida and possible 2014 presidential candidate. In the past, he has said that the decision to legalize same-sex marriage should go to the states. During a speech he gave in June, he told the Faith & Freedom Coalition the nation needs to be supportive of “non-traditional” families.

“Let me remind you,” he said. “Families don’t look all the time like they used to, and that’s ok.”

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