Cheney, Laura Bush among Republicans who back gay marriage

By Jessica Huseman

Republicans are certainly not known for their support of gay marriage. The number of Republicans currently holding national office that support gay marriage can be counted on one hand. But, the tide is starting to turn.

On Tuesday, a list of 75 prominent Republicans, including two members of Congress, signed a brief to support the legalization of same-sex marriage. Below is a list of the best-known Republicans that have come out in support of gay marriage, prompting others to do the same.

Jon Huntsman

Jon Huntsman The former Utah governor and candidate for president, who was against same-sex marriage until as late as 2011, recently penned a piece in support of marriage equality for the American Conservative, defending it as a “conservative cause.”

He writes:

“… Conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love.”

Then on Tuesday, it was announced he had officially signed an amicus curiae brief supporting the legalization of gay marriage to the Supreme Court along with other top Republicans.


Meg Whitman

Meg WhitmanThe former candidate for governor of California is the most recent Republican to change their tune on gay marriage. While running for governor in 2010, she supported Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage in California. But, in a statement released Tuesday through her LinkedIn page, Whitman explained why she signed onto the brief that seeks to tear down that same law, saying:

“As a candidate for governor three years ago, I supported Proposition 8. At the time, I believed the people of California had weighed in on this question and that overturning the will of the people was the wrong approach. The facts and arguments presented during the legal process since then have had a profound impact on my thinking … Marriage is the fundamental institution that unites a society. It is the single greatest contributor to the well-being of adults and children because it promotes eternal principles like commitment, fidelity and stability. It makes no difference whether the marriage is between a man and woman or a woman and woman. Marriage makes society better.”


Laura Bush

Laura BushFormer First Lady Laura Bush first announced her support for gay marriage in 2010 on an interview with Larry King Live, saying, “… 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.”

Mrs. Bush recently asked to be removed from an advertisement by the Respect for Marriage Coalition, which used the Larry King interview as part of their reel of important supporters of same-sex marriage. But it appears that she asked for it to be removed because she wasn’t aware of her image being used, and not that she was revoking support for the movement.


Colin Powell

Colin PowellThe former Bush Secretary of State endorsed Obama’s decision to support same-sex marriage in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer last year.

“I have no problems with it,” said Powell, who served under George W. Bush. “I don’t see any reason not to say that [same-sex couples] should be able to get married under the laws of their state or the laws of the country.”

Powell was head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” took effect in 1993. He said this decision was “to get us out of an even worse outcome that could have occurred.” In February 2010, Powell publically supported the repeal of DADT, noting that in the 17 years since its passage “attitudes and circumstances have changed.”


Dick Cheney

Dick CheneyThe former vice president is known for saying, “I think that freedom means freedom for everyone” when he is asked about gay marriage. He has repeated this mantra since the 2000 vice presidential debate, though he does believe it is a decision that should be left to the states.

Cheney, who is featured in the ad Mrs. Bush opted out of, has an openly gay daughter whose marriage he celebrated last June. In a statement after the ceremony, Cheney said, “Mary and Heather have been in a committed relationship for many years, and we are delighted that they were able to take advantage of the opportunity to have that relationship recognized.”


Christine Todd Whitman

Christine Todd WhitmanThe former governor of New Jersey has long contended that marriage is not a government issue. As the founder and co-chair of the Republican Leadership Council, which seeks to promote fiscal responsibility and social tolerance, Whitman contends the Republican Party has lost its way on issues like abortion and gay marriage.

At a luncheon held by the non-profit group Common Good in May 2012, Whitman said, “I’ve been married 36 years and I’m not worried about a gay couple somehow threatening my marriage,” noting that she supports a system that will allow anyone to have their union legally recognized and leave it up to religious institutions to decide who they would marry.


Connect with Politically Inclined on Twitter and Facebook.


Posted by on February 26, 2013. Filed under National Politics,Recent News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Fatal error: Uncaught Exception: 12: REST API is deprecated for versions v2.1 and higher (12) thrown in /nfs/c10/h06/mnt/148038/domains/ on line 1273