Bush senior witness at same-sex wedding

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 September, 2013, 3:29am


Former US president George H.W. Bush was an official witness at the same-sex wedding of two longtime friends in Maine.

Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, attended the ceremony joining Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen last weekend, his spokesman, Jim McGrath, said.

Thorgalsen posted a photo on her Facebook page showing Bush signing the marriage licence. She captioned the photo: "Getting our marriage licence witnessed!"

In the photo, Bush is seated in a wheelchair, a stack of papers on his lap and his left hand poised with a pen. One bright red sock and one bright blue one peek out below the cuffs of his blue slacks.

The 41st president has deep ties to the area and owns a compound in Kennebunkport, a small coastal town. Thorgalsen and Clement own a general store in neighbouring Kennebunk. They were honeymooning overseas and did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Gay marriage became legal in Maine in December.

Bush was in the White House when gay marriage was not as big a political issue as it is today. One of his sons, former president George W. Bush, opposed same-sex marriage and in 2004 announced his support for a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw it. But George W's wife, Laura Bush, and their daughter Barbara support gay marriage, as does his former vice-president, Dick Cheney, whose daughter Mary Cheney is gay.

A spokesman for George W. Bush declined to comment on his current feelings about same-sex marriage or his thoughts about his father's role in a same-sex wedding.

In July, George W. made headlines when he said he would not comment on the issue, saying he "shouldn't be taking a speck out of someone else's eye when I have a log in my own".

He later explained that he just was not going to answer the question because he was out of politics.