The big news on the Web today comes from former US First Lady Laura Bush, who on Larry King Live stated that she believed abortion should be legal, both for medical and elective reasons, and that gay marriage should be legal and, with generational change, eventually will be. She doesn’t treat her opinion as authoritative, and she never once implies that someone who disagrees with her is wrong. She says she understands the viewpoint of her husband, who is staunchly opposed to both of these social issues, but also says that they respect the difference between them.
Very classy. Well done, Laura.
However, Focus on the Family came out with a rather revealing statement on Mrs. Bush’s opinions:
It’s disappointing to hear Laura Bush, who is a well respected and admired former first lady, espouse positions on marriage and the value of human life that are contrary not only to her husband’s but arguably, according to polls, in conflict with the majority of Americans.
Focus on the Family really ought to be called Focus on the Heterosexual Male Dominated Family. It’s rather telling that this organisation feels that Mrs. Bush was only respected and admired when she kept her opinions under wraps, and the utter cliché of shaming her for disagreeing with her husband and head is laughable. Not only is this naughty disobedient wife not resigning her brain to her husband’s opinions the way God told her to, she might be in disagreement with the Conservative Club. What a disgusting display of nonconformity!
Laura Bush has always conducted herself as a very classy person. It was refreshing to hear a genteel southern drawl modestly advocating equality and choice, standing as a polite but opposite viewpoint to the barking redneck twang that you usually associate with commentary on gay marriage.
Liberals are bashing Laura Bush for not speaking up on this issue whilst her husband was in office, especially when he called for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. This is unfair. Mrs. Bush has never been an elected official, and her role as First Lady was not to legislate or attempt to influence the political process. It would have been inappropriate for her to abuse her access to the American people, as well as an inappropriate public break with her husband. Couples who have disagreements shouldn’t air them publicly; it’s tacky and unhealthy for the marriage. Had she gotten involved, she would have certainly been bashed for meddling with an office to which she was not elected. And, as Mrs. Bush herself has put it, her opinions are her own. She allows others their opinions, whether or not they agree.
Bravo, Mrs. Bush. Good on you.